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My first horse as an adult was a rescue - a beautiful dark bay thorough- bred mare that had been on the track and raced three times, then became a broodmare for three years before falling on hard times. When I purchased her, I switched her to trail riding at age seven. She certainly wasn’t a perfect trail horse, but she settled down to be content in her third career, until the day I decided I wanted to venture into the world of dressage. Talk about a square peg in a round hole! This was not the sport for her, especially since I was so green myself. After many months of frustration, I eventually decided that this fourth career that I was attempting to force on my horse was not fair to her. So I sold her to a nice trail-riding home in order to pursue my newfound passion.

Our sport horses don’t have the luxury of selecting their discipline – the responsibility to choose is entirely up to the owner. Sometimes it’s a perfect fit, and other times it just doesn’t work. But it’s not always so black and white. Let’s say you love dressage, but what if your current horse and intended longtime partner is continually prone to ulcers? He or she may be physically able to do the job, but mentally it’s taking its toll. Or what if, as one trainer described, he shakes like a leaf in the start box for cross-country? Perhaps eventing isn’t really the right sport for him, even though he can jump well and he’s earned some great scores.

In this second issue of WT, we present numerous examples of Warmbloods that, for one reason or another, needed to make a change in their careers. With the right person handling the switch, these horses are all shining stars now.

One of the great things about Warmbloods and the Iberian horses is their athletic ability. If they stay sound, chances are there is at least one discipline that will suit them. The key is finding what that ideal career is, which may take some trial and error to figure out.

When we decided to feature Holly Bergay, an aspiring Paralympic young rider, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that her Canadian Warmblood mare Lily had switched from jumpers to dressage at age 13. And take for instance, the Lusitanos and Andalusians - two breeds bred for dressage. We found two of them succeeding in the world of eventing. Along the same theme, we also feature a wonderful FEI mare that has never stopped competing while breeding thanks to embryo transfer technology. It’s amazing to learn of all the babies this mare has had without being pregnant for more than seven days!

We hope you enjoy this second edition of Warmbloods Today as much as the premier edition. Our goal is to provide you with thought-provoking opinions and inspiring stories of these great horses. Even if you find only one thing in WT that helps improve your connection with your own horse, it’s worth it.

Please enjoy “Your Connection to the Modern Sport Horse.”

Liz Cornell

Publisher, Warmbloods Today

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