My Dressage Trainer: I’ve been taking dressage lessons with Christy Rettger (http://christyrettger.com) for several years now. The progress I’ve made is significant, and there’s more to it than just an improvement in my riding. Thanks to Christy, I’m also a better horsewoman, more adept, confident and observant. Christy believes that any horse can do dressage, and dressage will benefit almost any horse and rider combination. Her clients ride everything from warmbloods to Quarter Horses to paints to just-off-the-track Thoroughbreds. We’re all having fun and learning a lot. Importantly, we’re all progressing as riders and improving as horsemen.
Christy has been patiently bringing her own OTTBs up the levels. She blogs about her horses on the popular TBatX blog.
My genius vet is Dr. Nicky Wessel of Cutting Edge Equine Veterinary Services. Dr. Nicky specializes in equine sports medicine – which is handy when you have OTTBs. In addition to being a great lameness vet, Dr. Nicky is also an equine dentist. So, in addition to all the routine (and not-so-routine) issues that crop up with horses, she’s also very good at diagnosing and dealing with lameness, and can do your horses’ teeth, too. Dr. Nicky is well equipped – her truck is an ambulatory clinic with digital radiography and ultrasound equipment, and she offers the latest in high-tech treatments (IRAP, stem cell, shockwave, PRP.) Best of all, despite all of her knowledge and equipment, Dr. Nicky is a very human vet, and understands the difference between a high-dollar sales prospect and a beloved backyard pet. With my horses, she’s always advocated a conservative approach that protects my wallet while giving my horses excellent care (and generating great results.)
Horse boarding: hunter/jumper, dressage and retirement
My retired horse Jag is boarded at Wyngate Equestrian in southern Wisconsin. The location is convenient to Woodstock, Illinois, and I visit him weekly. Wyngate Equestrian is a top-notch breeding, boarding and training facility, with a spectacular indoor arena, as well as a generous outdoor arena and adjacent trails. A variety of jumper and dressage trainers teach at Wyngate, and the barn also hosted a Robert Dover clinic in the fall of 2011. Sara Krause, who runs Wyngate and breeds premium KWPN jumpers under the Krause Sporthorses banner, also offers retirement board. Jag has had his dream year, enjoying endless hours out on green pastures. The level of care and attention to detail is excellent.