One hundred finalists from over one thousand contestants across the continent wove their way to Blanco Texas last week to demonstrate the trail prowess of their equine partners. The horses ran the gamut of breed and colour, including some fabulously agile mustangs and mules. Three jam packed days provided a parade of trail talent ranging from common natural obstacles to a choreographed garden and finally ending in a day of free style riding. The Franklin Family Ranch hosted the magnificent backdrop of over 2000 acres in rolling Texas hill country laden with exotic and native wildlife, quirky trees and a constant concerto of birds.
Carole and Greg of Cavallo are proud to be the major co-sponsor of America’s Favourite Trail Horse (AFTH). It is gratifying to be involved with an organization that is offering value to the trail horse, giving these fabulous horses a platform to express their trail ability and ultimately their level of physical and mental soundness. These are the horses who save rider’s lives while out on the trail because they are afforded the occasion to be genuine horses. Natural environments provide a calmness that transcends the everyday stress of competition or performance anxiety, making horses safer and more level-headed.
Cindy Brannam’s mustang is happy to place himself in an easy-to-mount position; great value if ever there is ever an injury on the trail and the rider needs a lift back home.
Cavallo is delighted to be aligned with American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA), and founders Tom, Carrie and Karen who masterminded this creative occasion modeled after American Idol. All the rides were filmed and anyone with HRTV will have the opportunity to cast their vote naming the winners of over $100,000 in prize money.
Making comment and offering advice to the riders were instructors Lynn Palm, Barbara Schulte, Monty Roberts, and The Parellis among others. Everyone was able to take something from this event that can be used to better their horsemanship at home and on the trail. And in this supportive venue, we found a sense of camaraderie not always seen at traditional horse competitions.
Australia’s Master Horseman, Guy McLean enchanted us with his performances showing his horses at liberty in a variety of willing situations including Guy standing on their backs cracking whips while reciting his touching bush poetry.
And to top this off, he can trim a hoof like few can do. We think his horse’s feet are some of the nicest we’ve seen.
We were pleased to see twenty four barefoot horses on day one. And we were happy to be there to providefor those who came up sore after the first day on that aggressive rocky terrain. We applaud the many horses that did indeed arrive in Cavallo hoof boots and hence were comfortably able to perform as required.