When a horse has done as much in his career as Teddy Terrific, he doesn’t need to prove himself at every local barrel race. So, The Barrel Racing Blog asked the Fords how they choose where Teddy makes an appearance. And, keeping a horse running for this many years, we had to ask, what Teddy’s schedule is like that keeps him running at a world-class level every time he enters the ring. Tomorrow, The Barrel Racing Blog will talk to the Fords about Teddy Terrific’s future retirement, and their answers just might surprise you.
What does it take to get Teddy Terrific to run somewhere – how much added money is necessary to get the old boy to run?
CARL: We will get Teddy out for some weekend events to keep him entertained, but shows like the Congress and World Shows are our main goals. Teddy likes the bright lights and the attention!
JESSIE: We pick and choose where we run him, and while we like to save him for the bigger shows such as the NBHA Ohio State Championships, the Youth World, possibly a Regional/Super Show, the Congress and AQHA World Show, we have to get him out throughout the year to run, so that he can get his wind and get back into shape. We also can’t just take him to a big show and run him “cold turkey,” so allowing him to make a few runs in between those big shows is necessary and what it takes to put him back in his “zone” after having a few months off. Besides the bigger shows we take him to, we’ll take him to some of the open barrel races/NBHA shows throughout the year that are at least a $1,000 or so added. As far as any other shows are concerned, we’ll haul to a few quarter horse shows when we need to, to get some qualifying points for the AQHA World Show.
MARC: When we’re not hitting a bigger show (like a World Show or Congress) on him, as far as regular season shows go, if it’s got good added money to it, we’ll take him to get him out. He needs occasional runs in between those bigger shows, to keep him fresh and in shape.
How has Teddy kept running at such a top level for so many years?
CARL: He’s got a big heart and enjoys what he does. Teddy feeds off of attention and enjoys playing either in the paddock or playing around in our indoor with people. The last few years, we select just a few shows a year to go to. We don’t run his legs off every weekend.
JESSIE: We have maintained Teddy’s physical health the best ways we know how over the years, and we’ve taken extremely good care of him at home and on the road. The chiropractor always tells us that he has the “body of a horse half his age” so his physical health is pretty top notch, for as old as he is. However, I think his mental health/happiness is more important than anything physical, and it’s the mentality and love for the game that he has that keeps him going the most. That horse truly loves to run, and if he didn’t have a job, he would get bored. He has to be on the trailer and enjoys going down the road. He feels left out otherwise. He also acts like a colt most of the time, when he’s being rode at home, or playing when he’s turned out. So we say as long as he thinks he’s young and acts young, that’s perfectly fine by us! He stays fresh, plays hard and still runs hard, so as long as he wants to keep doing his job, we let him.
MARC: He is always fit and we take very good care of him all year round. He also has a unique love for the sport and wants to keep running, himself. It’s not like we make him do something that he doesn’t want to do.
What is Teddy’s workout schedule like?
CARL: No pattern work is needed, so just turn outs and long jogging/galloping him, which seems pretty simple but we pay a lot of attention to how he feels or looks during his workouts, or even while he’s just turned out.
JESSIE: Throughout the summer and fall, when he gets ran the most, he gets exercised about four times a week. We have a dirt track in a back field behind our indoor arena that we long jog him around for several laps, as well as gallop him. He gets worked both ways, and occasionally we “blow him out” and let him run for a stretch, which he really enjoys. Otherwise, he gets turned out a lot because when he plays, he plays a little rough, but it shows us he’s feeling good. We read his body language a lot and just look at the importance of the little, physical things he does and the ways he acts. We spray his front legs with very cold water and wrap them up after he gets rode at home or runs at a show, to keep his joints cool and legs feeling fresh. We just take the time to do a lot of small, simple things, but they’re the kinds of “extra care” that really benefit him in the end.
How much time off does he get?
CARL: He usually gets the winter off for a couple months, but he still gets rode, just no hard workouts.
JESSIE: He usually gets most of the winter off. After Congress and the World Show, after he’s made several, hard runs, he will get the rest of November, December and most of January off. He’ll get ridden leisurely, but not worked a ton, and mostly gets turned out in our indoor to play during that time. We start legging him up closer to February and might pull him out for his first couple runs back in March/April. He gets run once or twice a month from May-October, usually.