Wednesday, May 14, 2014

hump day haflinger series #18

Haflingers often make great lesson ponies. I started out leasing a Haflinger that was used as a lesson pony. Nothing phased her, but she did make me work for the simplest of trots. She was a great pony and more than happy to have me love on her and ride her.

Rachel Cooper of Walnut Ridge Farms in Ohio has a Haflinger that likes to teach children, particularly teach them how to jump. She has a very unique "three strikes and you're out" rule. When jumping, she warns the rider if they catch her in the mouth (she will shake her head and tail vigorously). If you catch her three times she firmly bucks the rider off and then stands patiently next to the rider and waits quietly for them to get back on. She never bolts or runs, she just waits for the rider to get on and continue learning. Children who learn to jump on Charm turn into fantastic hunter jumper riders who never hang on their horse’s mouths.
Pretty Charm
Haflinger: Like a Charm KCH or Charm
Sire and Dam: Aladdin Van De Peelkant and Lotta-Gold MMH
Age: 14 year old mare
Height: 14.1 hh
Favorite Food: Anything edible!
Personality: Charm is sweet, loving, curious, patient, tolerant, and intelligent. She will tote around small children on her back for hours and endure little fingers running through her mane, little hugs around her legs, and little kisses on her nose. She is a barn favorite because anybody can ride her due to her safe and honest nature. Yet, she’s not boring – she can easily jump around a 3’ Hunter course, she can turn in a handy Dressage score, she can gallop a Cross Country course, she can conquer a Combined Driving Event with no issues, and still be the perfect horse to take swimming in the river, for a bareback trail ride through the woods, or to lay on her back and read a book.
Likes: Napping. When showing, after the riders/drivers are called to line up in the center of the ring to receive their ribbons, if the announcer/judge take too long, Charm takes a nap in the line-up. We have many pictures of her sleeping in the line-up. She sounds like Shyloh in a Halter or Showmanship class!
Quirks: Her three strikes and your'e out rule for jumping.
Discipline: Charm does everything under the sun. She rides English, Western, and Dressage . Charm has also learned how to drive both pleasure and in combined driving events. She is a wonderful cross country mount, does hunter paces, she cow sorts and team pens, reins, does gymkhana, and she is part of a drill team. Charm also goes on trail rides and swims. In addition to all of that, she is a fabulous lesson pony.
  • HCC Supreme Award English Division
  • HCC Supreme Award Western Division
  • HCC Versatility Award (one of only 3 haflingers to EVER win this award)
  • HCC Excellence Award Dressage Division
  • HCC Excellence Award Driving Division
Rachel discovered Haflingers through the Suttons who often had between 15 and 30 Haflingers for her to choose to ride. She went there every weekend to ride all day long. When she was just 14 years old, Rachel was given Charm as a three year old to saddle break and she has not been able to resist Haflingers since! She has owned other horses, but will always have a Haflinger in her life.

That summer Rachel and Charm went camping, swimming, showing, and trail riding. Once winter hit, Charm started acting peculiar. The usually sweet Charm turned wicked and began bucking Rachel off of her several times per ride. It turns out Charm had a tumor the size of a football on her which caused her change in attitude. Ohio State Veterinary Hospital removed the tumor and Charm has been fine ever since. 
Walnut Ridge Farm, the farm that Rachel rides with, is all about having fun with their Haflingers and doing as many different things with them as they can. The farm is owned by the Suttons and all the riders and drivers at the farm are part of the Walnut Ridge Team. They are active year round with their Haflingers participating in a variety of shows, events, and fun activities, including the Ridden and Driven Drill Teams that perform at Equine Affaire!
Not Charm, this is Noble B S-SN, but shows the different fun things that Walnut Ridge Farms does.
Rachel started taking riding lessons at six years old and now passes her knowledge on to kids and adults in the lessons that she teaches. She wants to continue getting more kids interested in horses, show them how to love horses, and give them a lifelong passion. Many of the kids that Charm has taught now have Haflingers of their own!


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