$750 horse steaming toward Rolex after blip

Leah Lang-Gluscic and her OTTB AP Prime are back in training, aiming for a second trip at Rolex.

Leah Lang-Gluscic and her OTTB AP Prime are back in training, aiming for a second trip at Rolex.

The $750 Thoroughbred who made it all the way to Rolex last year before being pulled back from competition is steaming back, better than before.

AP Prime is outperforming himself and looking better than ever following months of rest, slow rehab, and a diet change, says owner/rider Leah Lang-Gluscic. The professional rider pulled her horse from competition last April after a tendon strain incurred in a jumping accident showed signs it wasn’t fully resolved.

Though AP passed all soundness testing with flying colors prior to the fabled four-star event in Kentucky, and competed in dressage, Lang-Gluscic yanked him from the hardcore cross country out of an abundance of caution when an ultrasound on AP’s left, front leg, previously injured in a fall, showed a “worrisome” result.

AP Prime
Sire: Aptitude
Dam: Czarina Kate
Foal date: March 14, 2005
Though the goal-oriented equestrian, who quit an investment-banking career to compete AP Prime at the highest level, was very disappointed, in hindsight, the time away from competition paid big dividends.

“The time off he had was really a blessing in disguise,” she says.

A blessing because Lang-Gluscic was able to tweak his diet and give AP downtime, and only later, a slow return to work, she says.

While AP was taught to graze calmly in a field, curbing his tendency to gallop around, Lang-Gluscic changed his feed, and was amazed at the result.

After the transition, his topline became stronger, and he built muscle and developed a great attitude.

AP and Leah at Rocking Horse, their first event since Rolex. Photo by John Clarke

AP and Leah at Rocking Horse, their first event since Rolex. Photo by John Clarke

“It has been a real game changer,” she says. “I now had the time to experiment with his feed, and the results have been amazing. His topline has never been stronger, and he looks fabulous.”

His fabulous good looks were enhanced by a careful fitness regimen. Following a two-month vacation, the horse and rider spent another month on walk-only rides, and another two months on trot-only rides. And when AP was finally cleared for canter work, he started off indoors, cantering the straight line and making shallow turns, she says.

His recuperation was monitored by veterinarians Jill Copenhagen of Florida and Dana Marsh of Illinois, she adds, noting that though her horse never took a lame step. He was given all the care that a four-star competition horse needs.

And it paid off!

The pair recently ran a preliminary cross-country at the Rocking Horse Trials in Ocala, Fla., with excellent results. Though finishing mid-pack in the competition, AP put in his best dressage work, and proved to be more rideable than at any other point, she says.

AP now uses a therapeutic EquiVibe plate everyday, and his flexion has improved tremendously.

AP now uses a therapeutic EquiVibe plate everyday, and his flexion has improved tremendously.

“The whole point was for him to go in the ring and be relaxed. And we totally accomplished that,” she says. Afterwards, his affected leg was veterinarian tested, and proved to be in top condition.

With the return ride under their belt, AP and Lang-Gluscic plan to attack the competition season this year as they make another run up to Rolex. They will shoot for the CIC three-star at Pine Top later this month, and the CIC three-star at Carolina in mid-March.

“This little blip we had” at Rolex “really gave me some time to sit back and tweak his program. I don’t think he’s ever been fitter, happier or more sound,’ she says. “Everything’s really working right now. He’s got springs on his feet and he’s feeling so well trained and rideable. We’re picking up right where we left off last year, only this time, we’re more prepared.” Please see past stories about AP Prime and Lang-Gluscic:

7 responses to “$750 horse steaming toward Rolex after blip”

  1. Marlaine Meeker

    I am sure many riders, trainers, and owners would love to hear about the feed change and hopefully help their horses. Continued success. Love to to see the AP Indies out there.

  2. lexi63

    I trained world class race horses and world cup jumpers & hunters for 40 years & never spent more then $1000 on a horse , anyone who spends outrageous money on a horse is out of their minds , they ALL GO THE SAME ( specially thoroughbreds who are of course the best breed in the world if your looking fora competition horse) , they can be taught ANYTHING & the bond is always closer when you saved them and tech them yourself anyway , thoroughbreds are multiple disiplin animals and can jumpa world cup course one day and go trail riding western the nextday, They will give you all they have if they trust & love you . there is NO REASON to spend money on a horse , go seek one out at the kill pens , they will do the same things the $300,000 horses do with time, effort & expertise & you will get offered the outrageous money for them ,I have several half a million dollar thoroughbreds out in my field i didnt pay $1000 for them, but olympic riders tried to buy them from me , knowing how disposable they are i promised them they would never suffer a day in their lives & that means keeping them right here in my yard no matter what the offer was for them.

  3. Sue

    Love to know what the diet is that he is on.

  4. Dory Munder

    Great example of putting the horse first. 🙂 We need a gallery of “Great TB Athletes & Companions”! We’ve got AP, Donner, Ichabod Crane, Blackfoot Mystery, Soar, and many others! Just think of all those that have been featured here!

  5. Stephanie Morse

    so smart of her to back off from last year’s Rolex. Wonder what feed she switched to. Hope to see them in the live feed this year. Good luck!!

    1. Brooke

      I would like to know what diet changes she made as well, sounds like it really helped in his rehab.

  6. colmel

    So glad for the update! AP Prime is a gorgeous fellow and such a wonderful representative of what this amazing breed is truly capable of. Sure, everyone immediately thinks “racehorse” when they hear the term “thoroughbred,” but they are incredibly smart and adaptable. They can do anything they’re properly trained to do – and do it very, very well.

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