Have you ever seen a video of a horse and rider and just thought, "Wow, those two are amazing!"? A couple years ago, I saw a video of Chesna and her Haflinger riding bareback at an event. The kicker to the whole video. . .She put a blindfold on the horse! How cool is that? From then, I saw Youtube videos pop up now and again and they have captured my interest as a great team to watch. Chesna has a blog, www.chesnaklimek.com, where she shares her riding stories, has informative articles, and shows some videos of her riding her Haflinger, one of the most recent one is an Ugly Sweater Christmas ride.
Chesna has known Pippin since he was two days old. His breeders and her friends, the Baker/Maddox family allowed Chesna to halter break Pippin when she was only 13 years old. When he was two, they gifted Pippin to her, along with Cheryl Smith, the owner of Nayborly farms. From then, Chesna and her friend Kelsey Smith started Pippin under saddle. They were teenagers and it was the first horse they had trained. Together, they have done all his training and showing.
|Grown up Pippin|
Sire and Dam: Wynston M&B and Suki M&B, both from Folenhof in Vernon, BC. Suki's dam, Siwa, was imported from Austria. Suki is only 13.1 hands and Pip was her last foal of seven, bred by Southern City Haflingers in Olympia, WA.Age: 13 year old gelding
Height: 14 hh
Personality: As a colt, Pippin was timid and mischievous. Now, he has a fun personality, he is extremely smart and willing. Pip is also self-possessed and has a big head, literally and figuratively. Pippin has above average athleticism and is the most trustworthy horse on the property where she keeps him, Naborly Farms.
Likes: Pippin does not like jumping ditches or trakehner fences, even though he has never refused. Pippin does like escaping out of fences. If there is an open fence, Pippin finds it and is gone. He will also push through not working electric fencing and use his long mane to shield him from the electric fence to graze underneath. Pippin loves eating. He does tricks for treats, including Shyloh's favorite, the smile. He also picks pears off of trees to eat as he pleases. Pippin likes to preform in from of crowds and race, even if he isn't the fastest horse on the property. He has a competitive spirit.
Favorite Food: Treats of all kinds.
Discipline: Pippin has a diverse training and competitive background. He has successfully competed in Three Day Eventing at Training Level, Show Jumping up to 3'6", FEI Dressage through Prix St. Georges, and Trail Competitions.
Prix St. Georges level dressage is the first level in the international levels of Dressage, which is governed by the FEI. Required movements for this level are the medium, extended, and collected trot, half-pass, shoulder in, extended and collected walk, pirouette, medium, extended, and collected canter, counter canter, half-pass, and multiple flying lead changes every 3-4 strides, volte in an 8 meter circle at the trot, and a collected canter to halt.
- 2010 - United States Eventing Association Area VII Training level champion (fences to 3'3"). He was also the only pony in the championship class, against mostly Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods; and at the time he is believed to be the first/only Haflinger to win at Training level in Eventing in the U.S. He has never placed lower than third at a one-day or three-day event.
- 2012 - All Breed Challenge in Albany, OR (a versatility/trail competition)
- 2012 - Extreme Cowboy Race in Lynden, WA
- 2012 - United States Dressage Federation silver medal for successfully campaigning at FEI Prix St. Georges Level. Previous to competing in Dressage at these levels, their only Dressage background was training for the Three Day Eventing. They are now focusing on Dressage and hope to continue up the FEI levels.
- Won all of the fourth level dressage classes he has entered in recognized competition.
- Competes successful at local Show Jumping Competitions with fences between 3' and 3'6". Despite his size, he often wins speed classes by his ability to make inside turns that the bigger horses can't follow.
Not only is Pippin a star in the show ring, he does recreational trail rides, has been a therapeutic horse, a trick horse, and a cow pony. Pippin also has harness training where he helps drag the arena a few times a year and has even pulled a cart. Whew! What a horse!
|And a sled!|
Chesna began riding at age six and got her first pony, a Haflinger named Mikey, five years later. She has always kept her horses at Nayborly farms and had her start in Eventing and Jumping with Mikey. Her start with showing horses was with Haflingers and Chesna has been to various expos and fairs throughout the Pacific Northwest representing the versatility of the Haflinger breed.
In addition to everything that she does with Pippin, Chesna also owns other horses that she trains for Eventing. She spent 2007 in England working with Helen Bell Equestrian, specializing in the training, competition, and sales of sporthorses and ponies.
Chesna also participated in the 100-Day Trainer Challenge for ex-racehorses and won with a seven year old OTTB named Solar, which she chronicled in her blog. Chesna keeps extremely busy working full time with an online mental health agency and offers training and other horse services on a limited basis. Her goal is to help people and horses help one another.
I am looking forward to see all the things Chesna and Pippin accomplish in the coming years. These two are a fun team to watch and inspire me to continue working on my relationship with Shy.