Caletino at Young Horse Nationals

in Caletino,Show Results

Deborah Hausman and Caletino in Kentucky.

The Young Horse National Championships have concluded and Caletino and I “won” last place. We may have lost in the ribbons, but gained so much more in experience, new friends and for me a deeper love for my horse.

On a good day we would have won, on an average day we would have been in the middle of the pack. But yesterday was not to be our day. For the past three days we have been dealing with trying to fill the space between Caletino’s back and the saddle due to his continued weight loss in the nasty heat and humidity. He lost weight, we added padding, he lost more and we added more. Finally the Championships came and he was so mentally there for me, but with every turn, lateral movement and canter stride he resisted. He never shyed once and completely focused on me, and for that experience itself we won.

It was a very difficult ride going in knowing I wasn’t going to have his back. I never had it one step in the warm up and felt he wasn’t going to be capable of giving it to me in the test. It was very frustrating yet so commendable that he hung in there with both of us knowing the outcome. But, we traveled a long way and needed to suck it up and just ride.

Our result of a 5.8 was thought of by many as a bit harsh, but I thought how can you reward a horse with a lack of through ness? I think they were just and the score was accurate. After one rider’s horse was eliminated for not wanting to proceed past “X”, I felt lucky just to be able to have ridden there.

When Jane Ayers provided the comments to the audience I actually felt more sorry for her then for us. She so didn’t want to tell me what was on the paper. She hesitated, then built us up as if we had just won. The resistance are what lost it for us. There were some bright moments throughout but with every transition came a resistance. I could only imagine how it must have felt to my stallion’s back.

These are intelligent judges and they could see something was wrong. They said, “this is a lovely horse and a prospect for upper dressage. Today just was not his day. There were too many resistances today for us to give him a score he probably deserves. We all look forward to seeing both of you in the future”.

I left the arena OK with all of that. There was nothing we could have done differently. What we accomplished just to get there was really enough. We leave with our dignity, new found friends, a few breedings, and a Caletino fan club. Comments from Scott Hassler, “this is a great stallion, I hope you don’t plan on cutting him,” George Williams, “he is a really nice stallion,” Mary Phelps, “you can see how special he is.” So now it’s back home to fatten our boy up and let him play in the pasture all day.

I want to thank Tina Steward for her positive and helpful coaching. I could not have made the decisions without her. To Darlene Mardock, I love that I get to see her nearly everyday, and need I say more. To Chris Maylone for her beautiful braids and perfection. She made my horse even more gorgeous than he already is. And to Barbara Livingston who brought so much laughter our stomachs ached. To Greg Mardock and my husband, you guys rock!

And last but not least to my wonderful horse Caletino, “Seeker”. You are the most precious animal I have ever met, with a soul so deep I think you are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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