Second Stride now has two locations—the original site at Moserwood Farms and another facility in Henry County. The Moserwood location is where most of the training and rehabilitation occur while the Henry County location is primarily used as a first stop to let down a horse just coming off the racetrack.
“We get the history from the trainer or the person the horse has been with to find out all about the medical issues,” said Joan Thompson, Second Stride board member and organizer of this year’s golf scramble. “Once we think they’re ready, we bring them to Moserwood where we have an exercise rider who assesses their ability. She (the exercise rider) and the founder decide what level they think the horse could achieve—a pet, a trail riding horse or whether it could be a hunter-jumper or cross-country or whatever.”
Within 30 to 60 days the horse is ready to start its new life or career. Horses available for adoption are posted to Second Stride’s website.
As more trainers and owners have become aware of Second Stride, more horses have been brought to Moserwood to pursue second careers. Since its inception seven years ago, Second Stride has placed nearly 300 Thoroughbreds in new careers and homes. Most of the horses go on to careers in eventing, dressage, polo, pleasure animals and more.
Second Stride was featured on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), earlier this year. The video provides heartfelt comments from, among others, founder Kim Smith and Hansen owner Jim Shircliff that detail how Second Stride is answering the industry’s need for racing aftercare programs. Watch the video below.
Thompson urges any lover of horses to consider volunteering with Second Stride. No matter your skill or ability, there is something you can do.
“We’re always looking for volunteers,” Thompson said. “We do training sessions for volunteers. We look for people that want to just come in and love on the horses, walk them, groom them or even ride them (after proper training). There are also opportunities for fundraising or helping man tables at different shows.”
For more information and to sign up for the golf scramble or other volunteer opportunities, visit Second Stride’s website.
Photo: Courtesy Second Stride