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TAA Success Stories: Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds

Success stories from the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

Seven Thirty with Tara Webster

Seven Thirty with Tara Webster

Courtesy of Tara Webster

When Tara Webster made the decision to retire her older gelding, she began to ponder her next horse. Ready to explore adoption prospects, she turned to her friend at Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds, Amanda Wilson, who was eager to introduce Webster to the horse Seven Thirty. Soon after concluding the conversation with Wilson, Webster traveled to HART to meet the exciting new prospect.

"Seven Thirty was a tall, bay gelding and just stunning," wrote Webster.

Webster was utterly mesmerized as she watched him work, and in that moment, she knew without a doubt that Seven Thirty had to be hers. She was quick to fill out the adoption application. Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds reviewed and approved the application, which allowed Webster to adopt her new equine companion.

Besides observing Seven Thirty's work at HART, Webster was drawn to his sweet personality. "He is always down for a snuggle, hug, kiss, or a treat," she noted.

Seven Thirty was gorgeous with big eyes and long legs. Webster could sense his gentle spirit and willingness to learn through his eyes. As she was searching for a Thoroughbred to train as a jumper, Seven Thirty seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Webster adopted Seven Thirty on December 3, 2021, when he was only 3 years old. Once she brought him home, she began daily training sessions.

"I cannot say enough good things about him and his willingness to learn," Webster shared.

Seven Thirty seemed fearless, showing a natural aptitude for retraining, including jumping. About four months later, the pair was ready to compete in their first show in March of 2022. It proved to be a fantastic first show experience, as they placed in all of their dressage and show jumping classes.

"I was just so impressed [with Seven Thirty]," Webster wrote. 

Ever since that first horse show, they have been quite active at other events, including a HART show, many dressage tests, trail rides, a parade, a rodeo, and even moving cows. Seven Thirty is a very versatile horse, and "no matter what the scenario is he quite quickly gets comfortable as we work towards the goal," explained Webster.

Seven Thirty Success Story
Photo: Courtesy of Tara Webster
Seven Thirty takes in the scene in an arena

Unfortunately, in March of 2023, Seven Thirty was diagnosed with kissing spine. Kissing spine is a condition in horses where the vertebrae in the spine migrate closer and closer together until they touch or overlap. This can cause mild, consistent back pain in the horse. Most treatments include making the horse comfortable with pain medications or easy work.

Seven Thirty spent the rest of the spring and all summer relaxing with his friends in the field and receiving "regular spa" days with Webster. His back needed time to decompress before he could be approved for surgery. Seven Thirty had his surgery in September 2023, and in the following months after his surgery he spent time rehabilitating. Webster's veterinarians are positive that Seven Thirty will make a full recovery back to riding. In the meantime, they work diligently on their hand walks and groundwork. 

Once Webster and Seven Thirty start their training again, their biggest goal is to compete in a recognized event. "He is such a good partner to work with that I think this goal is easily achievable," explained Webster. Another one of Webster's dreams is to be able to compete in a roping class at a ranch show. "I have no doubt that we can do anything we put our minds to," said Webster. 

Webster and Seven Thirty have a bright future ahead of them thanks to Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds. "HART is an amazing organization, and I'm so happy they were able to pair me with my boy!"