HORSE SHOW FUN!
By Michelle Sidun
It was early in the season for many of us, much too early to be showing our wooly, out of shape Pasos but that’s what we did. On April 27th, I loaded up my stallion, Viajero de Zorro Rojo and drove to the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park in South Jordan, Utah. Utah All Breed Horse Association (UTABHA) had graciously added Paso Fino classes to their show for us and I intended on going in every class! I gave Viajero a quick bath when we arrived and got him settled in a stall. It had been a few years since he’d been stalled, and he was a bit anxious. The next morning, we were all up early to get ready for our classes. I got Viajero ready and headed to the arena. I was met by Linda Bean and her gelding, Don Rayo de Fianza, and Jenny Sullivan on her one-eyed mare, Amanda. The three of us rocked the Paso Fino Performance class and brought great joy to the judge who had never judged Pasos before. You should have seen Linda’s face when they announced her as First Place! For the afternoon classes, Cris Giles on her mare, Porcelana, and her daughter, Angie Gray on her mom’s mare, Bonita joined us. With five in the class we were one of the larger classes that day! We all had a great time and brought lots of smiles to everyone. Everyone loved our little Pasos and were glad we had come. On Friday, Linda and I competed in the Open Gaited classes against other Gaited Breeds. At the end of the day, no one had come off, no horses had been too naughty, and we had a few laughs! The next show was only two weeks away, but Linda and I had committed to going so we said our good-byes and headed home.
On May 11th, I loaded up again and it felt like Ground Hog’s Day. The weather was cold and wet in Utah when I arrived, so I decided to not make Viajero suffer with a cold bath. I had learned a few tricks when my girls were showing so I did my best to knock the Wyoming dirt from his coat. This time it was just Linda and I showing. We had so much fun showing against each other and joked as I kept racking up First Place ribbons. We showed in the Paso Fino classes on Thursday and went in the Open Gaited classes on Friday. Viajero was a showing machine and we won First in all our classes! After the Judge had pinned the class in the Open Gaited Championship, he remarked that “It was a Paso Fino day.” Linda and I had gotten 1st and 2nd in 2 out of 3 classes that day. We exhibited our breed well and had fun doing it! Our next show is in July, and we’d love to have some fans to cheer us on!
Editor’s note: All the horses and riders had a wonderful time and it was awesome to see 5 (!) Paso Finos participating!!!
Here’s an instructional video to help with mounting shared by our member Janice Stark:
The below video shows Carson James mounting a saddle with no cinch. I think as we get older, he has some great tips less the knee bent over (he is taller than most of us woman). Many riders stand facing their horses when mounting but so much easier using his technique.
Think – if you use mounting block put behind stirrup – not under it. Stand side by side with your horse looking between his ears, put foot in stirrup, swing up and touch your belly on saddle horn. A quick clean mount!
Dismounting, look between ears, bend so stomach touches saddle horse, push right hand down on side of saddle, take right foot out of stirrup and swing leg over, lean right side of your body on saddle sear, remove left foot from stirrup and slide down or step to ground.
So easy for older riders. Nothing to do with strength, just technique.
I have shown this video to many riders and has changed their lives getting on and off their horses.
PS: Website Editor’s note: I didn’t believe it until I saw it…amazing!
This month, we have two wonderful and inspiring rescue stories. Thanks to our members for sharing their journeys.
(Zuechilla De Oso)
Her story begins with Rocking Double H Paso Fino Horses (RDHPFH) in Athol, ID two years ago with a phone call from a lady who went to look at a horse to purchase in Salt Lake City area of UT.
She said there were two paso mares standing in knee deep mud and tied to the fence. She said she was there to buy another horse, but she couldn’t leave them there. She said if RDHPFH would be able to take them into our rescue, she would get them.
Of course, we said yes! She brought them home in her trailer; they were 2 grey mares in need of groceries and love. We picked them up from her and proceeded to evaluate them with one of our trainers in southern Idaho to see if they were trained and what type of home they would need.
