Isabela de Sousa Uses TheraPlate to Overcome Challenges and Compete in the Thoroughbred Makeover


Isabela de Sousa proves that her off-the-track Throroughbred, Carajillo, can excel in other equestrian disciplines  (Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography,

Lexington, KY (October 27, 2016) – Fifteen-year-old Isabela de Sousa affectionately describes her off-the-track-Thoroughbred, Carajillo, as a perfect gentleman. “He is one of the sweetest four-year-olds I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve had a lot of young horses,” she explained of the gelding, whom she nicknamed ‘Chino.’ “I really think he’s special. He’s very willing and has a great brain. He’s just wonderful to be around.” And while he didn’t make a great racehorse, de Sousa does firmly believe he can make a great athlete in a different sport – hence why the young pair entered the Retired Racehorse Project’s $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium Presented by Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), which is now officially underway (October 27- 30, 2016) at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

The young rider knew that the Thoroughbred Makeover would be the perfect place to showcase Chino’s gentle disposition and willingness to learn. The competition challenges Thoroughbreds, who have received less than a year’s training, to compete in ten disciplines.

“People think Thoroughbreds are just fast and hot and don’t listen, and that’s not true,” de Sousa said. “I think events like the Thoroughbred Makeover can help people understand that.”

Although Chino quickly proved that he was willing and happy to work ever since his partnership with de Sousa began in April of this year, their journey to the Thoroughbred Makeover hasn’t been easy.

Like with most retired racehorses, Chino needed to adjust to life after the track – and have time to recuperate from the aches and pains of racing. Adding a layer to the time he needed to rehabilitate, he also became ill only a few months after he started work – suspending training for the competition for two full months. Once Chino was back in great health, it was clear that his two months off had taken a toll on his muscle development and fitness level.

Luckily, TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms, the Official Therapy Plate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), came to the rescue. De Sousa was already using this therapy plate as part of her daily routine with her hunter/jumper horses to warm them up before riding, cool them down afterwards, increase their blood circulation, and keep her older, less active horses in great body condition.

“Using the TheraPlate has been one of the biggest factors for getting him back on his feet and helping him in the areas he was sore,” de Sousa said. “It really helped him feel his best.”

Thanks to his twice-daily sessions with the TheraPlate, Chino was able to rebuild muscle and achieve soundness so he could continue training. Now, the duo is confident and prepared to show off Chino’s skills, disposition, and athleticism in this weekend’s competition. While TheraPlate cheers them on, de Sousa and Chino compete to win $100,000 and, most importantly, showcase the diversity and talent of off-the-track-Thoroughbreds like Chino in the Thoroughbred Makeover

TheraPlate platforms use dynamic movement to maximize performance, improve fitness, and help achieve ideal body conditions with zero impact. Simply standing on the platform increases blood circulation, bone strength, muscle mass, and hoof growth; reduces inflammation, injuries, pain, healing time, and stress; and improves balance, joint health, and function.

To find out more about TheraPlate and how it can help the conditioning or rehabilitation program for your horse, visit or call (800) 920-3685.