It has been three months since six-year old off the track thoroughbred (OTTB) Joey (RV’s Smokin Joe) came home from Sarah’s to his new home with Caroline.
Here are some stats:
- He was under 1100 pounds when he came to Caroline’s June 10th
- By mid-summer he was almost 1200 pounds
- Recent visit with the vet, tagged him at over 1300 pounds
It is easy to see where the weight went. He has developed a nice shoulder and hip. His ribs no longer show. Along with the good food are plenty of vitamins and supplements that are making him healthy, his coat glossy and his tail grow.
On the work front, he is steady and workmanlike for the most part. Although there have been some days that as my daddy would have said, he was really feeling his grain! He can get strong and Caroline is getting a hands on education in working with an off the track thoroughbred. Thoroughbreds are trained to run into the bit-so constant pressure on the bit gets you no where. The old “give and take” method is the best for getting them slowed down and collected. And not unlike, my old racehorse Kid, Joey requires NO leg to get him going or keep him moving. Friend Mary Lou took him for a ride and had to consciously remember to keep her legs off him. Problem with that of course, is, when you get scared that the horse is moving out from under you or moving too fast, first thing you want to do is clamp down your legs. Boy, not on this horse!
Joey has had a couple of bumps in his progress with some leg issues and a mild colic. Thankfully, Caroline caught both early and Joey is recovering well. I am very excited to see where this big guy might go when he finally gets into the ring. When we took pony Mimi from Caroline, we ceremoniously handed over Leo’s beautiful OTTB pad. I know that Joey will proudly display the OTTB pad at his first show!
With a little research, it was discovered that Joey was running on the track as recently as spring 2011, so not long ago. He was winning and making a little money. Makes you wonder what went so wrong (leg issues?, money issues?) that Joey was in such sad shape a year later. Makes me more than a little crazy. I am very proud of how well Joey is doing but wish he never had to go so far down. He is a beautiful, intelligent, talented boy and I am glad he continues to blossom under “Caroline Care”.