Spooking at birds, mare jumps into new career

Lock the Door and rider Lexy Small took home the ribbons at the Coastal Hunter/Jumper Series in Florida. Photo by Morgan Mickel

Lock the Door and rider Lexy Small took home the ribbons at the Coastal Hunter/Jumper Series in Florida. Photo by Morgan Mickel

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, 2009
And 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.

Morgan Mickel takes a show-day spin on Lock the Door. Her mother Jamie, of Trinity Farms in Florida, purchased Lock the Door.

Morgan Mickel takes a show-day spin on Lock the Door. Her mother Jamie, of Trinity Farms in Florida, purchased Lock the Door.

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.”

Lexy Small and her favorite hunter/jumper share a quiet moment.

Lexy Small and her favorite hunter/jumper share a quiet moment.

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!”

5 responses to “Spooking at birds, mare jumps into new career”

  1. Gil Bonner

    When you do things for the right reason good things usually happen. You will never meet a more generous person than Jamie Mickel. Trinity farm is not about the money and my daughter loves it there. It’s like a night out with friends everything we go to the barn. I am so proud of Lexy she works so hard to achieve her dreams. Great article

  2. SpotOn

    very cool story!. I learned my little Mustang mare liked jumping much the same way. But she was hoping over stall doors from a stand still and clearing them. Not exactly “safe” but she turned into quite the little jumper.

  3. LL

    Love the picture of Lexy and Lock. I had a horse like that who used to love to have his face rubbed and his eyes would close. Such special moments.

  4. Colmel

    Lovely story! I especially like the photo of Lexy with Lock The Door having a quiet moment. That photo shows two very happy beings enjoying just being together.

  5. Julie Schott

    Great Story! It sounds like Lock the Door and Lexy are both very hard workers. They are a great match. I can’t wait to hear the next chapter of their successes!

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