They were both good and healthy trail mares. Next was the DNA tests to see who they were; we were excited to see and could not believe they were 26 and 28 years old, pure bred Paso Fino mares! They were not related like we thought.
We found homes quickly on an adoption contract and all was fantastic until the adopters contacted our trainer and said they could no longer keep Zoey. The trainer never contacted us and told the adopter to just sell the mare. He didn’t want her (not his horse to be making this decision) and he said selling her would be the easiest.
WE AT RDHPFH WERE FURIOUS TO FIND OUT THAT SHE HAD BEEN SOLD WITHOUT FOLLOWING THE ADOPTION CONTRACT AND THAT NEITHER THEY NOR THE TRAINER CONTACTED RDHPFH ABOUT THIS ISSUE.
It took us several days to find out where the mare went because the original adopter couldn’t remember the lady’s name he sold her to. He finally remembered and I went on a hunt to find these folks so that we could have them sign an adoption agreement saying she would come back to us should their life circumstances change. They refused and said they would never sell her that their son loves her.
This is a nightmare. Now what? How will we keep track of her? She is old. The contract protected her, and now she has nothing.
One year goes by and I see her FOR SALE in UT. What? $800 for an old mare, you know what that means -Slaughter Bound. I call the lady and say I will buy her back. (Usually, she would have to return her to the rescue had she signed the adoption agreement.)
We had to buy her back. Only problem now is that it is winter and the person from whom we bought Zoey needs her gone. THEN, twos angels fell from the sky. One will adopt her, and one will go get her now. This is amazing. She is safe now. 😊
This story is for knowledge of why adoption contracts protect the horse and follow the horse even if there are many adopters. When the original adopters sold her on advice from the trainer, that chain of adoptions was broken. Zoey could have been on a truck to Mexico if our team was not on top of all of the horses we have been able to help!
We no longer affiliate ourselves with the trainer as they did not have our mission held to the highest standard as we do.
This mare is registration #23056, Zuechilla De Oso and will now be known as Zoey! Thank you for the village of people who love our breed and the care of them!
Christie Hartin and Linda Holzer of Rocking Double H Paso Fino Horses, Rescue, Rehabilitation and Adoption
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s Update: Zoey is progressing nicely. She is improving daily and getting the attention and care she needs. Linda Bean, who is one of our GW members, was the angel who “will go and get her now”. Out of the goodness of her heart, Linda is currently providing temporary housing, food, and loving care and attention until Zoey’s new family can come get her. And what a good heart that is!
by Michelle Sidun
In November of 2020, I saw a post on Facebook about an older mare needing rehomed. I initially commented inquiring about her age and the author’s response led me to believe she was looking for someone much closer to her location. I dismissed it from my mind as there were numerous others commenting and inquiring.
In February, my friend Carmen reached out to me asking if I would take the mare. It seemed the owner had not been able to rehome the mare and was considering euthanasia. I had a quick conversation with my hubby, and we decided we would take her in. Carmen and Denisse did an amazing job through ProPaso Network raising the funds for vet fees and transport from California to Wyoming.
“Chrissy” arrived in the wee hours of March 6th, 2021. She was thin, her coat was dull, and she was in desperate need of some TLC. By the second day I became aware of what appeared to be a severe dislike of her name. Each time I said it, she would pin her ears at me and give me the “side-eye.” I discussed this observation with my husband and a friend who was an animal communicator. We all agreed she needed a new name to represent her new life. My hubby suggested Scarlett. When I went out to the corral to share with her what we had been discussing, she initially ignored me until I said “Scarlett.” The look in her eyes when I told her we’d like to rename her “Scarlett” spoke volumes. There was no doubt in my mind she approved!
She was integrated into the herd after about a month. At first, she was very aloof, standing away from the herd. Little by little, she gained confidence and found alliances. A year later, she can be found standing side by side with other members of my herd munching on hay.
