Partial Transcript: Today is Monday the 8th of July, 2019. It is 10:05 a.m.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Reese tells how he first began to work with horses with his grandfather, Frank Wilson. He also explains how his involvement was interrupted for a time.
Keywords: Cleaning; Family; Feeding; Grandfathers; Hay; Jonabell Farm (Lexington, Ky.); Memories; Mucking stalls; Riding; Sawdust; Watering
Subjects: Acton (Calif.); Families.; Horse farms; Horse farms--Laborers; Horse industry--Kentucky; Horses--Care; Keeneland (Lexington, Ky.); Los Angeles (Calif.); Work ethic.
Partial Transcript: What things have you learned in the horse industry that translate or apply to other aspects of your life, do you think?
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Reese speaks of wisdom gained from working with horses and his mentors. He also discusses why he prefers the quarter horse for instructing children.
Keywords: Breaking yearlings; Circling; Community; Connections; Control; Don Jenkins, Sr.; Equipment; Expense; Grandfathers; Horse riding; Injuries; Max (Quarter horse); Mentors; Opportunity; Palomino Paint; Patience; Trail rides; Treatment
Subjects: Acton (Calif.); Arabian horse; Griffith Park (Los Angeles, Calif.); Horse farms; Horse farms--Laborers; Horse industry--Kentucky; Horses--Care; Nicholasville (Ky.); Quarter horse; Thoroughbred horse.
Partial Transcript: Um, talk a little bit about your, about your granddad. And his name was Frank Wilson--
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Reese shares stories of his grandfather's career in the industry including how, as a ringman during the horse sales, Mr. Wilson held both the first million-dollar horse and the first grey to win a Kentucky Derby.
Keywords: "Frankie's Corner"; Breaking yearlings; Brothers; Character; Exercise riders; Family; Frank Wilson; Graceful; Grooms; Jonabell Farm (Lexington, Ky.); News reports; Racehorse owners; Respect; Ringman; Stories; Tattersalls; Versatile
Subjects: Families.; Georgetown (Ky.); Horse farms; Horse farms--Laborers; Horse industry--Kentucky; Horse sales; Horses--Care; Traveling
Partial Transcript: In your previous interview, um, with Mrs. Giles, you told us about your non-profit youth equine program that you created in 2015?
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Reese notes the rewards and challenges of running his nonprofit program, Frankie's Corner Little Thoroughbred Crusade.
Keywords: Blessing; Challenges; Exposure; Fayette County Public Schools (Lexington, Ky.); Help; Kentucky State University (Frankfort, Ky.); Non-profit organizations; Opportunity; Providing experience; Rewards; Spiritual discernment; Transportation
Subjects: Horse farms; Horse farms--Laborers; Horse industry--Kentucky; Horses--Care
Partial Transcript: You know, yes, secondary education is the thing that I push for. But how many of our kids don't really want to go to school?
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Reese details how equine sports are potentially beneficial for children, as well as life lessons the children in his program learn.
Keywords: Behavior; Benefits; Earning; Grades; Issues; Respect; Scholarships; Sports; Therapeutic value
Subjects: Education; Horse farms; Horse farms--Laborers; Horse industry--Kentucky; Horses--Care
Partial Transcript: What advice would you give to people interested in getting involved with horses?
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Reese advises people to research and decide how they would like to become involved with horses. He talks about the many different aspects of the horse industry and mentoring.
Keywords: African American boys; African Americans; Boys of color; Breeding; Diversity inclusion; Horse health; Law; Life lessons; Medicine; Mentor to mentor; Mentoring; Mentors; Opportunities; Owners; Partnerships; Sales; Trainers; Transportation
Subjects: Horse farms; Horse farms--Laborers; Horse industry--Kentucky; Horses--Care
Partial Transcript: Now, I'm going to shift gears for just one second. But I understand from your interview with Mrs. Giles that you are an artist as well.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Reese tells of his second love, photography, and how he hopes to leave a positive legacy.
Keywords: Equine; Expense; Focus; Help the children; Hobbies; Honesty; Humble; Interests; Kids; Legacy; Listen; Positive; Time
Subjects: Horse farms; Horse farms--Laborers; Horse industry--Kentucky; Horses--Care; Photography
MAHARREY: Today is Monday, the eighth of July, 2019. It is 10:05 a.m. My name isCynthia Maharrey, and we are in the media meeting room at the public library's Northsidle [Northside] Branch located at 1733 Russell Cave Road in Lexington, Kentucky. With me is Mr. Jeremy Reese. Mr. Reese is the founder of Frankie's Corner Little Thoroughbred Crusade. Mr. Reese, I would like to thank you on behalf of the Institute of the Museum and Library Sciences, the International Museum of the Horse, and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation for participating in this oral history interview for the Chronicle of the African Americans in the Horse Industry. For the record, Mr. Reese, will you please pronounce and spell your name for us and give us your date and place of birth.
REESE: Jeremy Reese, J-e-r-e-m-y- R-e-e-s-e, and I was born in Lexington, Kentucky.
MAHARREY: Perfect. You began working with horses with your grandfather, Frank,is that correct?
REESE: That is correct.00:01:00
MAHARREY: When you were about eight years old?
REESE: About eight, yeah--
MAHARREY: --all right.
REESE: --that's right.
MAHARREY: Can you tell me where or what farm you began working on and what yourfirst job was?
REESE: --My first farm was Jonabell. That was going to work with my grandfather.My--I just started honestly cleaning up outside the stalls, in the breezeways. And the reason I did that was because I was kind of really trying to push him along so that he could get--finish early and possibly, I will be able to get to ride.
MAHARREY: Oh, so you had an ulterior motive.
REESE: I did, I did.
MAHARREY: (laughs) What other jobs did you learn as a kid working with your grandfather?
REESE: I learned how to flip a stall, which is also called mucking. Back then,they used hay, and I hated it because for the most part, you would have to take all the hay out or probably 90 percent of the hay out to clean the 00:02:00stalls out. Now, it's a lot different, they use kind of a sawdust, and you can really just, you know, shake through it. But that was probably--that feeding, watering, those were probably the main jobs.
MAHARREY: What's your favorite memory of working with horses as a kid?
