November’s Action Rider, Rosemary Crowley, bravely took on the project of starting a young Andalusion to saddle and bridle.
“I always was infatuated with the Andalusian breed, but after looking at several older horses I realized that I could only afford a very young horse. I found Chispazo on Dream Horse and began a correspondence with Nancy LeNau about him. He is a P.R.E. and his sire was Silver Solamente and his dam was Belina PWG, Nancy’s mare. His birthday is July 4 and apparently was born during his mother’s anxiousness about the fireworks that night!
“When I saw him, I liked his curiosity as I played with him. I decided to take a chance. I brought him home in a stock trailer as a 15-month-old colt. Once I got him home it became apparent that I should geld him. He spent all his turnout time with my lovely older gelding, Spock, some sort of Spanish/Quarter horse cross, that he adored. Spock allowed him to be a little spoiled, but it was always obvious that they had a very special relationship.
“After I gelded Pazo, I spent a lot of time leading him out and about and just playing with him. He seemed very immature and I waited until he was over 3-years-old to back him. Circumstances and his lack of maturity led me to cautiously proceed with his training. I had an injury during his 4-5 year-old stage and once I started back with him in the spring of 2014, he was really ready to ‘go on with’ -as they say.
“I decided that I had to go to a facility so I could continue to ride him through our sometimes severe northeastern winter. I found a wonderful facility and we developed trust and started real training. He was very spooky and I was timid after my injuries, so it took a while for us to find our stride.
“Now, we have participated in a couple of intro dressage shows and we are working on balance, trust and trying to balance at the canter. I just love his spirit and he is finally developing into a wonderful partner. He is curious, incredibly smart and a pleasure to be around.
“In hindsight, I probably made the well-known mistake of taking on such a young horse as a project, but I wouldn’t do anything different if I had the chance. He is such fun and I have made sure that he is not over faced and appreciated for the character that he is!
“The P.R.E. horses are wonderful, smart and sensible, although he is a hot horse. I have learned to trust that he wants to be my partner and I have to be his leader. It has taken a long time because I am an amateur rider but this shows how forgiving he has been, at least for me. There were many times that I thought I was over faced, but we are doing great. What a wonderful journey!
“The photo in costume was at a Halloween show and I took pains to make sure my handsome boy had a costume which showed him as wonderful and elegant as he is to me every day. I was very proud of him and did the best I could to hand sew an outfit we could be proud of. I think he loved showing off!”