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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Harrison

Real People Profile: Linda Shantz

Rolling out a feature series on the blog - at the moment they are scheduled for every other Tuesday ... you'll see what happens on the other Tuesday soon too!

When thinking about who readers would like to know more about I realized (and heard) the answer was everybody! Young pros starting out, Olympians and those with those aspirations, instructors and coaches and people from all disciplines. When I thought about who I'd like to kick off the series with the incredible artist Linda Shantz (who also does rehab and TB work) came to my mind. Her work is GORGEOUS and I wanted to know how she'd respond to HEART's version of the Proust Questionnaire! Turns out she was a great pick - so many layers to this life long horse person!

What is your idea of perfect happiness with horses?

Having my own place where I can help OTTBs (and still-racing TBs) – rehab, retrain, retire or rehome! If I had a place to ride at my farm….sigh.

What is the quality you most like in a horse?

Personality! Is that too vague? (and my answer is YES ... but I think she means larger than life happy to be with you horses!)

What is your greatest horse extravagance?

Gracie’s very expensive semi-custom saddle. I never thought I would be a person who bought one of those things.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Managing to survive in the horse industry for most of my life – I’m not sure if that’s an achievement, or I’m just plain stubborn. I tried to get away, haha…but couldn’t stay away.

What talent would you most like to have?

Better people skills! I like to operate in my own little cave, and think I could help more horses if I were more confident dealing with people.

Who is the horse person you most admire?

Hmmmmm….I like different things about different people. I was fortunate to have some exceptional mentors in my life, to whom I will always be grateful.

What horse would you love to pat?

Of all the horses in the whole wide world? :-D Wise Dan or American Pharoah.

What is your greatest horse regret?

Not knowing more when I owned my first horse.

What is your most treasured horse possession?

Can my collection of photos be considered a possession? And my barn!

What would you like us to know about you?. (I asked many questions to tease all this out of Linda!)

I've ridden about forty years now! Eep I’m a hybrid horse person. I started off riding western (mostly trail riding), rode hunters a bit before going to the track and doing some galloping. I’m hoping to event before I die.I ride 3x/week approximately right now , but when all the planets are lined up, 5-6x/week. My horses live at home and are boarded out sometimes. My two riding horses are boarded out right now (subject to change without notice!) one retiree lives at home with me.

I do TB racetrack layups, and rehome retired racehorses. I’m also an equine artist and photographer. The layup business is how I support my horse habit!

Haven’t done much showing since I was a teenager, but i'm hoping to get out this year.

Well…as an artist, I did a painting of 1998 Dubai World Cup Winner, Silver Charm, and was invited to take part in the one and only Dubai World Cup Art Exhibition and Auction in 2007. There were eleven artists worldwide, and I was one of four from North America, and the only Canadian. We were flown over as the guests of the Dubai Racing Club, wined and dined….it was a crazy, incredible honour and experience.

Linda is a very talented and generous human - she supports Longrun Thoroughbred Retirement Society and many other great causes. She keeps a careful eye on as many of the horses who have gone through her care as she can and works tirelessly to keep them safe and happy. We are so very delighted she has agreed to share her layup wisdom and experience with us at HEART Academy. You can see more of her work at her website

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