I’ve taken things slowly with her because of her age, weight, and lack of muscle. She is a very smart girl. By fall last year, we had worked up to groundwork with a saddle and while a bit wary, she accepted me giving her direction from above, standing on a barrel. As her weight and muscle mass has improved, I have also seen a significant improvement in her gait. This spring I hope to start ponying her on trail rides and eventually do some light riding. As her trust in humans shifts, I would love to partner with her in my Equine Gestalt Coaching sessions. Given her own past, I am sure she has much to share as we work together to help others heal from their own traumas. Regardless of the role she decides to play here, she is home, and she is loved.
Here is her story, that I wrote 2 days after her arrival while sitting with her in the corral.
“If I could read, I’m sure I’d be shocked, appalled, surprised and maybe even angered by the stories told about me. I’ve heard my human, Laurie, talking about me and while there is a story to my past and how I came into her care, this is baggage that horses don’t hold onto. I will say that some of my stories are not good, filled with fear, anger, and abuse. My human took things slowly with me, but gosh dang it, sometimes too slowly and then everything stopped completely. I am sure she meant well. Most horses wouldn’t complain. I moseyed around with the wind softly blowing my mane most days, watching the coming and going of the other animals. It was an easy life for a while with not much asked of me. But I felt like my wings had been clipped. I was unfulfilled. Things started to decline over time with my care. I did okay but something had changed in my human’s life. The decline went on for several years. I would often nicker to my human. She thought I was nickering out of anxiousness, uncertainty or for a need of her reassurance. I wasn’t. I was actually checking in on her, asking if she needed anything. She didn’t get it. I’m sure she was providing for me from a place of love, but it wasn’t an authentic love FOR me. It felt like it came from a place of loving the story of what she did for me and the other animals who lived here.
As I look back on my life before, it was as if I was on a ferris wheel going round and round. There were times that I was on top of the world looking out across my future and then I was at the bottom doing nothing. There were times when the wheel would jerk to a stop and I would wait, watching others get on and off the wheel.
Suddenly, there was a whirl wind of activity. The vet poking me, a stranger putting me in a moving box and like that, I was gone from the home I had known for so long. There were stops and moving and more stops. Horses getting on and off the box with me. A few days later I was unloaded in the darkness and, when the sun came up, the box and the man driving it had left.
I was in a corral by myself with a whole herd of horses on the other side of the fence. Many were older, like me, and there was one sassy little filly. Remembering some of my own youth, I told her she was a lucky girl. The herd was quiet, allowing me space. There was such peace, knowing and wisdom here. Then a woman in jeans, a sweatshirt and a ball cap came out of the house and walked into the herd. She greeted the herd and called some of them by name. She took her time without any agenda. Then she crawled through the gate and approached me. She was different. She was open. She didn’t have a wall up like so many humans. She let me see all of her. She talked to me and listened too. She HEARD me. I knew that she would allow me to live the life I had always wanted to live. A fulfilled life.
We are beginning a journey together and I trust her. They’ve renamed me Scarlett and I love it!”
My Life with Paso Finos
By Angie Gray
I have grown up with horses. We have had a horse as long as I can remember. My Mom got us a little pony that we rode until we got our first Paso Fino. We started with just one that my Mom rode, and we rode the trotting pony. We complained of having a side ache so much from the trotting that she decided to get another one. Just like chips – you can never have just one!
We raised and showed Paso Finos all of my growing up years. I showed our Paso Finos in the local 4-H program and then we started showing in Paso Fino shows. Our family participated in Nationals in 1992 which was a highlight for us all. We loved traveling to California to all the shows.
After I got married and had a family, we have done a lot of trail riding. We love finding new trails and going for hours to see all we can see. My Mom and I say sometimes we like to get lost then the ride lasts a little longer! That is only good when we are going out early enough in the day though. We have had a few scary nights finding our way back.
