Koelber’s Corner – My OTTB Babies!


In my opinion they are one of the most fascinating and incredible breeds. They have tons of heart, versatility, and athleticism. They are eager and have a willingness to learn and to please. The two horses I am working with are both off track Thoroughbreds (OTTB): Tosh’s gelding Sterling and my mare Giggles. They are two of my best friends and my amazing partners.

I’m going to go ahead and ramble about my babies, so be prepared!

Sterling is a drop dead gorgeous 16.2 hand gelding by Too Much Bling and out of Sonsearay, and he was born on April 26th, 2011. He is an elegant bay with lots of chrome.  His star and stripe form a perfect long-necked “goose” like shape.   His racing name was Culous Way, and his show name is Sterling Thomas (I like to give my horses fun middle names…lol).  He has a mellow, relaxed disposition and is for the most part a sweet, cuddly gentleman.  He does have a tendency to be quite grumpy in his stall, probably due to his previous track life.

Under saddle, Sterling is weirdly quiet and he is SUPER lazy for a TB. I have to wear spurs to ride him even in cold weather!  I find that comical since he raced 20 times and he had won twice!  He loves to go hack out in the field and always has a willing attitude to try new things. One day I got on him outside the ring, bareback and just in a halter, and he had never been sat on without a saddle. He did not bat an eye!  He has such a nonchalant, chill attitude, which I very much admire.

Although Sterling is green, he is coming along great. I absolutely adore working with him, and we have already started showing in a winter show series. I loooooooveeee his floaty trot and canter and beautiful jump. I can hardly wait for the year to come!  He is going to make up to be quite a fancy show hunter, and I am so excited! Here is a little video of Sterlie with Ms. Tosh…video

My other OTTB, my baby girl, is Giggles Marie and she is a 15.3ish, beautiful little chestnut mare. She too, has lots of chrome, and beautiful doe eyes. She is by Street Magician, and out of The Unforgivable and she was born on May 4th, 2012. She has a fantastic, careful, stylish jump and is a very cute mover.  Her racing name was Its Smokin Mirrors, and her show name is Laugh Out Loud (which is why her barn name is Giggles!)

Giggles only raced one time, which I find so funny, because she is much more sensitive and forward going than Sterling. She has a BIG personality and can be sassy sometimes. She always makes me laugh, and she is very sweet and loves to cuddle and “give kisses”.

Unfortunately my girl has faced a lot of difficulties and challenges. I have had her since she was a 3 year old but we haven’t yet done very much. She has faced a few injuries, a surgery, and a frightful, horrible high fever and infection of unknown origin, which kept her in the hospital for two weeks. She has been through a lot, as well as having a lot of pain and stiffness with her neck. With lots of good care and support from our vets, we are finally breaking through and I have started to ride her again. We’re only walking and trotting, but it’s a start!

It’s felt like all we have done with Giggles is go backwards, but I’m looking forward to all the cool things I hope to accomplish with her. I really would like to try eventing her, which will be interesting since neither she nor I have done it before.  Eventing is a horse sport that has a dressage test, a cross-country phase with solid jumps, and a show jumping test in the arena.  I am hoping to take Giggles to a low level eventing competition in March, where the jumps will just be 18”. (Only if she’s ready!)

I’m not sure what is to expect for the coming year, but whatever it is I will be content. Just having Giggles is such a blessing, for she is one of my best friends. She brings me so much joy and I’m just so happy to have her. With all the difficulties that have arisen with her I have learned to have more patience and to be a better horsewoman.

Now you guys have some background about my OTTB babies, I am hopefully going to be writing soon about my journey with them and write about some training rides and things like that. Thanks for reading!

Happy rides  🙂

– Koelber