Thursday, April 4, 2013


I'd like to introduce Champ.  He's a 2007, 17.2 hand pinto Old/Han gelding by Sempatico, and is owned by Mary Lou Pazik of Henderson, NV. Champ was sent to me at the end of October, 2012, for basic training. He had been taught to lunge correctly, and, was backed and ridden out onto trails by a cowboy, when he was younger. He was sent to Texas for a year to live with Mary Lou's daughter, Stephanie, where he was ridden some. Stephanie unfortunately sustained a serious injury to her foot and was then unable to walk, much less ride, for quite some time. Champ was moved to a facility that in the end did not take very good care of him. When he arrived at Lava Bluffs, he was about 200 lbs underweight and his hooves were platters.

I started him out lunging. In the beginning, he could not start to the left-I had to start his lunging to the right track. Also, he could not pick up the right canter. Boy did we have a long way to go. His size made balancing a real challenge for him, even without a rider. After a couple of weeks of just lunging, I felt his fitness was improving and began riding him a little bit after each session. By the end of Champ's time with me, five months, he had really come a very long way in his strength, health, and training. He still needs to continue working on his strength, topline, hind end, and his transitions, but he has a good start. He has a super mind, a very gentle soul, enormous gaits, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with him.

I did think it was cute that I had two gigantic black and white horses to ride for a while there!! Here's a couple of photos with me holding Champ and Tanner. Champ is on the left and Tanner is on the right. Tanner is a 12 yr old, 17 hand Percheron/Paint gelding. Also below is a link to video of me riding Champ after exactly five months of training. I hope Mary Lou has fun with her horse, and I hope he comes back to me for more training later!

Photos courtesy Karen Martz

Tanner on the right, owned by Karen Martz, and Champ on the left, owned by Mary Lou Pazik