REESE: Just being able to go and spend time with my grandfather; that was thebiggest thing you know. As a young kid, I think that's where I learned my work ethic because, you know, by him working in Jonabell and at Keeneland, a lot of times when he came home, you know, he would always sleep. As kids, we always picked with him because he would go to sleep watching either a UK football game or a Reds game, and or he would be reading the sports section, and we would just pick with him and kind of knock the newspaper out of his hand or change the channel. He would be like, "Hey, I'm watching that," and it's kind of those question like, "If was watching it, what inning was it in?" you know, 00:03:00that type of thing. But I--just, you know, spending time with him was probably the best part about it all.
MAHARREY: Were you ever injured?
MAHARREY: Hmm. Would you be--would you say it would be fair to say that sinceyou began working with horses as a child, you've pretty much always worked with them? Or did you ever do other things alongside working with the horses or leave for a while and then come back to the horses?
REESE: It's been off and on to be honest. I think I started working with mygrandfather at an early age. He owned a couple race horses, so--
REESE: --when--yeah, him and his--one of his brothers, they owned race horsesso, you know, I would go with them when they, kind of, had to do their own thing outside of work. And I think probably when I was in high school, I kind of got out of it a little bit because I spent a lot of time, you know, with after-school activities, working and stuff like that and then probably in my twenties, I got back into it. And I--it was really truly 00:04:00accidental because I moved to LA, and when I moved to LA, you know, I just--I missed the horse life. So I got online looking for somewhere to ride and saw that someone needed help, so in needing help, you know, I went. I met with the lady, and it was in a very small town, probably, maybe outside, outside of LA, so I drove pretty much every day to LA. I mean was--well, the town was called Acton, it was a really small horse community, and I would go out there and, you know, train the horses, exercise, ride them.
MAHARREY: So that's how you got back into that--
REESE: --back into--
MAHARREY: --after coming out?
REESE: Correct yeah.
MAHARREY: Okay. What things have you learned in the horse industry thattranslate or apply to other aspects of your life do you think?
REESE: Patience, patience is probably the biggest thing. I mean, I will considermyself a pretty patient person, but just in the industry and even 00:05:00getting this program started, patience, patience, patience. You have to be patient and surrounding yourself around the right people. That's been the biggest thing because, you know, the horse community is small, but it's kind of hard to get in, but once you get in, you're in. I haven't made it in yet. I haven't, you know, made those right connections, but, you know, the people that I have met in the horse community, they've been great to us, they've been great to the program, so I mean I really can't complain about that. You know, as far as having a big farm as a supporter, I don't have that yet, but in due time, it will come, and, you know, I really don't press that issue at all, so--
MAHARREY: --um-hm because the horses have taught your patience?
REESE: Yes, very much so--
REESE: --very much so.
MAHARREY: Were there people other than your grandfather who taught or mentoredyou with the horses over the years?
REESE: The only other person was a gentleman that worked with my grandfather. Hewas actually--Don Jenkins Sr. was actually the only other person that mentored me in--as a young child in the horse industry. Mr. Jenkins knew that 00:06:00my grandfather was more of a very, very cautious person. And later in life did I find that he had probably broken, the majority of his bones because he was actually the one that broke all of the yearlings. And the way that they used to break yearlings back then was just kind of, you know, you might throw a sack on there, but for the most part, you put a body on there, and as it bucks and bucks and bucks in a small area, eventually it would stop. And finding out later in life that he was that one that had to get on the horse, wait for it to buck, and he's broken, yeah, quite a few bones. I didn't know till I was probably about seventeen or eighteen that he had partials. I never knew that, you know, he took most his teeth out but--
MAHARREY: --and this is your grandfather?
REESE: My grandfather, yeah.
REESE: And like I say--I say that to say where he was cautious00:07:00because he broke the bones, but Mr. Jenkins will just take, you know, that guy. And I think now and at the age of ninety, he's still working on a horse farm the last that I heard. And, you know, he was the first one to put me on a horse, and from that moment, it just really sparked my interest and, you know, it kept it going and for years--and for years and years. And I really wanted to learn how to ride, and I think that's why I started a program because had someone taken me under their wing at that early age, I mean as far as to where I will be at equine right now, I would only assume the skies will be the limit. But, you know, equine is one of those sports that is very expensive, one, to own a horse, the upkeep of a horse, all the equipment that you need to ride a horse. It's very expensive, and I think that's why, you know, I really started this program was because there was really no avenue for myself as a[n] African American. Yes, I had the opportunity to go to work with my grandfather, but 00:08:00because he worked with thoroughbreds, thoroughbreds wasn't a great horse for a kid to learn how to ride with, so I did not get that opportunity. So that's why, you know, I really do what I do with this program because, you know, if you don't give a kid an opportunity, if they don't get to explore, how will they ever know if this is something for them?
MAHARREY: --so Mr. Jenkins is the one that taught you to ride?
REESE: He didn't teach me--
MAHARREY: --or put you--
MAHARREY: --he's the person who put you--
MAHARREY: --on a horse?
REESE: --he's the first one to put me--
REESE: --on a horse and--
MAHARREY: --was that at Jonabell or--?
REESE: Yes, at Jonabell, yes. I'd counter, I really taught myself how to ride--
REESE: --and that was just from going to--(laughs) When you go on a trail rides,it's kind of like the horse is, kind of, trained just to follow the other horse. So I would go on trail rides a lot to an age of seventeen and twenty, and I would always ask for the horse that did not like people. And the reason I did that was because when you're dealing with horses, you have to have a 00:09:00very calm inner self because if not--you know, I tell a lot of kids that "You know, if you're scared, this horse is going to know you're scared, and they're not going to react to you." Versus where I already knew my grandfather had already been broken up and had broken bones, and understanding exactly what he did at that time versus riding a broken horse. Then, all I needed to do was show that horse that I wasn't scared, and you know, just from my own research and studying, I knew what was called circling, and circling was pretty much to show a horse that you're in control. And all that simply does is you take a horse, and you take the head and put it to their back hindquarters and just make them circle both ways, and that lets the horse know, okay, this is somebody that I know I can't fool around with. So that's how I pretty much taught myself how to ride, going out on horse trails, and where I went on horse trails, so often they did not see me out with guides. 00:10:00
REESE: They trusted me enough because I was coming so often and so I will justkind of, you know, get a horse out and, you know, maneuver it around a tree, just try different stuff, and that's really--
MAHARREY: --now where was that that you--
REESE: --that was--
MAHARREY: --the trail rides?
