Cosequin Presents OTTB Showcase: Hope And Promise - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Cosequin Presents OTTB Showcase: Hope And Promise

“I have loved horses ever since I was a little tater tot,” said 15-year-old Hope Reed.

That love for horses evolved into the Reeds becoming a “horse family.” After begging and pleading for a horse, Hope's family had “the talk” with their then-nine-year-old daughter. It involved a lot of questions about responsibility for a living, breathing animal, learning to care for and train that animal, and ultimately being the person bearing the charge of that animal's quality of life.

Her answer? An emphatic “Yes!”

Hope had found a mare that she was absolutely in love with. A green-broke 13-year-old named Luna. They agreed that Hope would take riding lessons near their home in Michigan, and the horse would stay with her trainer until she was ready to work with the horse herself.

“Let me emphasize the attitude of this horse,” said Hope. “I swear I got bullied by this little horse, but as time went on, I think I kind of grew on her, and with a lot of ground work she turned into an awesome little mare.”

As time went on, it became apparent that Hope wasn't the only one in her family bitten by the horse bug. Her mother also loved horses and thought getting another horse for her to ride would be the perfect way for she and her daughter to bond.

Her mom's first horse, Cobra, turned out not to be the best fit for the family, as he had abounding energy. They ended up taking their time and finding him the perfect home with a local family and later found her mom the perfect horse in an Appaloosa named Penny.

“I probably rode Penny more than my mom did,” said Hope. “I began showing her and at that point is when I got introduced to English riding – my new-found love! Some local ladies let me borrow everything I needed.”

Penny was a wonderful horse for Hope to learn on, but eventually Hope wanted a horse who was better suited to her riding discipline of choice. She discussed it with her mom and they decided to sell Penny.

“At the fair that year I put a little pull-tab sign on her stall and after the fair, a sweet family called and wanted to come see her,” said Hope. “After a few visits and rides, she was off to her new home.”

The sale price was more than what the family had purchased Penny for, so Hope paid back her mom for what she had spent on the horse, and put the rest into savings to use toward another horse, saving money here and there however she could to put toward her “dream horse.”

Hope looked online and was open to anything, but wasn't really sure what she was looking for. She knew that when she saw it, she would know it.

“I searched, and searched, and searched some more, until I came across this one horse. I got this deep-down gut feeling that this was my horse!” said Hope. “She was an OTTB and at the time I didn't even know what that meant. I knew nothing about Thoroughbreds, but I did know that this was my horse.”

Hope called to inquire about Promise and found out she was located on the other side of the state in Holland, Michigan. That only meant one thing – road trip!

“When we pulled up the driveway we saw a huge, fancy dressage barn,” said Hope. “We got out and met the seller, who escorted us inside and there was Promise in the cross ties. It was love at first sight!”

Hope and 'Promise' 2 OTTB
There were some anxious moments early on, but Hope and Promise have bonded

Hope and her mom talked with the owner at length about Promise, and then it was Hope's turn to hop in the saddle and try her out.

“I was a little intimidated by her height, being that all of our other horses had been short, and being on the back of a Thoroughbred was pretty scary,” said Hope.

Her cues were different than Hope was used to as well. She was much more sensitive than Penny and at one point, showed Hope a bit of her racehorse side, giving her a bit of a scare but also a glimpse at what challenges would lie ahead for Hope as a rider and horse owner if she was open to them.

Hope did a lot of thinking, a lot of talking with other horse people, and a lot of research. Though only in her teens, she knew the decision to buy a horse like Promise should be done thoughtfully and should not be taken lightly.

“In the end, this horse becoming mine just felt right,” said Hope. “I didn't want to pass this opportunity up, because if I did, I knew I would be sorry.”

Hope is involved with her local 4-H chapter, and the day Hope was set to arrive, she had an obligation with 4-H for which she'd been preparing for months.

“After our 4-H event was done, I sat at home staring out of our big window for two hours waiting for Promise to arrive,” said Hope

Even though it was technically turning from winter to spring on the calendar, there were still several feet of snow on the ground and the temperature was below zero. The second she saw that horse trailer coming was probably the fastest Hope has ever put her snow gear on. She ran out to meet the trailer and welcome her new friend home.

Promise settled in quickly, buddying up with Luna, Hope's first mare who was now far from green-broke. In those initial weeks, Hope and Promise struggled to figure each other out. Promise was tense and nervous under saddle. Hope and her family struggled to find a feed that she would really thrive on and her weight was far from ideal.

They persevered. Hope went back to the basics of ground work and simple tasks with Promise. They began gaining each other's trust and that summer they were taking part in 4-H activities and showing, and Hope's 4-H leader recommended putting Promise on oats to help with her weight.

As time went on into the fall, things started to click.

“She started to gain weight and we started to excel in our training,” said Hope. “Our bond became tighter and tighter. I truly have never known a horse with such a connection to its rider as Promise and I share.

“Promise and I plan to continue our hunt seat training. We will love each other every minute of every day and continue to rise to the top in our own personal race.”

Name: Tangledinloot (a.k.a “Promise”)
Born: April 29, 2006
Color: Bay
Sire: Demaloot Demashoot
Dam: No More Tangles
Sale History: none
Race Record: 7-0-0-0
Race Earnings: $929

If you have or know of a retired Thoroughbred with an interesting story to tell, we'd love to hear about it! Just email Jen Roytz ([email protected]) with the horse's Jockey Club name, background story, and a few photos.

Jen Roytz is a freelance writer and marketing and public relations consultant for various entities, both equine and non-equine. She can also still be found on the back of an OTTB most days.

Contact Jen on Facebook and Twitter.

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