Edie Urbasik worried what she’d tell people on the show circuit.
She didn’t want to explain that the reason she wasn’t riding her ex-racehorse was due to the crushed vertebrae she sustained in an accident the year before. He was green at the time, when he bucked her to the ground, but now, with the guidance and soft hands of a talented, young rider, the ex-racehorse was turning out to be a very special competition horse. And the last thing Urbasik wanted to do was focus on the negative at his first show.
Discussing the matter one night with her husband, she wondered aloud how to handle any questions, and for that matter, what to call the horse who had previously raced under the name Tall Glass.
“This is when my husband turned to me and said, ‘Admit nothing.’ ” And I turned to him and said, “Admit Nothing! That’s his name!”
Now, almost completely healed from her fall in late June 2008, Urbasik is philosophical. She sees that the accident could have been much worse, and bad as it was, it gave her time to map out a slow, deliberate training routine for her horse, and this led her to connect with a young rider who could bring out his best effort.
Race name: Tall Glass
Show name: Admit Nothing
Barn name: Kadin
Sire: Canyon Creek
Foal date: May 15, 2001
As she prepares for the upcoming Ontario show circuit, Admit Nothing has already proven himself against talented competition, winning a 6th place at the 2009 Trillium Show in Troy, Ontario, over 2.9 foot jumps, and second, third and fourth at the Meadowlarke Show in Ontario over 3.3 foot jumps.
Thinking about his schooling progress, and her recovery, Urbasik says the transformation from a green gelding who “picked massive battles” with her under saddle, to the spirited and competitive jumper he’s become, has amazed her.
It turns out he loves to work, and especially jump. He is an animated high-achiever over jumps, and is known to do an extra maneuver, which she calls his ‘happy dance’ at the conclusion of a routine. This is when he tosses his head and takes a few hop-skip jumps to the side, in what many compare to a dressage move.
His form over jumps is also superb, a fact rewarded by ribbons at his first shows. And for Admit Nothing, the higher the jump the better. “At his first show, he cantered over 2-foot-9 jumps” hardly noticing them, says Urbasik.
Getting him ready for horse shows and a new rider took a bit of courage for Urbasik. Some of her friends thought she was crazy to keep him after her accident, but she had faith in herself, and her horse.
“It never occurred to me to sell him. After the accident, people said I was crazy to keep him, and that I should give him back to the adoption agency. But I loved this horse and I knew there was something special about him,” she says.
Rather than return him to LongRun Adoption Agency, she started all over with his training. For seven months, while she recovered from her back injury, Urbasik got to know her horse through daily grooming sessions that eventually turned into daily hand-walking exercises.
By the time she felt he was ready for a rider, Admit Nothing was transformed. The horse who caused people to rush to Urbasik’s side after a fitful ride, had smoothed out and relaxed. “There was a time when I used to imagine that people at the barn thought of me as ‘the old lady with the crazy Thoroughbred,’ ” she says.
But nobody would think that today.
Under the skilled, quiet hands of his rider Nicole Roberts, Admit Nothing has emerged as a competitive show horse who behaves in the ring, no matter how loud the music or how chaotic the atmosphere.
He does it for his rider—he does everything she asks.
“He loves Nicole,” she says. “He’s the type of horse who loves who he loves, and that’s it. The rest, he just tolerates.”
Around the barn, the Thoroughbred with the “barn name” Kadin, an Arabic word meaning friend, has lived up to the moniker.
“If you can see how he is with Nicole and little children who visit the barn, you’d see how appropriate his barn name is,” she says. “When little kids come to the barn to pet a horse, he’s the one they go to. And he knows to be still when little people are around.
“My friend’s son accidentally poked him in the eye the other day, and he didn’t move a muscle!”
And in return, Urbasik is committed to him.
“When I got bucked off, I got beaten up pretty badly. But the last couple of years together has made it all worth it.
“We have a great bond now. He follows me everywhere. And no matter what, he has a home with me.”