NY stable thinks outside the box in planning for horse retirement

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Off-Track Thoroughbreds blog spotlights a small New York racing stable with a big idea. Mosaic Racing Stable cross-trains its horses with two goals in mind: to run a race and simultaneously prepare for other disciplines after retirement.

A case in point is Circuitous, who put in 90 days of training at the track and will head for Belmont in the next few weeks to work with trainer James Jerkins. But in addition to his regular training, Circuitous has simultaneously been going on trail rides, learning to step over ground poles on a polo field, and learning to canter beautifully on the field as well as breeze brilliantly on the track.


The point, according to Mosaic managing partner Monica Driver, is to create happy, well-rounded horses who enjoy their work at the track but will also appeal to the kind of rider who may want to purchase them when their racing careers end.

“I’m such an animal person that when I first thought of making money from an animal, I wasn’t sure about it,” Driver said. “I’ve seen horses that have been messed up by bad decisions and trainers.

“With this, I’m quite comfortable. I can look at Circuitous and see how happy he is. Every morning he shows us that he can’t wait to get out there and do what he loves. He loves to run.”

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  • Karen Worthington

    Good story-worthy of a Good News Friday presentation; don’t you think?  Here in Washington I have a friend who breaks two-year-olds for both a Western and English saddle,  as well as teaching them to neck-rein, so that they are ready to head on down the trail when they’re through running, or in case they don’t.  ( end up running )

    We recently heard of West Point Racing’s new program of including the funding of a retirement account for the horses offered in partnerships.  Mosaic Racing Stable has blended two good ideas to create a great program where everyone wins, including, most importantly, the horse!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathy-Smith/808419337 Kathy Smith

    Awesome, finally some good news coming out of the track

  • Chrisvpena

    how neat! way to go!!

  • Jo Anne Normile

    Whinnies to Mosaic Stable and Monica Driver!  THIS WORKS! One of our horses we bred was trained by someone who did all basic dressage training first before the horse ever went to the track and although this horse was more strong spirited, he actually knew the difference between track and home.   At the track, he was all business and nicknamed “The Tank” by an exercise rider yet when he came home, his whole demeanor changed and I could easily take him on trail rides and all the basics he first learned (including “whoa”!) were right there.  Racing season would return, and back he’d go doing what he knew was to be done to be a racehorse. One of our other horses was started by a different trainer in the traditional manner and that horse was always too much horse to trail ride when she came home. Finally sent her to an eventing professional.   Having since worked so much with transitioning horses directly from the track, we never knew which way they might have been trained and every once in a while we’d take in one of these “gems” that had learned basics in addition to race training and they always found homes easily and quickly, both a win for the horse and money saved by the rescue in time spent on retraining.    I also believe that the method used by Monica Driver and Mosaic Stable produces a more balanced horse of body and mind.    I hope this method of training catching on and thanks, Ray, for reporting this for more in racing to read.

  • Leslie

    Any trainer who starts race horses or has any say over how those he/she trains at the track are started should pay VERY close attention to this story.  If their charges are not started this way, they should be.  Folks, this is the tip of the iceberg in a very significant paradigm shift that is needed in racing.  It’s all good. 

    Anyone old enough to remember the conformational issues that Seattle Slew faced as a youngster remembers that Paula Turner taught that horse how to gallop correctly to overcome his physical challenges using basic DRESSAGE principles (balance, impulsion from behind, collection, extension) BEFORE he ever got to the race track.  Need I say more?  Not all horses will be modern racing versions of Slew, of course, but the advantages this type of early training and preparation gives any horse both for racing and for the possibility of a potential career after racing simply are invaluable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=857200316 Kim Brewer

    this is just good plain horsemanship.   more horses need to be treated like this.  i am sure it makes them better athletes and must be good for their minds.   

  • BuckyinKentucky

    Brilliant.

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