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Boyd and Scott – Dynamic Duo

     by Eleanor Davis

      When your interests range from Eventing to fox hunting to trail riding to park patrol, what kind of horse do you ride? While Thoroughbreds are famous for their blistering speed on the track, Scott Nickel has found a willing partner for all of his equestrian pursuits in Boyd, an off the track Thoroughbred. IMG_1609

Versatile Breed

      A fan of the breed, Nickel began looking for a new partner as it came time to retire his old horse from the rigors of Eventing. Nickel found Thoroughbred Placement Resource’s website, and saw Boyd under a list of adoptable horses. After discussing his experience and goals with head trainer Kimberly Godwin Clark, she felt that Nickel could offer the horse a great home. As soon as he met Boyd, Nickel was impressed with the Maryland-bred gelding’s easygoing, friendly demeanor.  

FullSizeRender-2Patience Pays… 

       For the first few months of their relationship, the pair worked on groundwork and on the flat in order to give Boyd a solid foundation. “I had no reason to rush him,” Nickel explained. As the two have developed in their relationship, Nickel has found that Boyd’s good temperament is a huge plus. “When we have a bad approach to a jump, or it’s a question he doesn’t understand, he just stops. And then I just add a little leg and point him towards it again, and he’ll go right on through it,” Nickel says.

      Despite Boyd’s easygoing manner, their relationship has not been without its share of bumps. “Boyd put me on the ground more in the first year more than any of my others combined. He’s got a tremendous buck,” Nickel relates. However, he found that taking his time with the horse really paid off: with some patience, the horse eventually got over it. Through gentle yet confident handling, Boyd gradually learned to accept all the unfamiliar objects in his new environment. “I approached his early training with an attitude of “nothing is a big deal, but it’s part of life, get over it,” Nickel explains.

IMG_0434Success and a Promising Future! 

      The pair’s first solo trail ride went uneventfully, thanks to Nickel’s careful training and Boyd’s honest attitude. “I had to lead him over the first river we had to cross,” Nickel recounts, “but next time, he went right across the water and was perfectly fine.” Their hard work is evident in the show ring as well. Although Boyd took a bit to get settled, given some time to process the new environment, he proved to be an easy and enjoyable horse to be around from the warm up ring to the show arena. Boyd would exit the ring after jumping, and be able to go right to standing by the gate. As his work over fences has progressed, the pair has only gotten more consistent. “After working with Kim Godwin Clark over the summer, participating in a clinic with Ralph Hill and continuing to school with Sally Cousins, something just clicked with Boyd, and he’s become very confident over fences.” In the future, Nickel plans to get Boyd certified as a park ranger mount with the Maryland State Parks service, participate in more jumper shows, and hopes to compete in a novice horse trial. Whether you encounter the two on the trail in one of Maryland’s beautiful state parks, or in the ring at a jumper show, one thing is for certain: Nickel will be riding around with a big smile, enjoying his lovely and versatile off the track Thoroughbred, Boyd.

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