REESE: The trail rides here in Lexington was I think in Nicholasville, I thinkwas called maybe the Red Barn or something like that. I don't remember--
REESE: --what it was called, but between the ages, you know, sixteen andeighteen, that's where I went all the time.
REESE: And then when I moved to LA, I used to go riding at Griffith Park.
MAHARREY: I don't know where that is, near the observatory I guess?
REESE: It's--yes, it's on--
MAHARREY: --near that?
REESE: It's near that, yeah. It's on the opposite side. It's more on the--yougot the LA side then you got the Burbank side, so the Burbank side was the little horse community, and that's where, you know, a lot of the top jumpers went. But there was actually a couple riding barns, and I probably went to the riding barn maybe, wow, probably three times a week. I--when I first 00:11:00started going, I would ride, you know, maybe an hour at a time and then I started going three hours at a time. And so again it would be one of those things where, you know, I would know the lady that--who owned that facility, and I would say, you know, "Give me a horse that, you know, you're scared to send out with other people or you're scared to send out with beginners and, you know, let me break them or let me let them get used to--" you know? So I used that as a training. So from that, like I say, I ended up finding the lady in Acton, California, and, pssh, that's when I first got introduced to Arabians. (laughs)
MAHARREY: So before--but let's backtrack just for a second to when you weretrail riding like you said that a thoroughbred is not the horse to put a kid on to learn to ride.
MAHARREY: So what kind of a horse? What--
REESE: I----we use Quarter Horses.00:12:00
MAHARREY: --okay, Quarter Horses.
REESE: --and the reason we use Quarter Horses, Quarter Horses are very, verydocile. They're very laid-back. Our horse that we use now--is Max. He is a palomino paint, and I've had him around two-and three-year-olds and, you know, he'll let you come up to him and pet him and stroke him. It's--when he's arounds kids, he just knows that it's work time. And I--it's the same way as a race horse, once a race horse gets on a track and it gets in a certain environment, their--(claps hands)--brain just clicks, and it's kind of like, okay, it's work time because that's what horses are. That's what they--they know that they have a job, and when it's time to work, they just work, so. But, yeah, Quarter Horses are, you know, they're great for kids just because of their temperament.
REESE: They're a little wider, but I mean--you know, you can use a00:13:00thoroughbred, but you would have to have a thoroughbred that's a lot older and has been off a track for a long time or that has never ever been on a track.
REESE: So, you know, there's all type of horses. You got mustangs, there'sseveral different breeds, but for me, I like the Quarter Horse.
MAHARREY: Okay, that's what you're comfortable with, and [in] your experience--
MAHARREY: --that's been good with the kids?
REESE: --correct, correct.
MAHARREY: Now talk a little bit about your grandad and his name was FrankWilson, is that--
REESE: --Wilson, correct.
MAHARREY: Now, I understand he broke horses, and he was a ringman.
MAHARREY: Now for the layperson, can you tell what a ringman did?
REESE: So a ringman is the person that takes the horses out into the sales ring.
MAHARREY: Oh, during the sales?
REESE: --during the sales.
REESE: So, I mean as far as I can remember back and even when I went out to theKeeneland Library and looked back, I think the very first time that 00:14:00they have him recorded in a book was 1973.
REESE: So from 1973 to about 2003, I believe. I think 2003 was the last timethat he was recorded in one of the books. So, you know, it was funny because growing up, I would always see him on the news because they always talked about the yearling sales. It's--they don't do it so much anymore now. Newspapers, always the front of the newspaper, he was always on there. He was actually the first person to hold a million-dollar horse.
REESE: The first million-dollar horse that got sold at Keeneland, he was holding it.
REESE: The very first gray winning derby winner, he was holding.
MAHARREY: My goodness--
REESE: --so, you know, years and years, and it's funny because I00:15:00think two years ago, I got to spend a day in his shoes, and it was amazing. But it was amazing not only being able to go into the ring and realize that everything that we teach a child to do, we have to kind of--you do the total opposite there. And when I say that is you may have a horse that may be scared to go through the doors, so you may have to back them in, then circle them around. So we teach a child that if a horse is very comfortable with you, then he'll cock one of his back--two hind legs as they're comfortable or they may lick their lips to show comfort. Well, me being a first timer and the actual guy that my grandfather mentored, he was my mentor in the ring. So I let a horse just get super comfortable, and I just kept seeing him, kind of, wave his hands to me really low, and he was pointing to his feet, and he was 00:16:00saying--he kind of put his chest up to let me know that the horse needs to be kind of at attention because they're at a selling position.
REESE: So where they're at a selling position is completely different from thembeing comfortable, and I want the people to see that this horse is comfortable, and it's going to be easy to work with. That's what I'm trying to show, but he wants me to show them that, no, this is what they look like at attention, so it was really fun, and I learned a lot. And it's--you know, it--I learned how much of a great guy my grandfather was. I already knew he was a great guy, but when people found out that I was his grandson, I had people come and tell me so many stories.
REESE: I had owners that had been coming for years and years and it was like,"Do you know that I used to try to give your grandfather tips and he would never take them?"
REESE: Just--there's the two auctioneers, they're actually the sons of theauctioneers that were there at the time my grandfather, the Tidaso (??). And I used to hear my grandmother tell stories about, you know, the Tidasos, the Tidasos, the Tidasos, and they came to me, and they were like, "Oh, you're Mr. Frank's grandson, I see--" And they would just tell me all these stories of, you know, how great he was. He's--he still has a plaque there in the corner, and that's where we get the name of the organization, the short name, Frankie's Corner, because where he worked at Jonabell, and he worked at Keeneland. Back then, they used to hit the gavel to let them know the horse is sold. So he would sit in the corner and catch a catnap, as soon as the gavel hit, then he knew it was time for him to get up and get the next horse.
MAHARREY: Oh, okay.
REESE: Yeah. So--but because he had worked there for so long, he's got a plaque,and it says "Frankie's Corner."
REESE: Yeah, so--
MAHARREY: --there was a lot of respect for him.
REESE: Yes, yes.
MAHARREY: Everybody really respected him.