I have loved sharing my passion for horses with my kids. My daughter showed in 4-H and did very well for a Paso Fino in a Quarter horse world. She was Reserve Champion in Pole Bending. My other kids like to trail ride with us. I do not think we would ride so much if we did not have Paso Finos.
My Paso Journey
by Jenny Sullivan
My love for horses began when I was a little girl. Our family lived in a neighborhood in Las Vegas that was horse property, and although we never owned a horse of our own, I sometimes had the chance to ride double, sometimes bareback, with friends who had horses. Talk about a thrill! I thought riding a horse was the most exciting thing in the world!
Fast-forward 30 years and the opportunity came for me to own my first horse! And not only was it a horse; it was a Paso Fino! Our family friend Dave Hyatt from La Verkin introduced us to Pasos. One day while visiting him at his home in La Verkin, he and his teenage kids saddled up several of his Pasos and away our family went with him and his kids down the road and trail near his home. It wasn’t a ride like I’d experienced as a kid; it was much more energetic and exciting!
I was hooked and I just had to get one of those horses for myself! Dave had a Paso gelding for sale, and it wasn’t long until Shaman was my very first horse! Fortunately, Stan and I and our kids lived in Diamond Valley near St. George on an acre of horse property. We set up a corral in the back yard, and away I began my journey with horses. Since Shaman, I’ve owned eight other horses, all of them Pasos.
I knew next to nothing about horses when I first began. There was a lot of trial and error at first until I bought a Clinton Anderson book. I remember beginning to read it, and everything was completely Greek to me, but I started on page 1 about groundwork. I’d read a paragraph of the book, lay the book down in the round pen, and then try doing what the book said. I’d have to read the paragraph over and over and try doing with my horse what it said. I very gradually worked my way through the steps of groundwork that Clinton laid out. In addition to the book, I began attending some of Clinton’s events. At his Walk-About tour in Denver, I began to visually see the things I’d read about and tried in his book. Little by little, step by step I taught myself all the steps of Clinton’s fundamental groundwork exercises. Later, I started watching some of his videos, which helped further.
I was on about horse number three when I bought the Clinton Anderson book, and that’s when my journey in horse progress really began to take off! Finally, after all that trial and error, there was a path and method to follow that produced exciting results!
I’m proud to mention that my four-year-old mare Cherish was taught from day one of her birth things I learned from Clinton’s foal training. Along with Dave Hyatt and my son Danny, we did imprinting training on her, and from the very beginning, I taught her the groundwork exercises. I would say that of anything I’ve done in working with my horses, I’m most proud that she’s a well-behaved, people-friendly horse that I’ve raised and trained since the day she was born. Last summer, Cherish spent two months in Idaho with Lawrance Valdez, who started her in riding. This summer, I plan to begin riding her with Lawrance’s help, which I’m very excited about!
I’m grateful to and miss Dave Hyatt! He helped mentor me with the Pasos in so many ways and so many times! I cherish the times he and I would sit and talk Pasos. When working now with my horses, I often hear phrases in my mind of things he told me and taught me. He coached and encouraged me to participate in shows. He taught me that the most important thing while participating in a show is to smile!! Although he was not at all feeling well toward the end of his life, he went all the way to Tooele, along with his wife Chrystine, to support me at a show. And before the show, he would accompany me to an arena in Hurricane, sit in the stands, and coach and encourage me as I rode my horse. Dave will always hold a special place in my heart for his passion and love of Pasos and his friendship! I miss him so very much! And I’m so grateful that he introduced me to Pasos!
I’m pictured with a mare, Deja Vue del Alma, who’s such a firecracker! Talk about an exciting, animated gait! Wow, really a fun ride! During the time I had “Vue,” I participated in a High Desert Classic with her in Tooele, and I took her on some trail rides, the most gorgeous, spectacular trail ride being in Hop Valley in Zion National Park. Last year, Lawrance Valdez and Vue won the Open Extreme Cowboy Trail Division, and they won against all Quarter Horses!
