I have started my final countdown today. I leave town early Friday morning for two back-to-back trips (what a way to start my travel year!). Normally packing is quick and easy for me, but back-to-back trips always makes it a little challenging, plus one trip is a shoot for Horse Master—and that is a major packing gig! Since each show requires two outfits, plus extra stuff for commercials and special projects, plus my saddle, bridles and gear I might need—it’s a packing night mare! Happily, the hardest stuff is done, thanks to assistance from my wardrobe wrangler, Cheryl.
It seems like forever since we filmed the episodes that are currently running—back in September at Martha’s Vineyard. When I think back on how much has changed in the past four months—gas prices, the election, the economy, the weather—it seems like a lifetime! But I remember filming this episode well, because it involves a horse I used to own.
I bought Jackson (known at AQHA as Quick Foxie Doc) in the summer of 06 in AZ. He was much a younger horse than I normally buy for resale, as a 6 y/o, but I was totally smitten with his solid gold temperament and his extensive training. He was also bigger than I prefer, but so pretty, a joy to ride and a perfect gentleman. I knew I’d find the perfect human for this horse, but little did I know it’d be a wisp of an 11 y/o girl and this NRHA money earning reiner would end up as far east as you can get and turn into a hunter.
It’s true, Jackson is built more like a hunter than a reiner, with his big scopey frame and his tall stature. When Lilly and her mother and grandmother came to look at horses, I had a barn full and she rode 4-5 different horses. Jackson was not the one I thought would be perfect for her, but I knew she wanted to try them all. Lilly was already a really good rider, so I knew she had the ability to handle any of the horses I had to offer—most of whom had been bought with beginners in mind. Really, what it boiled down to was chemistry and there was no doubt from the very first moment, that the chemistry was strong between Jackson and Lilly.
A year later, I end up in Martha’s Vineyard with Lilly and Jackson scheduled for one of the six episodes we were filming in three days. It was great to see them both and how beautifully their relationship had developed. Jackson will do anything for Lilly and he always takes good care of her. I was pleased to see how well he was going as an English horse—not really too surprised, since the foundation of reining training he had would take him anywhere.
I got on Jackson in Western tack, so see what it would take for him to remember his reining maneuvers—he was an awesome spinner with big stops. The spins were right there where I had left them, but the stops took a few reminders. Not surprising since no one had done anything similar to a spin with him, but they had been stopping him English, not Western, so the waters were a little murkier. At the end of the day, a well-trained horse will always remember his training, no matter how long it’s been. And if his training is not devolved, by spoiling him, scaring him or hurting him, it won’t take you long to find it.
If you don’t get to watch Lilly and Jackson on RFD this week, you can read all about them in America’s Horse this month. Check out my website for a link to that article.
Back to packing!