REESE: Very, I mean it's funny because he's very, very mild mannered.00:18:00I'm soft-spoken, but he is super soft-spoken.
REESE: And, you know, a lot of time, he didn't say much; he just smiled. Hewould just smile at people and not say much at all.
MAHARREY: Now where was your grandfather? Was he born here in Lexington or--?
REESE: He was born in Georgetown.
MAHARREY: In Georgetown?
MAHARREY: Okay. And do you know how and where he began to work with horses,where he started or you know that?
REESE: I want to say Jonabell.
REESE: As far as I know--
MAHARREY: --as far as you know?
REESE: --that was, you know, one of his first jobs or not one of his first jobs,but where he started working at. And again, he's--you know, with his work ethic, he was there for, you know, over, forty, fifty years--
MAHARREY: Fifty years--
REESE: --as well.
MAHARREY: Yeah. So he broke horses, he was a ringman. Did he--was a groom,exercise rider, did he do the--
MAHARREY: --he did--
REESE: --all of the above--
MAHARREY: --all of the--
REESE: --all of the above.
MAHARREY: --things that probably related to a horse, he probably did?
REESE: Everything, and then it was funny because I--when I used to00:19:00watch him, I mean just to see him so gracefully, he would just go out in the--wild, in a humongous field, put his helmet on, he would start by walking. The next thing you know, he trotting, next thing you know, he just galloping across the field. I mean and to me he looked just as great as a jockey.
REESE: It was just the fact that he was not as smart. I don't know if that wassomething that he want to do, but I mean I just loved going to see him ride because it was--
MAHARREY: He was so graceful.
REESE: --you know. Yeah, he was so graceful, and that, you know, I learned aboutthe whole leg up. You know, my grandfather probably five-five, five-six--
REESE: --maybe a hundred and twenty--thirty pounds.
MAHARREY: He was a--
REESE: --yeah, he was--
MAHARREY: --small man.
REESE: --yeah, very, very, very small guy.
MAHARREY: He could have been a jockey--
REESE: --he could've--
REESE: --he wasn't--I don't--I think he was too tall.
MAHARREY: Too tall, okay.
REESE: And then with a saddle, he would've been too heavy.
MAHARREY: Oh, okay.
REESE: Because with the saddle I think you have to be--it's no more thana hundred and twenty something pounds or something like that. 00:20:00
MAHARREY: Okay, okay.
REESE: So, yeah, he--I mean just to see him at rest with it, I mean to see himjump off of a horse, like he made it super easy. When you see jockeys hop off a horse, I mean he did it with so--so much grace, and, you know, thinking back then, he was already in his--you know, in his forties and fifties--
MAHARREY: --he's an older man.
REESE: --yeah, still doing that--
REESE: --yeah. And even a lot of the other riders had respect for him at thefarm. He was so versatile, but he never talked about it.
MAHARREY: He was a very quiet, and--
MAHARREY: --private person.
MAHARREY: Do you know if his father or--worked in the horse industry or how he--
REESE: --that I know of, no.
MAHARREY: --just, no?
REESE: --the only other person that I know is he had a brother.
MAHARREY: You said they owned race horses--
MAHARREY: --is that correct?
REESE: --him and a brother, they own one race horse together, and I was youngthen. I don't know how well they did or how many races they went to. But I do--I can recall one of--him and on one of his brothers and me going with them to a barn and----you know, them giving shots and, you know, kind of, 00:21:00working them and training them a little bit. But, you know, I don't know how long that lasted, you know, so.
MAHARREY: So do--did he tell--you said he was very quiet, but did he ever tellany stories about his experience with horses or--
MAHARREY: --he really didn't--
MAHARREY: --he was just very quiet.
REESE: --everything that I learned was either from someone else, my grandmotheror one of his brothers or sisters, but he, you know--
MAHARREY: --was a very private person.
REESE: Yeah. He didn't talk about it. For him, it was just a job, and, you know,it's kind of--I really wish that he would've taken me under his wing to do that type of stuff, but he didn't.
MAHARREY: He didn't.
REESE: I mean I learned a lot from him from watching, helping him out, doingthings the proper way, work etiquette, just how to deal with people. But as far as him teaching me how to ride and stuff like that, he wouldn't do it 00:22:00just because he thought it was dangerous.
MAHARREY: And he didn't want you to get hurt?
REESE: He didn't want me to get hurt because he--you know, just being aprotective grandfather, so, and I completely respect it so, you know.
MAHARREY: Do you know if he--he worked for Jonabell, do you know if he traveled?Did they travel?
REESE: From what I recall and the stories of my grandmother telling me was, yes,they used to travel. I know that he would ride in the back of the rigs with the horses. He would take the horses on--he didn't like to fly, so it had to be the trains--
REESE: --back then when they were traveling on trains. He--
REESE: --would ride in trains. He was terrified to fly.
REESE: We didn't really get him to fly till later on in life.
REESE: And that's--and actually, I lived in California at the time when he firststarted flying--
REESE: --and that was, you know, probably in his sixty--late sixties, early seventies.
MAHARREY: Finally got him on a plane.00:23:00
REESE: Finally got him on a plane. (Maharrey laughs) But, you know, most of thetime, it was either him being in the back of a rig or being on a train--
REESE: --going to sales--
REESE: --or whatever trucks that they drove. So he would ride in the back ofthose. And again, like I said, my grandmother would tell me stories where they would go to all of these different sales, and she would hang him with Ms. Tidaso, my grandfather would be working or whatever the case might be.
REESE: Yeah, so.
MAHARREY: Huh, well, isn't that interesting?
REESE: It's very interesting--
MAHARREY: --it's very interesting--
REESE: --I mean my grandmother told me a lot of stories as far as they--youknow, even with the Bells that they used to babysit the Bells--
REESE: --all the younger kids.
REESE: And she was like, you know, that's when they lived in the projects.
REESE: So you got all these little rich kids in the projects back then.
MAHARREY: --back then.
REESE: And, you know, one of--it's one of the boys would always come--you know,if one of my uncle died or when my grandfather passed away, they would always come up from Florida and go to the--
REESE: --because that was--
MAHARREY: --that respect.
REESE: --that respect, yeah. She said one of them that they just didn't getalong at all, even when they was a little bitty kid that, you know, 00:24:00it just you know, you like--
REESE: --always got a bratty kid, so.