Gosh, have I ever had such passion for Pasos, and my passion continues to this day! I love this horse journey! It’s a huge part of the joy I experience in this life! A bad day can sometimes be turned into a better day when I go out and mingle with the horses! It’s amazing!
I’d like to put in a plug for our GW Ride-a-Thon that will go from May 22 to June 30 this summer. I’m excited to get on my horse as often as possible and ride, ride, ride for the FUN of it AND for GW!! GW needs funds, funds, funds in order to operate and hold events. Let’s get our sponsors and ride like crazy!!
I so enjoy the times I get to spend with my fellow Paso lovers, and I look forward to lots of fun times with you to com
MY JOURNEY TO A LIFE WITH HORSES!
by Lisabeth Wachutka
My horse story starts way back when I was a young child. It was summer and my family was on vacation. We were at a place where you could go on a trail ride. All I can remember was being put on the back of the horse and being TERRIFIED! I couldn’t get off the horse fast enough. Not a very auspicious start to my journey of life with horses.
Fast forward about 40 years. In the course of my working career, I was assigned to a place called Johnston Atoll which was a SMALL island about 700 miles SW of Hawaii. It was there I met a lady who would become a lifelong friend; Judi Bradbury. She had pictures of her horses displayed and, of course being the curious person that I am, I asked her about them. Over the next 1 ½ years, while we both were on the island, I got to learn a lot about Paso Finos. To listen to Judi talk about the horses, her friends that she met through her involvement with PFHA and Great Western PFHA, the rides, the clinics, the shows, and the FUN she had; it peaked my interest. I visited Judi at her home in Rush Valley, UT and was introduced to her herd. I found out then that I was still terrified of horses; even her gentle ones! It took a while, but Judi finally convinced me to actually get on one (it was Rojo who was later owned by Annette Rowberry). Rojo was a gentle horse who tolerated me on his back, and I was sort of OK as long as I stayed in the arena. I had a LONG way to go before I came to own a horse.
It was also about this time; I knew I was going to retire probably in the next 10 years. All I could think about was what was I going to do once retired? My job was my life. However, after personally seeing the fun Judi had with her horses and meeting some soon-to-be great horse-riding friends thru her, I thought I would challenge myself and see if I could get over my fear and learn to ride a horse. If I found that I liked it, this would be something to do once retired; a new way of life. I took lessons locally with a quarter horse. It took me 4 lessons until I would even get on that horse’s back! I joined GWPFHA in August of 2011 and participated in the 2011 GWPFHA’s annual membership meeting and trail ride at Coulter Lake Ranch in Colorado. I rode one of the ranches horses and was fortunate to be assigned to a very gentle giant of a horse, things went well and I had a great fun time.
I decided that I was going to go all in and look at getting a horse (and a truck, and a horse trailer, and a saddle, and fix my back yard so my horse had a place to live, and, and, and!). No sooner did I make that decision, then LeVante el Amador (LV) became available.
The rest, as they say, became history. I purchased LV in November of 2011 and became a member of PFHA at that time. To say I was a novice about horses is an understatement. I shared many good-hearted laughs with Judi at my total lack of knowledge and in trying to understand horse terminology. Even cleaning LV’s hoofs was a big deal to me and don’t even get me started at the ‘fun’ I had trying to get a saddle on him! I have spent the last years trying to learn how to be a good horse ‘mom’ and a rider.
I will admit that there are times when I am still a little scared but, LV is an awesome horse. He had taken such good care of me and has been so patient with my learning endeavors. I love and trust him. This journey has tested me in every way possible and has taught me that I CAN do things I once thought impossible. It just takes perseverance, the help and encouragement of great friends who believe in you, and the luck of finding a horse who has become a wonderful partner.
LV now has a ‘sister’ (Dichosa) who is a loving, gentle mare to keep him company and two little dachshunds (Scarlet and Melanie) with whom he plays chase up and down the fence line. We all live on our own small 2 acres of paradise we call home.
