Thorowgood’s strapline is "Kind to Your Horse" so we are delighted to be able to spread the kindness by supporting Racehorse Relief - a charity that gives racehorses a second career.
Like many ex-racehorses that end up at a charity, Jack had passed through a number of homes before he landed in the safe hands of Racehorse Relief. When he finished racing as a four-year-old it seemed as if this lovable and willing Thoroughbred would go on to enjoy a fantastic new life. He competed in Riding Club activities, unaffiliated show jumping and dressage, and even the odd BE80 event.
Then, a few years later and through no fault of his own, the once-loved Jack found himself neglected in a field covered in lice, riddled with worms and in desperate need of a farrier, a dentist and some TLC.
When Jack was found and rescued by his now-number-one-fan Liz Francis, it was her unflinching love, care and dedication that got Jack back on his feet. As his rehabilitation continued and he started to feel better, it became apparent to Liz that Jack was a horse who liked a job! He was intelligent and active and, once his health started to improve, so did his eagerness to work. This little fighter clearly appreciated the second chance Liz had given him and was desperate to get on with a new start! Liz knew that for Jack to re-start his ridden work, he needed kindness and consistency from someone who really understood ex-racing Thoroughbreds, and this is when she sought out the specialist help and support from Jo Massey at Racehorse Relief. This amazing charity in Cornwall aims to rehabilitate and re-home racehorses, giving them a new purpose in life and a fulfilling career.
Jo has patiently been working with Jack on his groundwork - long reining, lungeing and lots of in-hand work to re-build and strengthen his weakened muscles.
“Jack really loves working and being kept busy – in fact he is almost too keen sometimes!” says Jo. “He is also a real foody and loves doing his carrot stretches after lunging in return for treats.”
This once-sorrowful lice-ridden bag of bones now looks fantastic and his character has really developed. He is such a funny horse and his 'floppy lip' which he shows off when he's snoozing in the stable is now famous at the centre – we think it makes him even more adorable.
The next obvious step in Jack’s career progression is ridden work. But Jack has one downside - his withers! Not only are they absolutely enormous but, due to his age and lack of muscle tone, he also has some atrophy each side of his spine that’s quite typical in ex-racing Thoroughbreds.
On the advice of her saddle fitter, Jo decided to opt for a Thorowgood saddle for Jack. "I was told in no uncertain terms that a Thorowgood High Wither Compact GP was going to be the only saddle for this little horse," says Jo. "My saddle fitter explained that they are fully adjustable so can we can alter the saddle width and flocking as Jack changes shape."
NEXT UPDATE: How Jack progresses when his new saddle arrives!