MAHARREY: Huh, that's very interesting. In your previous interview with Mrs.Giles, you told us about your nonprofit, youth equine program that you created in 2015 I think?
MAHARREY: All right. --Frankie's Corner Little Thoroughbred Crusade, what is themost satisfying aspect about this program for you?
REESE: Just being able to give kids an opportunity. You know, that's--I have somany kids that come to the program that have never been around a horse, you know. We live in the Horse Capital of the World, you can go to a horse race, you can, kind of, see those horses up close, or you can pass by on a farm and see them if they come close enough to a fence, you can, but as far as being able to let these kids honestly work with a horse, walk a horse, touch a horse, get on a horse's back, to see a horse was--how they think, how they 00:25:00move. Just that first exposure, is really great, you know? It's been a blessing to be able to bless other people just by, you know, taking Max to places. A lot of kids are scared of horses, and they don't know why, and a lot of times, it's more or less, they're scared because of their size. They don't know that--you know, anytime they hear a horror story about an animal or anything, that's what sticks in their, head not knowing that, you know, there's a reason why a horse does that, you know? For every action, there is a equal and opposite reaction, you know, so maybe the horse had been beaten before, maybe a trainer doesn't really actually know how to train so or they don't have the patience. So you know, even training a horse, you have to have patience because they're going to give you a little pushback to see what they can get away with. 00:26:00
MAHARREY: To see who's in charge?
REESE: Yeah, yeah.
MAHARREY: Are there other programs of this nature available to your knowledge,and if so, what makes your program different from these others?
REESE: Here in Lexington, no.
REESE: There's--there are some that I've heard of around the world; they havethem. We're not as advanced because they have different resources. I know in Compton they have one, and the way that she started her problem--her program was, you know, trying to keep kids from getting in gangs. And where--there in California, they have great weather year-round, and she's got people that come and, you know, teach them how to hunter jump. I think there's a program that is maybe in, I want to say, Boston or something that teaches kids how to play polo. And, you know, I do not exclude any of that. If I could find a volunteer that's willing to come and teach that, you know, that is giving these 00:27:00kids another avenue--
REESE: --and I'm all for that, you know. So I--I'm always looking for, you know,volunteers that will come out and teach a kid. I'm just a regular guy that like--I like to western ride, which is more of a kind of a laid-back just kind of go. I can ride a little bit of English, but, you know, I can teach a little bit, but I'm not that expert, but western, I could teach you western all day long. But I'm open to have people come and, you know, teach hunter, jumper, endurance riding, just anything that will open up an avenue to our young--
MAHARREY: --to our kid--
REESE: --people, yeah--
MAHARREY: --to learn--
MAHARREY: --to meet a horse and learn.
REESE: Right, correct.
MAHARREY: What's the most challenging part of running the program?
REESE: Finding help, that's probably the most challenging. I mean which, Ireally don't care about a doing a lot of this stuff by myself. 00:28:00Transportation leaves me limited because, you know, I pick up kids in my own vehicle, but I only have so much room. But doors are starting to open. I'm getting ready to partner with Fayette County Public Schools--
MAHARREY: --oh, wonderful.
REESE: --and Kentucky State.
REESE: So, you know, things are opening up. You know, I've been slow walking,I've been doing this since 2015, so we're right at the four-year mark, and, you know, things are opening up, you know? People have asked me to partner with other organizations, and I'm very, very, very, very, very particular about it because--
MAHARREY: --as you should be.
REESE: --I don't want to ruin my grandfather's name. I don't want to ruin whatwe've built, what we're about. And I tell people, I don't do this for me because if I was doing this for me, I would just pay for boarding and go ride my horse, and, you know, do my due diligence. But I meet people, and it's funny 00:29:00because my VP and some of my family members, they're like, you know, "You have to be a lot more business oriented." I'm like, you know, I probably wear my heart on my sleeve more than I should, but the reason I do it is because this is not about me. This is about these kids. So if I see that someone is not genuine or if someone's just kind of dragging me along, they tell me my whole body language change, and I don't mean to. It's just in my head, it's kind of like, if you can't do it, just say you can't do it. If you can do it, say you can, but if you just keep stretching things out, stretching things out and stretching things out, to me, you're kind of trying to pull my leg or get the wool over my eyes and that--it bothers me because you know, people talk about the kids in our community, but what are you doing for the kids in the community? And those that are trying to help the kids in the community, we can't get the help 00:30:00that we need. Or we try, but--you know, and we partner up with each other to try to make it happen but--
MAHARREY: --it's limited.
REESE: It is, it is, and you know, it's--I hate to say this but, you know, thethings that we--our program's completely free, and the same programs that the city tries to bring along that take away from somebody, but they'll try to charge you for it because they say they've got to pay the manpower. But yet, they'll gave away a grant for fifty to seventy-five thousand dollars, and you'll give that grant money away for somebody doing research on what to do with a building, which they bring you, what, three thousand pieces of paper to say, oh, condemn it?
REESE: But here you have programs that want to give kids an opportunity, but youdon't want to fund us because you say we're volunteer, so. I mean, it doesn't bother me. I--my skin is tough enough to know that that, you know-- 00:31:00
MAHARREY: --you know, when to shake the dust off--
MAHARREY: --your shoes.
REESE: --and keep pushing. I mean--and again when I started this program, Idon't tell a lot of people this, but it was spiritual discernment. I really--I sat in the room where my grandfather passed away, and I kept looking at this picture that my grand--that my uncle drew of my grandfather, that was him in the sales ring. And I kept looking at this picture, the third time that I looked at it--(snaps fingers)--it hit me.
MAHARREY: And that's the --?
REESE: My logo.
MAHARREY: The logo.
MAHARREY: And your uncle drew that?
REESE: My uncle drew that.
MAHARREY: That's amazing.
MAHARREY: That is just wonderful.
REESE: It's an oil painting, so--
MAHARREY: --so God sent that to you--
MAHARREY: --no doubt about it.
REESE: And that's why I say, you know, I really kind of slow up this thing, andas people tell me, "No," I'm just like, "Okay, thank you--"
MAHARREY: --okay, thank you--
REESE: --"but you'll see"--
MAHARREY: --for your time.
