With her sweet blue eyes, it’s easy to see why Pixie became a tack model. The AQHA-registered 14-year-old goes by Shy Lopin Asset in the show ring, where she and her human Samantha are used to turning heads. They event–sidesaddle!
“I want to bring back sidesaddle riding as an accepted form of riding in a variety of disciplines,” said Samantha.
Samantha and Pixie found each other six years ago through Craigslist. Samantha learned to ride when she was young and fell out of it for several years. Pixie is her very first horse, and Samantha has been taking full advantage of Pixie’s smarts and versatility. Together, they’ve experimented in jumping, barrel racing, and driving, and are taking on the eventing world.
Samantha said her biggest challenge with Pixie is teaching her to be a “good equine citizen” despite being a bit of a green rider still herself. It sounds to us like they’re off to a great start–they took home a ribbon at their first event while riding aside against astride competitors!
Their next goal is to move up to the Beginner Novice level, and we wish them lots of luck.
In this shot, Pixie is modeling our hunt bridle, which comes in 3/4″-width beta biothane with a 1-inch wide cavesson. It’s fully adjustable at the cheeks, bit ends, throatlatch, and noseband. Available in your choice of 14 colors! Want one of your own? Pick it up today–they start at $60!
Today, we continue our Meet Our Models series, which will help introduce readers and customers to the horses who show off our tack on our online shop, and who use our products every day. Find our first piece in the series, in which we meet a young girl’s hard-earned first horse here.
Bentley is one of our youngest models at the age of two. The Percheron/Quarter Horse cross is a fantastic example of a ‘gentle giant,’ according to his person Marissa. The two have been together about a year now, since Marissa found the gelding online and fell in love with him when they met in person.
Because he’s so young, Bentley is just starting out under saddle, but Marissa hopes that one day, he will be an all-around horse, which will mostly incorporate trail riding. He started work in April, got a break over the summer, and started back this September. Already, Marissa says he has a sense of confidence that even borders on sleepiness.
“Nothing seems to phase this horse,” she said. “Tarps, bags, and other obstacles do not even seem to phase this boy. he is such a calm, lazy horse, which is going to be great when he finishes growing.”
Marissa expects Bentley will one day be an intimidating 17 hands, which is why one of their training challenges for now is teaching him about personal space. He’s so eager to cuddle that he tends to invite himself right over, which is sweet but could prove risky if Marissa didn’t address the behavior now.
“So far our proudest moment was walk, trot, loping smoothly and stopping off my seat!” Marissa tells us. Bentley is also learning some trick training (which, by the way, is a great boredom buster during cold weather) and within just two minutes, he learned how to lie down on command.
Many mounted police units around the country use draft crosses (especially draft x Quarter Horse crosses) like Bentley for all the reasons Marissa loves him–the size, combined with a quick mind and easygoing personality, make draft crosses awesome for all kinds of endeavors, but one area where we’ve really heard of them growing is in police departments. Police horses give officers a better vantage point in crowd situations, and serve as friendly ambassadors in urban environments, helping to foster comfort and trust between officers and community members.
See Bentley in action at his modeling gig on our online shop.
We’re proud that our Two Horse Tack models come from so many different breed backgrounds. It’s fun for us to learn more about various breeds of horse, and fun for us to meet the challenge of fitting tack to a wide range of needs. But we’re just as proud to outfit those horses whose heritage is a bit..less clear.
One of our tack models is Solly, who his person Miranda thinks is probably some mixture of Appaloosa, Quarter Horse, and may have some type of gaited breed thrown in. Miranda found Solly back home in Alabama, and knew very quickly she needed to get him out of his living situation.
“He was extremely skinny and was very weary of people,” she told us. “He wasn’t fond of people touching him.”
Miranda took him home with a few question marks. Besides his breed, she had to take a guess at his age, which at the time was probably four or five years old.
Now, four years later, Miranda says Solly has turned around.
“We began to build trust and put weight on. He was the best decision of my life thus far,” she told us.
Solly, short for ‘Solitaire,’ is a versatile horse who loves trail riding, jumping, and running barrels. He also does tricks–Miranda has taught him how to lie down on command, which was a big moment for the pair in terms of building trust. As prey animals, horses are putting their full trust in their humans when they agree to lie down on command because it renders them unable to flee in the event of some unexpected danger.
Next on Miranda and Solly’s list: riding bareback and bridleless. Solly is happy to work with Miranda, but she says he’s even happier to do so when she shares some of her snack with him. He’ll eat potato chips, pizza, apples, and even sweet tea!
Solly may not be registered anywhere, but for Miranda, his kind heart, his love of his work, and his determination to please means more than any paperwork. We’re proud to have Solly sporting Two Horse Tack!
This week on our blog, we’re beginning a series helping our customers and readers get to know the many and various horses and ponies who model our tack over at www.twohorsetack.com. Since our tack fits a wide variety of sizes and breeds of horse, we’ve developed a portfolio of different models to show off our products. We’re fortunate to be based in central Kentucky, where there are a wide variety of breeds available to wear colorful tack, and we’re also thankful that our models’ owners have been so gracious to let us photograph them over the years.
Meet Flash, a 22-year-old Missouri Foxtrotter gelding. Flash and his human Marissa have been together for 12 years. Like many youngsters, Marissa tells us she grew up dreaming of owning a horse and bought Flash with money she saved up from petsitting in her neighborhood when she and Flash were both 10 years old. She found him in an online sale ad.
In twelve years, Flash has carried not just Marissa but her friends and family members, and even one of her professors at Asbury University in central Kentucky. He’s mostly a trail horse, but Marissa introduced him to ranch and cow work–which was initially a little intimidating for Flash.
“When working cows for the first time he was so nervous, but once he realized that if he pushed towards the cows they would move away from him he had a blast,” Marissa told us. “He loves having a job and always strives to do his best in whatever he does.”
Marissa thinks of Flash as Mr. Reliable, her right hand man, who will put up with just about anything–even as he has begun losing his eyesight due to cataracts.
“Scary obstacles are now our biggest challenge,” she said. “Him trusting me with new scary obstacles is very hard for him sometimes but he pushes through.”
Missouri Foxtrotters are a breed that many people may not have heard of, and Marissa says they’re a blast to work with, and extremely versatile.
“They have, in my opinion, the smoothest gait to ride out on the trails all day that actually covers ground,” she said.
See Flash’s work in action on our online shop.