It was hardly love at first sight.
In fact, Stacey Baszkiewicz wasn’t sure what she thought of the sassy granddaughter of Mr. Prospector when she tried her out last February.
“When I got on her, I didn’t get that spark that so many people say they do,” she says. “There was a lot of room for improvement in that first ride and I was asking myself if I wanted a high-strung project horse.”
She was mulling over her options on a snowy day in Connecticut, having driven two-and-a-half hours from Massachusetts to get there, when fate intervened.
The owner offered Baszkiewicz the chance to try the mare for 30 days before deciding, and as luck would have it, there was already a warm home waiting.
“It actually worked out perfectly, because I already had a stall all set,” she says. “I was supposed to get another horse, but the deal fell through. And since I was already paying for it, I decided it was a good opportunity.”
Race name: Little Rose Queen
Show name: A Whole Lot of Rosie
New name: Rosie
Sire: Sutter’s Prospect
Dam: Sassy but Fast
Foal date: March 6, 1998Practical even while searching for her first horse to buy, the recent University of Massachusetts economics grad calculated that there would be nothing to lose with this venture.
She returned to Connecticut with a horse trailer and walked Little Rose Queen right on board. The mare, known to be “excitable” and “a lot of horse” was suddenly cool, calm and collected as she started on the road with Baszkiewicz.
“The whole ride home she didn’t make a peep. And when she stepped daintily off the trailer, she settled into her new home instantly. She didn’t whinny to the other horses, and was so well behaved. This was the first time I thought I might start to like her.”
And it only took about two weeks and several rocky rides, for the mare to win her over.
“In the first week, she ran through my aids and just wasn’t polished. I had a couple of discouraging rides,” she says.
But then, in the second week, the mare she now calls Rosie suddenly got it.
Gone was the strong, pulling, excitable animal who would jump a trot pole. And surprisingly, the mare and her prospective owner started to fit really well together.
At the conclusion of the second week, Baszkiewicz decided to keep the 15.3 big-shouldered girl who looked so similar to her famed grandsire Mr. Prospector. And soon after they began prepping the for her first Two-Phase show in April.
And once again, Rosie surprised her new owner.
She went very well throughout the beginner novice dressage test, responding to all the aids, but during the jumping portion of the test, she knocked it out of the park.
“Her previous owner had told me she was high-strung and fast over jumps, and I was pretty nervous for our first time in the jumping ring,” she says. “But it was amazing. As we entered the ring, her ears perked forward, we cantered, and she went over everything like a pro. She wasn’t crazy at all!”
Since then, the pair has tackled two- and three-phase schooling shows, romped through hunter/paces and enjoyed lazy trail rides and gallops along the beach.
What Baszkiewicz realized on all these rides is that she and her horse share a similar rhythm. When the rest of the crowd at a hunter/pace is walking, for example, Baszkiewicz and Rosie would rather kick up their heels and head off for a good gallop.
And she has also learned the key to success is consistent work, and an abundance of fun rides on the trails and beaches.
“Before I got her, I was told she was a lot of horse,” Baszkiewicz says.
She sure is.
In all the best ways, she suits her new name: A Whole Lot of Rosie!