Everyone's heard the old
adage that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man, but if you were to
rephrase that just a touch, and make it a Child, the true reality of that statement takes
on a life of it's own. Ask any parent or relative of a child who has achieved the lofty
goal of a state championship.
State Champion Youth rider, Caroline 'Carrie'
Bush, (Left) shown with her trainer, Carole Dal Porto, of Brentwood, Ca. Accepting the
high point awards at the C-WA banquet this past February
||It is hard work. It requires many hours of
practice and dedication. It is riding on cold winter days when all their friends are at
the mall, or declining a trip to the beach on a warm summer day, so that they can stay 'In
Tune' with their horse. It is blood, sweat and tears, and moments of absolute joy. And in
the end, you realize, somewhere along the way, that your child has gained a sense of
responsibility, has learned to set goals and stick to them. Has gained respect for others,
learned compassion and become a competitive sportsman. It can turn a child around,
literally save a life.
a breed horse association here in California that takes their youth programs very
seriously. They are the Cal-Western Appaloosa Show Horse Association, based in Turlock,
CA. Founded in 1966, this group has a very extensive set of age divisions and classes that
support a youth awards and incentives program.
One such youth that achieved the
pinnacle of success this past year is 17-Year-old Caroline Bush of Walnut Creek,
California. She has earned the prestigious Cal-Western Youth Rookie of the Year award and
has also claimed the coveted 2000 High Point Champion, Youth Western Horse and Rider
|Caroline or 'Carrey' as she's known to friends
and family is definitely not new to the horse world. She has according to her Mom,
Jeannie, literally been riding since she was a baby. "I remember watching in horror
as Carrie, a three year old at the time, climbed aboard one of my horses and came trotting
bareback up the paddock fence with her rear end at least a foot off the horses back and
her little legs sticking straight out the sides. With each bounce she attained greater
altitude until she went over the side and landed on her feet giggling".
Mini Equestrienne, 6 yr. old Carrey
Jeannie went on to say that she
remembered another incident when Carrey, a ten year old at the time, was exhibiting at the
CSHA (California State Horsemans Association), Show of Champions in Turlock,
California. Her gymkhana horse starting bucking, and with calm composure, Carrey was able
to settle her horse, run all her reining & equitation patterns flawlessly and finish
the show in style. "She managed this great feat with a badly broken finger. I have
always been so proud of her maturity and responsibility," recalls her beaming mom.
Performing vaulting compulsories in
Carrey up until her
transition to the Appaloosa breed shows, had always ridden with the Junior Horsemans
Club in Moraga, California and exhibited in open all breed shows along with some interest
in vaulting. As a member of the CSHA, she joined the Horsemastership program, which
involved testing a horse persons knowledge in 3 areas; Grooming, Reining and
Equitation patterns. With her lifelong interest in the western style of riding, Carrey's
dedication paid off, as she won her regional an amazing 5 years in a row. At the CSHA Show
of Champions, in 1997, Carrey was awarded the title of Reserve Champion, Horsemastership,
Western Girl and was Junior Miss CSHA for her region. A very proud moment for mom and dad
Again in 1998, at the CSHA Show of Champions,
Carrey's horse became so agitated that she ended up borrowing a friend's horse just to
finish the competition. "She returned home that night so upset. It was at this point
that my husband and I decided that Carrey needed a better horse.
She had worked so hard at taking on the
responsibility for her horses care and upkeep. We also felt that she had shown such a
consistency in her riding from the time she was 7, that now, it was time to move up to
that better horse and let her show on the breed show circuit.'
'As far as our choice of an Appaloosa; my
family has always loved and owned Appaloosas so the Cal-Western Appaloosa breed show
circuit was just a natural transition for us.'
|Prior to 1997 I had taught Carrey to ride
drawing on my experience as a rider myself. I had grown up around a hunter/jumper barn and
knew in order to be successful on the breed show level, my daughter would need the
expertise of a great trainer and I feel we more than found that in the person of Carol Dal
Porto of Brentwood, California. We also asked Carol to find a good show prospect for
Caroline and thats where Monte came in", reported Jeannie.
"Monte" to those who know and love him
is actually registered as Ima A Leo Too. The 7 year old, bay gelding, was sired by Sonny's
Hasta B and is out of Scarlet O Leo.
A smiling Carrie with her new horse
partner, Ima A Leo Too, a.k.a. Monty. The pair hit if off immediately, and have gone on to
become top California Appaloosa Youth Champions.
When asked, Carrey will tell you that
she feels that she and Monte really compliment each other. "He lets me know and
really can communicate with me. I personally think that he prefers trail but I would have
to say that my favorite class is Showmanship."
Carrey & Monty negotiate a trail
obstable at the Southern-Cal Appaloosa show in Costa Mesa, CA
If you ask Carrey's parents
what class they prefer they'll tell you, all of them. Horses and the discipline it takes
to show, has taught our daughter responsibility and a keen sense of fair play. We never
have to worry about where she is or what she's doing. It has been a great experience for
our daughter. We just couldn't be more proud of Carrey's commitment to her horse and the
achievements she's accomplished.
In addition to Caroline 'Carrey' Bush's C-WA
high point titles she has also earned year end 2000 California state Championships titles
in; The Youth 18 & Under Division for Western Equitation, Western Pleasure, Trail,
Novice Showmanship, Novice Western Equitation, and Novice Western Pleasure.
For information on the Cal-Western
Appaloosa youth programs you can visit their website at www.cal-westernappaloosa.com or phone them
at ( 209) 634-0608.