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Ashleigh Rauen


About Ashleigh Rauen

Area VII Eventer

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Omega Alpha Blogger Challenge: Swiss Miss

We recently selected a few bloggers to try out a 30 day supply of Omega Alpha’s popular joint supplement, Sinew-X. These bloggers have received their supply and will be starting their horses on a 30 day regimen, all while blogging about their observations and results! We can’t wait to see how their horses take to the supplement, and we hope you enjoy following along! Check back this coming week for introductory blogs from all of our writers! 

Swiss Miss Same a couple months into her TLC. You can see how badly under run her heels were in front.

Swiss Miss Same a couple months into her TLC. You can see how badly under run her heels were in front.

I bought my OTTB mare Swiss Miss for two reasons: good bloodlines and a gut feeling. Most people in their right mind would not be temped by the hot mess of a mare pictured below. She was totally green with only some basic track training under her belt.

She was very rough around the edges physically: rail thin, uncared for feet, teeth, etc. She was already eight years old, and had simply been loafing in the field since she flunked off the track. Her breeder had been hanging onto her as a potential broodmare because of her valuable bloodlines, but were facing reality that they were ready to retire and owned too many horses.

In my quest for the ultimate project horse, I drove 200+ miles to see her, not knowing what rough condition she was in until I got there. I recognized her shortfalls as beyond her control, and I liked the feel of her, the way she used herself, and her pedigree, so I took a chance and bought her for $1000.

She is by Swiss Yodeler (Eastern Echo by Damascus, out of a Drapeau mare) out of an Honor Grades (Danzig x Weekend Surprise by Secretariat) mare, and further back boasts a lot of oldschool distance blood known to transfer well into eventing (My Babu, Ribot, Sir Gaylord, Tom Fool, Nearctic, Graustark, Hoist the Flag, she is even inbred to the super mare line Somethingroyal).

Swiss Miss on the first day I saw her.

Swiss Miss on the first day I saw her.

I picked her up in May 2014. Swiss is a very hot and sensitive horse, and I was careful to spend as long as necessary getting her brain and body in good working order and not apply much pressure. I think if you lay a good foundation, you have less problems later, so I didn’t rush her progress. Plus I had plenty of other horses to ride, and I didn’t want to gain a reputation as the lady cruising around on the feral, skinny Thoroughbred!

This winter, Pacific Northwest weather permitting, she has started training in earnest and I have to admit I am a proud mama. We have been to a couple of casual jumper shows and hopped around the .90M classes (Novice height) with ease. What I love most of all is her bold, “onward bound” attitude. I wanted a classic, quality Thoroughbred and I definitely got one.

On our calendar we have a couple more indoor jumper shows as well as a Leslie Law clinic at the end of the month, then if all goes according to plan our Novice debut in the Spring.

My blissed-out-sunburnt-falling-in-love-with-a-horse look.

My blissed-out-sunburnt-falling-in-love-with-a-horse look.

When EN put a call out for Submissions to try Omega Alpha Sinew-X I knew I had the perfect guinea pig. Omega Alpha products have been on my radar for the past couple years and I love the fact that Sinew-X is a joint supplement that is also formulated to support soft tissues and muscle recovery.

The upside of training an older horse is that she is mature in her body and finished growing. The drawback is the many unknowns, will she stay sound in full work? Her conformation is pleasing but not perfect, she is long in the back and pasterns. Years of loafing in a field with insufficient groceries did not help her become the body-builder triathlete of my dreams. To top it off she is a very finicky eater, and still underweight.

With the 2015 season in sight, it is time for me to step up to the plate and make sure she is as comfortable physically as possible. I do think she could become a very special horse, and I am looking forward to sharing her progress with EN!