Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I've Got a Secret...............Halter

From the beginning of my time showing Arabian horses I've managed to see past accusations that politics plays a role in how classes are placed. I've found other reasons for classes turning out the way they have in the performance arena. However, when it comes to halter that's just not been the case. When all is said and done I find myself, like so many others, believing showing halter seems to be a very political proposition.

To me that meant if I was to have a high powered horse and wanted it to do well, I would need a high powered handler. So way back in November when I first got this colt I set about finding a handler who would be political enough to win with my colt, yet one I could trust.

I had no doubt that a tough handler would cause problems with this colt. There just is no way this colt could tolerate being abused without turning mean. Not that I would stand by and let someone abuse my horse but stuff happens..............and once it does you can't take it back. I needed someone I could trust to be kind and still get the job done and I needed it now.

Because so many people do believe that halter is political and takes a big name handler to win, it means those handlers get committed very early in the season. I knew if I hadn't found a handler before the Scottsdale Show in February, the odds were I would have trouble finding one at all.

The other difficult side of this coin would be I just couldn't afford, nor did I want to, send my colt out to be trained. The plan was to train and condition the horse myself and find one of the "big guns" of halter to catch lead the horse for me.

My first pick to lead my colt would have been my friend, Eric Krichten. However, since Eric has gone to work for Cedar Ridge Arabians his contract does not allow him to catch lead horses. However, I did talk to Eric to see who he might recommend.

The first name on my list was Jesse Saldana. I have watched Jesse over the years at the Region 4 All Arabian Horse Championships show many a halter horse. His horses have always looked comfortable out there in the ring. Also in the past few years, Jesse has climbed up the ladder and begun receiving top tens at the national level. A colt like mine could bring Jesse that first national championship title in halter, or so I thought.

Since Angie and Richard are good friends with Jesse I asked Richard to approach the man about leading my colt. Right from the start he seemed very excited about the prospect of leading Rhet. We sent off pictures and pedigree and Jesse agreed he would show the horse for me at Region 4 UNLESS.............the owner of the colt he already had in his barn wanted to show at Region 4.

So we had Jesse double check with the client. Her plans were to take her colt to the World Cup held in Las Vegas. She had no plans to show at Region 4 so Jesse was free to show Rhet at the Region 4 Championships in June.

Well, the Arabian Breeders World Cup was held in Las Vegas in April. As it turns out Jesse Saldana's colt didn't do well at that show. Not long after it, Jesse's wife called Richard to say that Jesse couldn't lead Rhet after all. The client had changed her mind and wanted to show her colt at the Region 4 Championships.

Finding another "big name" handler at this late date was going to be tough. Region 4 had not been "the place to be" in the last few years. Meaning it had been years since the show was flooded with big gun halter handlers. I wasn't even sure where to start so again I called Eric.

Eric's advise was to call Terry Holmes. Eric thought even if Terry wasn't coming to Salem he'd know who was and be able to help me get in contact with them. It sounded like a good plan so I called Terry.

I didn't reach Terry but left a message. He got back to me not long afterwards and I told him what I needed. Terry said he was going to Region 4 and he didn't have a colt. He said having been to my farm and seen my horses he knew I was a good judge of horses so if I thought this colt could win he'd be glad to lead him. We were set...................I breathed a sigh or relief and we went on preparing for the show.

To be continued..............

Halter.......We Hope

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  1. From the time you said that you had plans to show this youngster, I wondered about this.
    I agree with you about halter classes at that level. Grumble against the unfairness? It would change little, except label you as a bitter 'nobody'.
    MiKael, again, I admire your resolve to care for and protect your horses!
    I can't wait to hear more :)

  2. LOL! You sure have been holding out on us for a long time! I keep seeing how long ago some of this stuff happened. You must have a huge cache of posts!

  3. It's a shame there are such politics to deal with, especially if he's good enough to stand on his own merit.

  4. Leah, When I'm told to keep a secret, I do it, that's for sure. However, I wish I had a huge cache of posts instead of all these little loose ends rolling around in my sometimes fuzzy brain. Trying to recapture all of these details as been a real chore....but it also explains my writer's block sometimes. Trying to figure out how to post leaving out the parts that pretained to Rhet made me crazy on more than on occasion.

  5. Can hardly wait to read the next installment!