REESE: --"me later on." And it's proven that, you know, the people that havesaid no to me, they're calling now, and it's kind of like, you know, let's figure out how to make it work. You know, I'm willing to work with anybody because if it advances our kids, let's do this. Because, you know, 00:32:00yes, secondary education is the thing that I push for, but how many of our kids don't really want to go to school because a lot of them want to make that money right away?
MAHARREY: Right, right.
REESE: And I try to explain to even--I hate to call them this but I'll say--thecash cow parents where they have a kid that is really great in the sport. And I try to explain to them that, you know, even though they do a sport, they can do the equine thing too. The reason why I tell them that is because, you know, even if they get a scholarship for whatever sport, that's only semester by semester, and a lot of the parents don't know that because they're not educated about it, so. And I say, "You know, if your kid happens to mess up a limb and they don't have it any more, what is their fallback?"
MAHARREY: They don't have one.
REESE: And I say, "You know, they can do this sport," and I have kids00:33:00that are in regular sports and are equine as well, but I tell them, you know, "Go do your regular sport and when your sports season's over, you're always more than welcome to come back" because that gives them a second avenue. And, you know, I explain to them, in the sense of if you go break your leg, can you continue to keep your scholarship or will you lose it? A lot of kids don't know that they lose it, and I explain to them in equine, if you lose your bottom limbs, you can still ride.
MAHARREY: You can still ride, can't you?
REESE: You can still ride. And a lot of people, they don't--they're like, "Oh myGod, how is that so? " I said, "The same way you can teach your dog how to sit, you can teach a horse how to get on his four legs, bow down, wait for you to get up, [makes clicking noise] he'll get up."
REESE: So, yeah.
REESE: And a lot of people don't know it, and it's just that I know--
MAHARREY: --well horses are used a lot for therapy and things like00:34:00that now.
MAHARREY: Is there something called hippotherapy I think--
REESE: --um-hm, yeah.
MAHARREY: --that they use horses for to help people with, and there's a lot ofavenues if the kids can just get to the horses.
MAHARREY: It opens up so many other things they probably never would have considered.
MAHARREY: So the service you're doing here is just really monumentous, and Ithink your patience. You talked about the horses, the thing you learned was patience and that's--you seem to be a very patient person. I think that's translated over to this, and your patience is paying off.
REESE: Um-hm, yeah. I--and it's funny because you know, I--when I started theprogram, some of my kids, I didn't know that they had mental issues, psychological issues, I didn't know it. I don't look at a kid, oh, because of this, that, or the other. If you tell me that they have issues, then that's a different thing, but when I found out later that they had the issues--so I have two of my students who were really troubled students, and I didn't 00:35:00know. And the counselor told me, he said, "You know what, coming to you all's program has been more beneficial for this student than for them to go to a counselor."
REESE: So knowing that the equine therapy portion of it and just what we do, hasimproved a child's life, I mean it's just proven. I--you know, I don't keep statistics, but I think now me being in a public school system and working with the university, they're going to ask me to, which is fine. I would do that, but, you know, I was just doing it to give the kids an opportunity. To know that these kids, grades have been better, their behavior has been better because I let them know that if you can't respect your parents, then I need you not to come to the farm because I'm going to ask you to respect your parents versus coming to me as a stranger and where you're coming to me as a stranger and you respect me, but you can't respect your parent, your father, mother-- 00:36:00
MAHARREY: --it's not okay.
REESE: --grandmother, I'm not okay with that. I'm still old-fashioned, so--
MAHARREY: --I am too.
REESE: --I bring the--
REESE: --old-fashioned to these kids that they can pull the wool over my eyes.And my daughter, she'll tell you, I don't really yell too much. I think the one time that I had to yell at her, she cried so bad because she wasn't used to me raising my voice.
MAHARREY: She wouldn't be.
REESE: --so, and I'm the same way with the kids, I'm very, very patient withthem. I understand that the things that I'm teaching them, it's not easy. For you to have a lunge line in your left hand and for you to have a driving tool in your right hand, and for me to ask you to keep swapping to make the horse turn, that's a lot.
MAHARREY: Yeah, I don't know what you're even doing--
MAHARREY: --but yes, I would be--
REESE: --me asking--and it's just--and I explain to them that if you don't dothese maneuvers while they're on the ground, then when you get on the horse and mount, everything that translates from the ground should translate onto the back of the horse. And the reason I tell them that is because say for 00:37:00instance, I'll let you go ride in a field and if a fox comes out of the field, you may be looking off to the left, the fox is coming from the right. Then all of a sudden, you have no lookup, you spook, that all translates into your body, goes to the horse, goes to the horse's brain, and a lot of people don't understand that stuff. So I explain to the kids that what you do on the ground has to translate on to the horse, and you have to be in tuned as one, so--
MAHARREY: --it's very--
REESE: --it is, and--
MAHAREY: It's a lot.
REESE: --you know, I have kids that's--you know, they, "I've been riding for--""Okay, you've been riding for a while, so you know, let's break this down, and let's really see if you can do it from the ground up," and a lot of times, they can't.
MAHARREY: They can't, um-hm.
REESE: Max is--he's a great horse, but he can be stubborn and, you know, they'relike, "Let's--can we ride Max?" I lik--, "Yeah," so I put him on Max. I think I had like ten kids that day, and I said, "I got twenty dollars for any 00:38:00kid that can get Max to walk around this whole ring." I said, "I'm going to do it for you to show you that he'll do it. You have two minutes to mount, to get him to go around." Not one of them could do it.
MAHARREY: They couldn't get him to do it.
REESE: And I said, "The reason why is because, I've expressed to you guys thatMax is trained by vocal command first, then body language. So if you can't follow the directions here in this arena, are you following the same directions in school?" So I really teach a lot of life lessons as well--
MAHARREY: --that is wonderful.
REESE: --it's just not about equine; it's about life lessons too.
MAHARREY: And these life lessons you're teaching them help--will help them toproblem solve. I mean and you're teaching them the patience that you learned as well. It's really an amazing thing you're doing. What advice would you give to people interested in getting involved with horses?
REESE: Resources, know exactly what you want to do, what about horses00:39:00do you want to do, you know--
MAHARREY: --whether you want to ride or whether you want to--?
