November 20, 2023

Oh It's Like the Stars Aligned (I Can Feel It)

Two weekends ago, Connor and Disco's breeder Lisa and I found ourselves road tripping to Canada to attend the Canadian Royal Winter Fair for the first time since 2019. And this time, I was going to see MY OWN horse show in it!

Disco in the big big world

I was so glad Disco's lessee was able to enter him this year. She was on the fence about it when he went through a growth spurt this summer, and I told her that I supported whichever decision she made, but I was secretly hoping she would enter him. I didn't care how he placed, but the atmosphere of the Royal is like nothing else, and would be great for developing the brain of my future show horse.

Powering his way up the iconic ramp from the first floor to the second floor of the Horse Palace

I mean, spoiler alert, he looks amazing right now and ended up being the 2 and under Champion Welsh Cob and Reserve Champion Youngstock. 

Pro photo legally acquired, all other photos by me

But the real victory was the way he conducted himself. While he is very much a two year old - still learning how to emotionally handle being bored and anything within reach is still a toy - he wasn't bothered by a single thing the entire weekend. And there were a lot of Things.

Like, I stood there watching as he was tied to the wall for an hour in a busy show aisle with a mare next to him while he got groomed to perfection, never screaming or looking around wide-eyed. Just a little bored.

I even learned a little about proper Welsh show prep. Here's Disco getting his feathers hair sprayed and teased out! I sent this to Mary and she just sent back a picture of Andis clippers, lol.


Or also, he got a bath in a little enclosed bathing room with horses of all genders on either side, "didn't even need a chain. Not for that and not for anything the whole time," according to his lessee.

One of the bathing rooms at the Horse Palace

He stood down by the in-gate before and between his classes for over an hour, and only got fussy when every single horse there went into the ring for a BIG C/D mare class. In fact, that was the only time he screamed the entire time.

I was handling him at that time since his lessee was in the ring showing her mare, so when he got fussy, we started handwalking around and around the bleachers that line the show ring. He immediately settled and focused as soon as we started walking, even though we were walking past and through a true circus:  past big black Percherons with their dinner plate-sized shoes, past strollers, through crowds of distinctly non-horsey spectators, past tractors bigger than he's ever seen, past video cameras, past horse carts and wagons of every shape and size, past little old ladies in wheelchairs that inadvertently backed directly into our path.

I could not have been more proud of him. It was like he was born in a busy indoor show facility and that was all he knew, even though it was his first time in an atmosphere like that. I STILL have never seen this horse afraid of anything the entire time I've known him. He has retained that natural confidence and curiosity that I love so much, and that I desperately wanted after dealing with (and loving <3) Chicken Little for the last decade.

Even though I fiercely love Chicken Little, being afraid of everything made showing him interesting at best and terrifying at worst, and I am ready for something with some confidence.

Although it would have been easy to forget given his behavior, Disco IS still a stallion, and I gave everything the appropriate amount of space and applied an appropriate amount of situational awareness to every situation while handling him. Even with a well-behaved stallion, you can't ever stop being more aware of your surroundings than you would be with a gelding or mare. But as I walked him around, I couldn't help but get excited for his future. With a brain like that, and with movement like he's starting to show...well, it's exciting to think about.

It was like he knew I was watching when at one point during the judging he took off down the long side in what was supposed to be a trot, but instead he gave the most delicious three strides of slow, powerful, in-hand collected canter like it was the easiest, most natural thing.

I couldn't help but think how right it all felt. It feels so right for Maude to have him right now, to be getting to live her dreams with him, building her breeding program with him, and giving him experiences that I couldn't at home and training that I am not qualified to give (such as harness training, which he has already started in-hand). It really does feel like the stars aligned.

The Canadian dream team

Disco's ribbons

See you in a year, little buddy.


  1. He's SUCH a nice looking horse!! And what a great mind he has! Btw, I also call Qbert Chicken Little too. Glad everything is working out with Disco.

  2. Congrats! He is absolutely gorgeous and there's so much icing on the cake that he is sensible, too!

  3. Disco looks incredible! I'm so glad Maude was able to take him and that you and Lisa were able to go watch.

  4. He's so gorgeous! And what a good brain he has (also a testament to your baby pony raising skills!)

  5. What a good boy! You are going to have a fabulous show horse!

  6. What an excellent boy Disco is. I used to attend the Royal Winter Fair regularly and it was always a mad house. Especially on the weekends!
    I am looking forward to seeing how he develops. I still dream of owning a cob with the Castleberry genetics. Perhaps that dream will come true with one sired by Disco!

  7. Congratulations! I'm so happy and excited for you and Disco. He's a really special one, you can certainly tell already.