We hear all the time about horses at the top of the sport, but what about the next generation of equine talent? EN’s Got Talent introduces the future superstars of the sport, interviewing riders about how they’re tackling training with these youngsters. Have you spotted a spectacular young horse at an event you think should be highlighted in this column? Tip me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week on EN’s Got Talent, we met Joe Meyer’s 7-year-old Hanoverian/Thoroughbred stallion, South Paw, who starting his eventing career last year. After proving that he already had the scope for the upper levels in the jumper ring, Joe set about fine tuning South Paw’s dressage and cross country.
“He’s a super jumper, he never wants to have a rail down,” Joe said. “And his ears are locked forward on cross country; he just loves it. With the dressage, he’s just starting to get there.” In order to continue to “attack” the dressage, as Joe put it, the pair have been taking lessons with Linda Zang in hopes of getting the horse even more consistent and competitive on the flat.
“He’s really started to come up off the ground and really move and give me a glimpse of what’s in there,” Joe said. Now that the stallion is becoming more fit and his dressage is making strides, Joe plans to dedicate the majority of the summer continuing to work on the skills in the sandbox. “We’ll get it out of him. I really can’t believe this horse and how good he is showing he can be.”
Joe believes that South Paw will be consistently competitive at the 2* level by the fall. Of course, with Joe’s recent injury sidelining him for a time, this may put the stallion’s competition schedule on a bit of a delay. That doesn’t mean that Joe doesn’t have a plan laid out, however.
“I’d really like to take him to the AECs this year, and we’ve got a couple of foals due by him this year. We haven’t done a lot with the breeding yet, but we want him to be available.”
Joe knows that he has a solid horse in his barn for the future and is excited about South Paw as he continues to grow and mature. “I’m very confident of his three-star ability. Once I get his dressage really nailed, it’ll be something to watch. He’s going to be very nice, I’m confident of that. Once we get there, we’ll see what happens. From experience, you don’t assume it’s going to go four-star. We just have to be sensible and keep him confident.”
Joe and South Paw’s owner, Nora Yaney, have worked together to ensure that the young stallion approaches his career with confidence and the best education they can give him. “Sometimes the best horse is right underneath your nose and a lot of people don’t see it,” Joe said. “You don’t need to go and spend a fortune, you just have to put a bit of work into it. I really think this horse could actually be something.”
For more information about breeding to South Paw, please email email@example.com.