REESE: What do you want to do? I--you know, I think a lot of kids don't reallythink about owning a horse or training a horse. I tell the kids that equine is probably the biggest tree as far as an industry that there is because, if you think about it, you can go from medicine to law, transportation, sales. So, you know, when I break it down, they're like, "[Gasps] Mr. Jeremy, really?" I said, "Yeah." I say, "You know, even if you want to do something simple of transporting horses from a farm to Keeneland"--say if it is if you go from Russell Cave Road to Keeneland, you're going to make a hundred dollars just by transporting one horse, that's pretty good money. However, you have to know how to get that horse on and off of the trailer. Once he gets on the 00:40:00trailer, how to hook him up, and guess what, you're going to have to clean up after the horse too. Because see, most kids, they don't--when they come to the farm, that is phase one. You have to do stall cleaning, and they want to know why, and I express to them, it's not only cleaning up the feces and the urine, that is your first indication of a horse's health.
REESE: And a lot of kids, they don't think about it, "Oh, I've got to go cleanpoop, oh." I said, "You know,"--
MAHARREY: --yeah, they think it's a punishment--
REESE: --yeah, "it's not"--
MAHARREY: --because it's dirty work.
REESE: "I need you to see that if this horse has runny stool one day, well weneed to check and see if his stool is runny tomorrow. Because if it's runny, then guess what, now we need to call the vet, and this is things that you have to do if you have your own horse, so, and that's just part of it." On the farm, we teach--we let them see the whole--well, not to see the breeding process, but we teach the breeding process, understanding that, you know, horses 00:41:00are pregnant for a long time, eleven months out of the year--(laughs)--and a lot of kids don't know that. So it's a lot that they get to learn as far as, you know, shots, the rabies shots, deworming, basic first aid. So a lot of people don't--you know, it's a lot of different avenues, so it's just what do you want to do, what do you know? Because a lot of times people like horses, they think they're cool, but they don't know what they want to do with the horses, the different breeds, you know? Most kids think all there is is thoroughbreds.
MAHARREY: Right, because it's all they here and see--
MAHARREY: --or they think that's what every--
MAHARREY: --horse they see is.
REESE: --yeah. So--or they just--they may not even know what breed it is, theyjust know it's a horse.
MAHARREY: Um-hm, it's a horse.
REESE: --it's--yeah. So it's, you know, knowing exactly what you want to do,research and again, that's why I'm here, you know?
REESE: I'm--I've opened myself up for the kids to ask questions. You00:42:00know, I go to schools, I go to different camps--
MAHARREY: --so now you've partnered with the Fayette County, so you'll be doingmore things with the schools I assume or different schools--
REESE: --it--well, it's going to be--it's starting off as a pilot program. Soright now, what I've partnered up with, the Diversity Inclusion and the Boys of Color.
REESE: So it's--now, and it's about introducing boys of color to the program.And, you know, when I started this program, yes, I started it for us, but I'm not God, so I'm not excluding it to anybody. You know, I've been very blessed to have a wide variety of kids. I've had Caucasians, I've had Indian kids, I've had Asian kids, so I have the whole spectrum of kids. I have boys, I have girls.
MAHARREY: I think it's beautiful that you do--you're doing this for everyone.You know, a lot of times, we do our programs and then we, kind of focus and we don't intentionally exclude, but I think it's wonderful that 00:43:00you welcoming all these kids and that you--you know, because like you said, it's about the kids. It doesn't matter what color they are--
MAHARREY: --because kids get it better than we do.
REESE: Yeah. (Maharrey laughs) They ask all the time, and, you know, it's funnylike, "Well, is it to the urban kids?" I'm like, "What is urban?"
MAHAREY: What is urban?
REESE: "--Tell me, explain to me what urban is." "Is it for at risk-youth? Isay, "Yup, it's for at-risk youth." I said, "If you think about today's time, all of our kids are at risk."
MAHARREY: That's right. It's a hard--
REESE: --last one of them. I said, "You know, I could care less if I had aparent that had a billion dollars in their bank account, and they wanted their kids to come, "Come on. I'm not--the same way I don't charge anybody else, I'm not going to charge you. And if you decide to, you know, give a donation, that's fine," but I know that, you know, probably they're coming to my program because they don't have the resource, they don't know who to go to. You know, they have the means, but I think that they see that these kids are with other kids. 00:44:00
REESE: --and learning with other kids. And I--that's the greatest part about theprogram is because I can teach a child; however, they learn through challenging each other, using the mentor-to-mentor system.
MAHARREY: Okay, okay.
REESE: And a lot of people are like, "Well, why do you do that?" I said, "Well,think about it, you have a kid--" Because the youngest child that I have is I think one that's eight, probably on the nine version.
MAHARREY: Is that about as young as--
REESE: --the youngest, yeah--
MAHARREY: --like the right age to start?
REESE: I--the reason I like to start at nine because is because, their attention span.
MAHARREY: Okay, I was wondering about that.
REESE: Because what happens is--where we're using most of the time on horse, ifwe're learning a maneuver, if you got a seven-, six-year-old, their attention span is not there. (Maharrey laughs) And it's gone. So if they're not actually focusing on the horse, they're not watching and learning, so, excuse me, that's where the issue comes in. But the mentor-to-mentor system works 00:45:00really well because, say for instance, if I had my daughter and I taught her something, and she picked up--(snaps fingers)--on it really quick because she was a fast learner. While you have--Tim has been in the program for a whole year, and he can't get that maneuver. Well now, this young lady has come in, and she has picked up within ten minutes, so now Tim is like--
REESE: --oh, I got to get this--
REESE: --because she's been here. So that's where the mentor system comes inbecause even though she's only been in the program for a day and she's picked up on it that fast, well guess what, maybe she can teach something completely different from the way that I teach it.
MAHARREY: And he'll get it.
REESE: And he'll get it and it--and that's why I use the mentor-to-mentor. SoI've--I picked that up, and you know, when I started writing this program, I put that in there at the beginning, but I let it happen naturally.
MAHARREY: Okay. Let the--
MAHARREY: --kids do it.
REESE: --I never--
MAHARREY: --you don't pick and choose--
REESE: --I never force it--
REESE: --because typically what that shows me is who a leader is and00:46:00who a follower is.
MAHARREY: Right, right, which is very important.
