(From the January 2017 Reiner Magazine)
The surprise wasn’t really that Andrea Fappani had won the Lucas Oil NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity, but the surprise was what horse he won it on, and how he did it.
Spooky Whiz joined the Fappani training barn at the end of his 2-year-old year after Fappani purchased him through agent Eduardo Salgado for Rancho Oso Rio, an NRHA Million Dollar Owner. While the dark bay gelding was a bit on the small size, Fappnie could tell, even at an early age, that he had exactly the mind he was looking for.
“What I liked was his mind,” recalls Fappani. “As a 2 year old he was very mature, and you could tell he took different things that he wasn’t used to and handled them well. That’s what I’m looking for when I train young horses.”
Learn more about how Fappani got the most out of Spooky Whiz, and why he chose to break tradition and ride in romal reins: Trainer Talk: Getting the Most From Your Horse
While I lived in Lexington, I had the privilege of getting to work with leaders in the equine health industry in many facets. I’ve always enjoyed talking with Stuart Muir, resident farrier at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Stuart is a wealth of information when it comes to the horse’s hoof, so when he knows of a podiatry topic horse owners need to learn about, he and I work together to get that information out there.
One such example is this article I wrote for the NRHA Reiner: “The Importance of Balance in Reining Horses.”
Why is balance so important? In order to alleviate the amount of stress and pressure on the horse’s front legs during movement, it’s imperative that the front legs breakover with as little force as possible. “We need to get the horse moving very efficiently,” says Stuart. “To do that, we work a lot at balancing the hoof with trimming and shoeing. It’s very important, especially in reining, to make sure that the front end is balanced.”
You can read the rest of the article: The Importance of Balance in Reining Horses
I just returned from a trip to Oklahoma City for the 2017 NRHA Derby, the aged event that celebrates 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses. It’s always fun to see the horses that competed in the prior year’s Futurity, as well as returning Futurity champions all in one building. I’ll post some photos from my trip later, but first, I thought it’d be good to learn how to get the most from your horse in the reining pen from the 2016 NRHA Futurity Champion (and NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider) Andrea Fappani and the NRHA Reiner.
The surprise wasn’t really that Fappani had won the Lucas Oil NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity, but the surprise was what horse he won it on, and how he did it.
Spooky Whiz joined the Fappani training barn at the end of his 2 year old year after Fappani purchased him through agent Eduardo Salgado for Rancho Oso Rio, an NRHA Million Dollar Owner. While the dark bay gelding was a bit on the small size, Fappani could tell, even at an early age, that he had exactly the mind he was looking for.
Read more on the PDF:
Trainer Talk: Getting the Most from Your Horse with Andrea Fappani
This time last year an equine star was born…and we’re not talking about American Pharoah. Instead, we’re talking about his track pony, Smokey, the buckskin Quarter Horse with a golden, dappled coat and the demeanor that drew crowds to him.
I got to know more about “Smokey the Pony” when I wrote a profile piece for the National Reining Horse Association’s The Reiner magazine. It was a piece of a lifetime, since I got to talk with Bob Baffert (one of my favorite Thoroughbred racing trainers) and Donna Brothers, former jockey and NBC Thoroughbred racing analyst. Follow along on Smokey’s journey from a snowy birth to his star shining so bright, Hollywood came calling.
Read more: This Whiz Shines: America’s Sweetheart
Every winter stallions enter breeding sheds across the country with owners’ hopes of producing the next Spooks Gotta Whiz, HF Mobster, or Wimpys Little Step. Eleven months later mare owners wait with baited breath to see what possibly months or years of plan- ning has produced. Four long legs, a fluffy mane and tail, and a soft nose to nuzzle for milk can carry so much promise.
If only it were that easy…
I enjoyed talking with the researchers at Colorado State University to get an update on what what reproductive milestones they’ve reached in recent years for the NRHA Reiner magazine. Things like helping older broodmares stay healthy, and how to keep the golden stallions viable for years to come.
Read on to learn more about research from the December 2014 issue of the NRHA Reiner
Reproducing Greatness with a Little Help