"A Horse of a Different Color" features horses and ponies that have been successful in the sport of eventing while representing a unique breed. Do you have a horse that you think would be a great feature subject? If so, email [email protected]
I have a 14 year old bay Standardbred mare named “Allie”, or Legally Rich. I got her four years ago when I was ten years old. The lady before had purchased her from Canada after she was not deemed fast enough nor was she suited for harness racing. She had re-trained her and done a bit of cross country jumping here and there.
When Allie’s owner got pregnant, she decided to give her away to a good home because she couldn’t stand to see such a good horse stand in the pasture all day. My first horse, Polish Arab, had recently passed away and I was looking for a more Western horse to continue the 4H work I had recently begun.
My mom found Allie on a local website and, since she was so close, we decided to go look at her. Of course I fell in love and we bought her even though I was scared to death of her big trot. The owner was very nice and included all of Allie’s tack with her. I started working from the ground up using Clinton Anderson’s Down Under training methods (I had a lot of free time, so I studied and trained a lot).
Clinton Anderson’s tips worked their magic! Soon, I was riding her in a few shows but still nervous to go very fast on her because of trust issues. Eventually those trust issues went away. I got involved in Pony Club then and started jumping Allie. It was so fun! She already had some jumping experience so I wasn’t as nervous.
As our bond grew, we started going to more shows and jumping higher. I’m soon going to rate up to a C1 in Pony Club, and I’m an Intermediate in 4H as well. Allie is my only horse, so she does it all. Flat classes, show jumping, hunter classes, showmanship, trail (she hates showy trail but loves trail riding), gaming (which she LOVES), and just started eventing. We went to our first horse trial last fall in Beginner Novice and got 5th , which made me very happy. I plan to continue eventing.
Being a Standardbred, her conformation works against her. She has a really long back and lightly muscled hindquarters, which makes it difficult to compress her stride and be bendy and very light. She tends to fall to her inside shoulder, and four beats her canter. It isn’t a true canter, but she tries so hard. Right lead canter is very hard for her as well, which I am not sure why; left is much easier to pick up. Her trot is my pride and joy, though! It is improving wonders, but she absolutely loves cross country and galloping; she will just not stop. She would go all day if she could, and she is not afraid of any jump. She’ll throw her heart over anything for me. She tries to catch me when I get unsteady after a jump too; that happened at our horse trials and she halted after the jump and was dodging every which way to keep me on.
These horses have such big hearts and even bigger talents. I wish they were more appreciated!