REESE: --And the kids don't realize that and then what happens is, "Well, whydoes such and such always get to do such and such?" And then I explain to them "Because this person stepped up to try to help somebody else when you sat back and you just watched."
MAHARREY: Um-hm, and that--
REESE: --life lesson--
MAHARREY: --makes an impression?
REESE: Yeah, it's a--and it's another--they don't realize it's another lifelesson. And when I break it down to them, they'll be like "Oh, Mr. J, I didn't even think about that, but she knew what she was doing." I said, "Yes." I said, "You know, I love you guys, so, you know, I don't want you guys to go out into this world--if you guys choose not to be, you know, in this equine program when get older, if you need me for life, you can always call on me, always"--
MAHARREY: --that's awesome--
REESE: --so yeah.
MAHARREY: --that's awesome. Now, I'm going to shift gears for just one second--
MAHARREY: But I understand from your interview with Mrs. Giles that you are anartist as well, so tell us something about Jeremy Reese, the photographer. 00:47:00
REESE: (both laugh) You know, it's funny because I stopped--
REESE: Well, I'm not going to stay I stopped. I will--I shoot my kids--
REESE: --I shoot them for, you know, websites or for material--for promomaterial and stuff like that, but--
MAHARREY: --do you shoot horses? Nope?
REESE: --I have.
MAHARREY: But that's not been the focus of your--
REESE: --it hasn't.
REESE: You know, once I started this program. I moved to LA because I was a photographer.
REESE: I did shoot a little bit in LA and I just--and it's funny because I--meand my daughter did a photoshoot yesterday, and I was telling my cousin. I'm like, you know, "You can have it, man, you know, I just--I got out of it. I don't have time to do it now because my focus is really on this program and, you know, building this program." But yes, I love photography, I love it, 00:48:00I love that I love it. I think photography probably just as expensive as the equine because, you know, a camera can be as much as a saddle.
MAHARREY: Yes, it can.
REESE: Probably five times more than a saddle. The same way that you want tokeep getting bridles and stuff for your horses, you can go out and get a lens that's going to cost as much, you know--
MAHARREY: Three- or five-thousand-dollar lenses out there--
REESE: --yeah, yeah--
MAHARREY: --ten-thousand-dollar lenses.
REESE: Yes. Cameras--
MAHARREY: --it depends on what your--
REESE: --that are--yeah--
REESE: --what you want to do, yeah, so. I mean I--probably the same time that Igot into horses, I got into photography.
REESE: Being at the farm with my grandfather and I'd sit under a tree and I'dframe something, you know, you put your fingers together and you frame something? So my dad had an old camera, and I would just take it around, take it to the farm--
MAHARREY: --taking pictures--
REESE: --and just taking pictures and then as I got older, am I really, reallygot into it. I was that one photographer that never ever wanted to do digital. 00:49:00
REESE: Everything that I did, I always did everything natural. Where a lot ofphotographers--that's when, you know, Photoshop was coming into play, and I never wanted to do anything. So I just happened to get Photoshop, and I played with it a little bit. And as a matter of fact, when my daughter was nine days old, I think was probably when I first started playing with Photoshop. I did a black-and-white picture and in the black-and-white picture, she had a bow on her back and so I made this bow--
REESES' DAUGHTER: --oh, that one.
REESE: --I made this bow pink, so that's when I really, really started playingwith it really, really well. So I do--
MAHARREY: --would you--it be fair to say that photography is your second loveafter horses?
REESE: Now, yes.
MAHARREY: Okay. (laughs)
REESE: Now and it is. Even though I did not want it to be, it is.
REESE: It really is.
REESES' DAUGHTER: Is it the picture that I'm going like this on my00:50:00back, and I'm like my eyes are closed?
REESE: You was a baby, you was nine years, you asleep.
REESES' DAUGHTER: Nine years old?
REESE: I mean nine days.
MAHARREY: Nine days.
REESE: You was nine days old, yeah.
MAHARREY: Okay, well, I have one last question for you while you look for that.How do you want to be remembered? What do you want people to say about Jeremy Reese?
REESE: I have no idea. I--like people that know me know that I try to be ashumble as possible. I don't talk about myself, I don't toot my own horn. You know, whatever legacy I do leave, I hope it's positive, by all means. I don't know--I'm just not that person. I don't talk about myself, so I really cannot say--(Maharrey laughs)--what legacy I want to leave behind. I really don't know. I mean--
MAHARREY: --well, that's fair, that's fair because you are a humble person.00:51:00
MAHARREY: --is there anything that you want to tell the people that--questions Ihaven't answered or maybe questions that Mrs. Giles didn't answer--ask of you? What would you want to leave us with?
REESE: The biggest thing is, you know, don't forget about our kids because theyare truly ripe with potential. You know, the kids are the future, they will always be the future, and if we don't take the time to listen to them, develop them, then they will get lost in the shuffle. They will go down the wrong road. And what I've come to find out about a lot of kids, they just want somebody that will listen to them, that will give them that time, and I think honesty is the biggest thing that they need. I've learned that, you know, in today's times, a lot of people sugarcoat it too, and what happens is, an inexperienced 00:52:00friend or someone that does not know better tells them something, and because they're around their age, then they will follow that path. Versus, I'm very blunt with my kids; I'm very transparent with my kids. I explain to them, you know, the things that I've been through, the things that I wish that I could've changed, and that makes them feel comfortable, Kids want somebody that they can feel comfortable and talk to. And that is the one thing that I really, really, really, really, you know, just ask from adults, from peers is, take the time, listen because I don't feel like--kids feel like that their voices are not heard. And I understand you have those old-fashioned people that are just like, you know, "You're a kid," but guess what, these kids are going to be someone that has to take care of you at some point in time-- 00:53:00
REESE: --and if we don't teach them the right way. And if we can get back to thewhole village, it takes a village to raise a child, I think we'll be okay. So, you know, just don't give up on the kids. If you see a kid doing something wrong, take the time to find out why they're doing it, because there's always a reason. Nine times out of ten, they want attention. They want somebody to hear them, acknowledge them. And then a lot of times, kids just don't have the resources, and if we can get the kids the resources, we'll be okay.
MAHARREY: Thank you, Mr. Reese, I appreciate--
REESE: Thank you--
MAHARREY: --your time.
REESE: --thank you.
[End of interview.]