Trainer's Paddock- Lessons From Mom

Mom and my gelding Omar back in mid 1980"s

I'm a proud 3rd generation horsewomen. My grandfather trained and raced Standardbred Harness horses when my mother was young, so it's in my DNA. My Mom taught so much about horses when I was a young inexperienced horse crazy girl. I thought I would share some of the knowledge she gave to me with you.

I was 12 years old when horses came into my life and although I was very enthusiastic I didn't know a great deal about horses. All I knew was "I loved horses". I want to spend every day that first summer being with the horses. That summer I learned several life long lessons about horses from my Mom.

The first lesson I learned that summer was how you needed to brush down and curry your horse before saddling up. Mom had helped me pick out the grooming tools I needed. She made sure I had a soft brush, stiff brush, metal curry comb ( yes metal curry comb) and mane comb. Mom taught me how to use the curry comb and stiff brush to groom my horses.

Being a twelve year old girl I didn't have a lot patiences for that, but Mom insisted.

When Mom groomed a horse she began with curry comb along with the stiff brush. She explained how you used them together and how never use curry comb on the horse's legs or face. Then she would take the soft brush with the stiff brush and go over the horse again. The tail and mane was always thoroughly combed out as well. When Mom finished grooming a horse he was so shiny and sleek you could have taken him in a the show ring. I still use those methods Mom taught, but I'm still not as gifted as she was with a brush and curry comb.

My next lesson was when you came back after a long hot ride it was your responsibility to cool that horse down. Now Mom spent some time cooling horses off at the track for her Dad so she how it was done. Mom would say to me " you need to cool him down," and she showed me what I needed to do. She showed me how to rub him down with a towel then you start walking him. Mom talked about when her Dad would put horse liniment in a bucket of water and sponge the horse down and then blanket the horse and walk them out. The first horse blanket I had was actually an old bed blanket Mom had donated for that purpose. She had horse blanket pins and she would pin in the front of the blanket around the horse chest to hold it on. . Later of course I had coolers and blankets, but I still remember that old plaid blanket and those horse blanket pins my Mom had. Mom was the person who showed me how to properly fasten a real horse blanket on a horse when I got a really one. I assume her Dad had shown her. Again to this day that is how I cool a horse down and how I taught my clients to do it as well.

My Mom passed away on January 18th 2018. I still find myself thinking to myself " I 'll talk to Mom about that," even after 40 plus years with horses and 30 plus years of training and instructing.

Look for more of Mom's Lessons coming soon.