Sire: February Storm
Foal date: March 22, 2006
Ashley Hardin had a bit of a rocky start with Thoroughbreds. Nothing horrible. But after years of smooth sailing on her Quarter Horse the first venture with an off-track Thoroughbred was a bit of a jolt.
“I picked him up in 2001 and he turned out to be very mean. He loved me to death, but he wouldn’t let anybody else get near him. When people tried, he’d spook and buck,” Hardin says. In 2007, she sold that first horse to a new owner who still has him, and undeterred, found her way to her second Thoroughbred, Storm Blizzard.
Before she spotted Storm on the CANTER New England website, Hardin knew she wanted a Thoroughbred.
“So many of my friends have them, and they’re nice and don’t bite,” she says. “I’ve always like the breed for their athleticism and wanted to find a good competition in the hunters and jumpers. They’re fit for it.”
“I was told before I got him that he had bowed a tendon,” she says. “I was fine with that because they heal.”
And it did.
Just two months ago, Hardin was finally able to climb into the saddle and trot around on her new guy. The experience was everything she had imagined. “He amazed me! He was so quiet, so calm, and he loves to be around people,” she says.
She is starting him with a western saddle, a discipline she took up a few years back after riding hunter/jumper since she was a young girl.
She plans to train Storm as her next competition horse in either three-three hunters or jumpers. “He moves like a hunter and he looks like one,” she says, adding, “Ideally he’ll be my next competition horse because my quarter horse has been doing it since she was three and I’d like to give her a little break.”
She credits CANTER with providing an easier process of getting a horse, than it was at other agencies. CANTER’s policy of allowing the re-sale
of a horse to an approved home, was an incentive to her to take a chance, she says. “I looked at a lot of different organizations and with a lot of them you’re not able to resell them. I just wanted that option,” she says. “It gave the freedom so that I wasn’t stuck with a horse if something happened to me financially.”
She has strong expectations that Storm will be a keeper though. And already he has shown himself to be a playful, fun horse, who delights Hardin and her husband.
“My husband loves the Thoroughbred. He’ll go into his stall, and Storm likes the guys, he really does,” she says. “My husband will put his arm around him and Storm will let him pet him all day. He’s like a little dog. He’ll follow you around the paddock.”