The mad flapping of wings and exuberant barking of a dog hunting his quarry was too much for the young ex-racehorse mare; and she bolted.
Putting as much distance between herself and the flock of geese as she could at a mad-dash scramble, Lock The Door made a beeline for the gate of the jump-filled paddock where the ruckus took place, but took the time to put a little flair on her flight.
Rather than dash around the obstacles in the ring, she approached each with the aplomb of a tested hunter/jumper show horse, and sailed over the top like she’d been jumping for years.
“She ran straight up a line and jumped all of the jumps,” says Thoroughbred trainer Lisa Molloy, who beheld with admiration the pretty, pretty mare as she revealed a flash of hidden talent. “Another time, I was taking her to the pasture and she got away from me. She ran straight toward the field, but the gateway was filled with water. A lot of horses would have stopped there, but she just hurtled over it as if it wasn’t there. That mare could jump!”
Lock The Door
Show name: Caballito
New Name: Costa
Sire: Margie’s Wildcat
Dam: French Snob
Foal date: March 20, 2009And how. In her new capacity as a hunter/jumper show horse, Lock the Door, who goes by show name Caballito in the ring, won two championships and a reserve championship at the Coastal Hunter/Jumper Series Feb. 22 and 23 in Florida. There were an estimated 200 competitors at the event.
Riders Lexy Small and Lindsey Walden won championships in separate competitions for the mare’s new owner Jamie Mickel, of Trinity Farm in Florida.
Mickel purchased the bay mare right before Christmas as a riding horse for Small, a hardworking young lady, and the best friend of Mickel’s daughter, Morgan Mickel.
“When I found her, I wanted a lesson horse who wasn’t too expensive, and she bonded right away with Lexy,” Mickel says. “Lexy works so hard for me, and the two hit it off, so I said, ‘All right. I’ll buy this horse for her.’ ”
Right away, the pair repaid the kindness by bringing home the ribbons, while proud mother and daughter Morgan and Jamie Mickel watched and took photos.
Many of those snapshots are now displayed on Lisa Molloy’s Facebook page, bringing a smile to the hardworking Thoroughbred trainer who was certain she saw a flash of brilliance the day the spooked mare jumped a straight line in her paddock.
Though the budding show horse did not take as straight a route from adoption agency to new home, it all worked out in the end, Molloy adds.
Lock the Door was initially accepted into the Turning for Home re-homing program last January, on which Molloy serves as a trainer, she says. She is also the program director of ReRun, Inc., which was also involved with the mare’s road to a new home.
When the adoption of the mare to a home in Florida did not work out, Brad Schild, the president of ReRun, Inc., personally stepped in.
He accepted the mare into Serendipity Stables in Pensacola, Fla., which he owns, and provided eight months of training and tender loving care.
“She arrived in April 2013, and for the first little while, we spent our time providing good food and deworming her,” Schild says. “By the end of May, I began riding her, and discovered she was a very interesting little girl.
“She was hell on wheels from the ground, and pretty bossy, so I was not sure what I was going to get myself into. But it turns out she’s a dream to ride.”
Schild enlisted the help of two other trainers to help with Lock the Door because she was just that good.
Molloy was delighted that Schild was as impressed with the spunky horse as she was.
“When Brad first had her he called me and said she was an absolute freak” of a talent, Molloy says. “She was so naturally talented … that I’m just thrilled she has a new owner and is doing so well!”
And Mickel says she couldn’t be more pleased with her new horse. Not only has she quickly become a favorite, especially to her students and her daughter, but she is proving to be quite the talent.
“It doesn’t matter what you put in front of her—she’ll jump it,” Mickel says. “we’re going very slowly with her, and are keeping her to 18 inches or 2-foot jumps, and she loves it. She’s a great mare!”