My name is Kirsten Crafford, I am a South African Event rider and OTTB enthusiast, I have worked with horses of all shapes and sizes, from the old school masters all the way to the problematic youngster that had a bad start, as well as the 'crazy' horses that tend to buck, bolt, rear, spin etc.
I started riding horse at the age of 11 and the bug bit instantaneously. Ever since I can remember I've wanted a horse, I literally would chant 'I want a horsey' every time we drove down our road which subsequently had multiple properties with horses. So at the age of 11 my dad made the mistake of buying me my first horse (a OTTB may I add), now we never have a weekend to just relax and do nothing.
At the age of 12 I started riding at Winstead Stables in Springs, With 15x South African Eventing Champion Graham Winn. Here is where I learned what Eventing was all about, the year prior to moving to Winstead Stables I was Show Jumping with my pony at the time Spice Girl. With Graham I developed my riding at a insane pace and learned so much from him, I will forever be grateful for all his guidance. I rode with Graham for 6 years until there was nothing more he could teach me. I still join him for many clinics though on young horses.
Since 2010 I have been getting Thoroughbreds off the tack and retraining them for a better life post racing. Many OTTBs get off to a bad start when they leave the track so I try and help as many of them as I can by getting them into a normal routine and schooling them in order for the average horse person to be able to ride them, since most of them come off the track not knowing what the normal aids are. All Thoroughbreds have bright futures post racing, whether it be Hacking, Dressage, Show Jumping, Polo, Eventing or anything in between. I personally produce all my OTTBs in Eventing as that is the Discipline I prefer to ride in. But I in general also compete them in Dressage and Show Jumping for schooling purposes.