It seems like forever since we filmed the episodes at Martha’s Vineyard. But I remember filming this episode well, because it involves a horse I used to own.
I bought Jackson (known at AQHA as Quick Foxie Doc) in the summer of 06 in AZ. He was much a younger horse than I normally buy for resale, as a 6 y/o, but I was totally smitten with his solid gold temperament and his extensive training. He was also bigger than I prefer, but so pretty, a joy to ride and a perfect gentleman. I knew I’d find the perfect human for this horse, but little did I know it’d be a wisp of an 11 y/o girl and this NRHA money earning reiner would end up as far east as you can get and turn into a hunter.
It’s true, Jackson is built more like a hunter than a reiner, with his big scopey frame and his tall stature. When Lilly and her mother and grandmother came to look at horses, I had a barn full and she rode 4-5 different horses. Jackson was not the one I thought would be perfect for her, but I knew she wanted to try them all. Lilly was already a really good rider, so I knew she had the ability to handle any of the horses I had to offer—most of whom had been bought with beginners in mind. Really, what it boiled down to was chemistry and there was no doubt from the very first moment, that the chemistry was strong between Jackson and Lilly.
A year later, I end up in Martha’s Vineyard with Lilly and Jackson scheduled for one of the six episodes we were filming in three days. It was great to see them both and how beautifully their relationship had developed. Jackson will do anything for Lilly and he always takes good care of her. I was pleased to see how well he was going as an English horse—not really too surprised, since the foundation of reining training he had would take him anywhere.
I got on Jackson in Western tack, so see what it would take for him to remember his reining maneuvers—he was an awesome spinner with big stops. The spins were right there where I had left them, but the stops took a few reminders. Not surprising since no one had done anything similar to a spin with him, but they had been stopping him English, not Western, so the waters were a little murkier. At the end of the day, a well-trained horse will always remember his training, no matter how long it’s been. And if his training is not devolved, by spoiling him, scaring him or hurting him, it won’t take you long to find it.