Driving Rain, by Storm Cat
Kicksandgiggles (aka “Gigs”) is a lovely and kind 3-year-old standing just a hair under 16.2 hands that retired in late June, 2023. After getting a week off to let down a bit and enjoy some turnout, Gigs started his formal retraining in July and went to his first show on July 30.
Gigs is a quick study about new things and has a fantastic brain in his beautiful head. He has quickly acclimated to off-track life and is already in group turnout and stands quietly in crossties for baths and farrier. Under saddle he is straightforward and uncomplicated. His repertoire of skills thus far includes:
- Standing at the mounting block
- Walk/trot/canter both directions (picks up both leads readily)
- Trot/canter poles
- Cantering small courses (2'-2'3") with simple changes
- Hacking out alone or in company
- Schooling over small cross-country obstacles (logs, ditches, etc.)
- Hauling off-site to school in new environments
Gigs has been so good in his off-site outings, in fact, that about 5 weeks after his final career start at the racetrack, he had the ultimate test of going to his first horse show and he passed that test with flying colors. He lunged in the schooling area before it got busy, schooled with other horses, competed both in-hand and under saddle (since he’s so young and green, and since it was SO hot, we only did the Green Horse Poles division), stood quietly near the in-gate while other horses did their rounds and, when it was all over, hacked on the buckle out of the ring and back to the trailers, WITH a few blue and red ribbons in hand!
He probably thought it was the weirdest race day ever, but I think he quite liked it!
This horse's approach to new things and overall demeanor is a testament to his trainer, Jeff Hiles, who oversaw his management and training since he was purchased as a yearling. Gigs raced only five times ("participating" more so than "competing" in those races) before Jeff made the call to his breeder, Jill Prichard, to tell her that he would be happy to see the horse succeed in an off-track career.
Gigs is a more forward ride than a kick ride but has a quiet way of going and happily settles into a rhythm at any gait. He would be the perfect horse for a junior or adult amateur to bring along under the guidance of a trainer, but is also athletic and forward-thinking enough for a professional to consider.
He is currently being ridden 3-4 days a week (at least one of those days is an off-site outing). He is cantering small courses (2'-2'3") and is learning to change leads over fences when asked or get his changes in the corners. He has also started doing a bit of grid work to learn to compress and lengthen his stride. He has also been ridden by several adult amatures both on the flat and over jumps, and all have commented on how easy and uncomplicated he is to ride.
If his family is any indication, this horse is super well-suited to a sport horse career. Bred and raised with sound horsemanship by Jill Pritchard (who owns and competes in eventing on his ¾ sibling, “Sethery”), Gigs is also a half-brother to Where’s Fredo (aka “Henry,” listed as “sold” on our website, which can give you an idea of how Gigs will mature), whom I restarted and sold last year and is excelling in the hunter/jumper rings in Northeast Ohio and recently started eventing. I’ve been lucky enough to know most of the offspring out of his dam, Driving Rain, so I am confident that not only will Gigs likely grow 1 to 2 inches more, but he will fill out to be a beefcake.
Plus, he is by Bernardini, who is highly sought after in pedigrees by knowledgeable off-track Thoroughbred riders, as his offspring typically have a wonderful disposition and lovely form over fences.
Over the coming weeks Gigs will work 3-4 days a week doing mostly flat work and some small courses/obstacles and will haul off-site to school in various arenas, trail ride and school some small natural obstacles. He is currently listed for $12,500 (PPEs welcome) though his price is subject to increase with additional training and showing.
UPDATED VIDEO - First jump and XC school: https://youtu.be/mgeuuBTqTKk