My name is Nicole Schimweg and I have been riding horses for 25 years. I did not get my first horse till I was 17 (I am 31 now), and even then could not ride her because she had soundness issues. It did not matter to me, I just wanted a horse. Her name was Delta, and she had been a racehorse 10 years earlier. I ended up losing her to old age in 2008. Along with Delta I have provided a forever home to retired school horses from my grandmother’s riding stable. I had one younger horse, but wanted to get another so my twin sister and I could both ride together. I spent the next few years waiting till for the right one to came along. In July of 2011 my friend Laura Norton (also an ambassador) mentioned a horse named Tina H on New Vocations website that was a chestnut mare…..I love chestnut mares. I called New Vocations and was told she was still available. Taking a chance I adopted her without a second thought, knowing if she did not work out as a hunter/jumper she could be a wonderful trail horse and companion for my other show horse. We renamed her Reba and turned her out for 6 months in a 17 acre pasture with my other old horses so she could just chill. She went out all day and lived in a stall at night with lots of alfalfa hay!!! Her previous owners who raced her did such a good job training her that she did not require much retraining. After 3 months back under saddle we jumped her…..and WOW…..that horse could jump. I started putting intermediate level teenagers on her because I like having my horses able to be ridden by different people without having a meltdown. She thrived under their gentle hands and my careful watch. We started taking her to shows and she seemed to enjoy it. She now shows twice a month with the winter off. I love Reba very much and can’t imagine horse life without her.
Before my friend told me about New Vocations I had no idea these programs for re-homing racehorses existed. I hope to be able to bring awareness to the horse show world that thoroughbreds can become excellent partners. I think there are a bunch of untapped potential owners in our part of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. I know there are a lot of people like me that want a horse, but don’t realize New Vocations is out there. Childress Rodgers Stables is going to change that. Since our barn has two ambassadors that will be showing quite a bit during the year I think we can get the word out. So excited!