Reigning Ohio IBRA 1D Champion Natalie Davidson isn’t too busy soaking up her success with Ninnekas Jet, aka Jeter, to look towards her barrel racing future with a young horse. She’ll start 2011 off with her new gelding, Spooky Doo, and she’s got her sights set on a Penn-Ohio Junior Horse Top 5 finish this season. Get to know Natalie’s new mount and watch out for them in 2011.
What is your horse’s name, age, and bloodlines?
His registered name is Spooky Doo (thanks to Jeff Michaels!). Its definitely nothing fancy but cute! I call him Spook for short. He is an own son of Flits Wonder Boy, who goes back to Nonstop Locomotion and Nonstop Jet. On his bottom side he is out of Whirling Gig and goes back to Whirling Fastball. Whirling Gig was a mare that Bert Thompson used to run and later sold to Ron Hasselgesser. Spook was born April 23, 2007 and as of January 1 Spook is considered a 4 year old.
How did you come to own this horse?
I came to own Spook because I was looking for something I think has the potential to be another Jeter! I was in the middle of selling my mare Jersey at the time and Jeff Michaels called me and told me about Spook. So short story, we traded. I got Spook he got Jersey. (BEST trade I ever made.)
Did you do all of his training?
When I got Spook back in August he was started on barrels and hauled slightly, I am in the process of finishing him.
At what age was he started?
Spook was started under saddle when he was almost 3, just doing light work and getting him moving.
How soon after starting him did he start working on the pattern?
Spook turned 3 in April of 2010, and he was then worked on the pattern. Jeff’s belief if he can lope a pattern at home then he is ready to be hauled. Jeff hauled him to Circle G and Simmons a few times to exhibition. He said he got pushed to the back burner a lot though because Bert and he are not big fans of geldings.
What big problems did you face in his training?
Spook picks up on things so quickly and sometimes he tries too hard. I will put a leg on him and he is already trying to figure out what I want. It’s like, “Dude just relax.” The only problem I can say he truly had was picking up the right lead for the first barrel. We got it fixed in no time, he really just wants to please and loves to run!
What is his best attribute?
Hmm where to start!? I just love this horse; he has a personality of a comedian. He is so goofy! The best thing about him though is he wants to work, he wants to perform and definitely wants to show off. Some days he just surprises me…
Which barrel is his best?
I used to think it was his first, but I think I am leaning towards the second. Personally I think it depends on the day! Colts are always changing…
What bit do you run him in?
Spook runs in a twisted o-ring.
What headgear (martingale, tiedown, etc.), if any, do you run him in?
Spook’s style is pretty free. I have tried running him in the martingale to collect him but it just doesn’t work. He wants to stretch out and just run. Loping circles and slow work I will use the martingale and I think it’s a must have. Tie down wise, I’ve never tried it on him and I am going to keep it that way =)
What exercise has helped him most in her training?
I would have to say flexing, trotting and loping big and small circles! Also just working on having control of his body at any speed. Working on moving his shoulders and hips.
How many days a week do you ride him?
Haha to be honest, not much. Maybe three times a week if I am lucky. I’m trying to just let him be and take it easy on him for the winter. Plus, I have been focusing on getting my filly broke… that’s a job in itself, lol.
How many days a week do you work the pattern or school barrels of any sort?
Usually once a week I do slow work and then make a run.
Do you do anything else, other than barrel racing, with him?
We have sortings at the barn, and sometimes just to play around I will sort off of him, my boyfriend Dave has roped the hot heels off of him, and lots of trail rides when it’s nice out.
What are your goals for this year?
My goals for this year are to be in the Top 5 in Penn-Ohio for the Junior Horse, and hopefully qualify him for National Finals for IBRA. I really just want a successful show season with him, I am very excited!
Of the pens you run in Penn-Ohio, which is your best pen with this horse?
I have not hauled him to many beacuse I really haven’t owned him for too long. But I would have to say my home pen Simmons Equestrian Center and Buckhorn Ranch.
What other horses have you had success on?
Since I started barrel racing I have had huge sucess on my main man Ninnekas Jet, or Jeter. Since I got this horse off of Pam Bowersock (owned by Robin Weaver) he has very rarely let me down. In 2009 we were 3rd over all in the 1D for the Open 4D for Penn-Ohio. In 2010 he won me 3rd again in the 1D and 3rd in the Adult. For IBRA 2010 he qualified me for State Finals winning the 1D saddle for the year and qualified me for National Finals as well. I also had success on my 4-year-old filly Ginas Rocket (Jersey). She was sitting me 2nd in the Junior Horse class for Penn-Ohio until I sold her back in August. She almost hung on to be in the Top Five. She also was qualified for IBRA State Finals. Over the last several year I have had some great experiences and can’t complain.