OUR SLICE OF HEAVEN IN HUNTSVILLE!
Gus Abt and Anna Siciliano live in Huntsville, Utah with their two Paso Finos, Maestra and Zinna, their two dogs, Kiva and Tiami and their rescue Wooly Mammoth Burrow, Sugar Bear. What do they do in the winter? Well of course they shovel snow, and lots of it this year. Anna doesn’t enjoy riding in the snow but she loves taking her horse on long walks in the neighborhood. Some people walk their dogs, Anna and Gus walk their dogs AND their horses. Gus says it is a good way to get the horses out of their paddock and bond with them. They walk around their neighborhood and their neighbors love to come and pet the horses.
Anna also enjoys doing T-Touch on both mares. This is a type of massage she learned from Linda Tellington Jones. Horses love positive touch and this is a special way to be with horses in the winter when it may be too cold to ride.
Anna also has a passion for oil painting and her favorite painting subject is, of course, horses. Anna says “Our mares seem to love modeling for my paintings. They turn their heads and watch me as I paint. I get an idea for a painting by watching them interact with each other. On sunny days, I spend time with them sketching them or painting details in a painting that is almost done. We feel so blessed to live in the mountains with our animal family.”
To see Anna’s paintings, you can view her website: Annasiciliano.net
A “JOY” IN NAME AND LIFE!
GWPFHA Member Carol DeNinno said goodbye on 9 February to her longtime friend, Joya Cabal who was almost 31 years old. Joya came to Carol as a two-week-old foal with her mother. Carol named her Joya Cabal as she came from Carol’s dear friend Mary Wadsworth of Colorado. Carol trained Joya herself and had the joy of her company and friendship for those 31 years. They were quite the team and traveled for trail rides throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and California. They also did lots of exhibitions and parades and even a few horse shows together. She gave many people their first ride on a Paso Fino, as she was so naturally gaited and she never trotted or paced, even with a beginner on her. Joya was so smooth and fast that one-time Carol’s husband clocked her with his truck on a dirt road at 17 miles per hour! Joya was definitely a wonderful ambassador for the Paso Fino breed. Carol shares: “She was a joy in my life and I still miss her dearly every day.”
Carol DeNinno on Mari and Judi Bradbury on Joya-Carol was so kind to share Joya with Judi on a local ride!
CELEBRATING ROJO’S 31 YEARS OF PLEASURE
BY: Annette Rowberry
El Rojo Magnifico (Rojo), born March 25, 1988.
Riding has long been a passion of mine. I rode as a child, then began riding the mountains above Grantsville when I started dating my husband, Kent. After my husband’s quarter horse became too old to ride in the mountains, I started riding Rojo with Judi Bradbury. I have to admit he was a little bit of a challenge. He was gentle enough that anyone and everyone could ride him. But he was spoiled too and thought he could get away with anything he wanted. The best part was that Rojo would never do anything to hurt Rojo, no matter what.
I borrowed him from Judi to help push the Rowberry/Anderson herd of cows. He was so good and loved it. When my next birthday came around, all I wanted was my own horse. And I wanted that horse to be Rojo. Kent bought him from Judi in 2006.
He and I have had many great rides together. We rode many Great Western trail rides such as Moab, Coulter Lake and Obstacle Trail Challenges. Just riding with friends exploring the nearby trails brought us much joy. Every year we helped gather and push the cows to the ranch in the spring and brought them home in the fall. Rojo loved pushing cows, biting them on the butt to get them to move.
When I got Rojo, I received my free First Time Membership to PFHA and GWPFHA. I have been a
member ever since. I have met so many wonderful people. I have made many friends and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Rojo has been retired for the past few years. Now he just keeps my mare, Chayla, company, but he is still the boss. He still brings me joy just watching him.
He lives up to his name…EL ROJO MANGIFICO; he was and is magnificent!