Barn name: Paco.
Details: 2006 POA stallion by Mister Respect (ApHC) and out of Sageeyah, by RK Twist N Scoot.
His people: Owned and bred by Joan and Cliff Thomas of Sunol, California; trained by Megan Hansen, Joice, Iowa.
H&R: How would you describe Paco’s personality?
Hansen: Paco is Captain Casual. He’s very business-like, but has a ton of personality. He’s very casual, but has a little bit of a swagger to his personality. He thinks that he’s something, without being over the top. He has a very good balance of charisma and humility. He’s charismatic yet humble at the same time; he was kind of a strange character that way.
He has a huge heart. From the time he was a yearling, he was just here to do his job and wants to please.
H&R: What events did you show him in?
Hansen: In the beginning I showed him in halter, longe-line, and POA has in-hand trail. He was shown in all three of those with quite a bit of success.
He came back to me as a 4-year-old, he was used for breeding his 2- and 3-year-old years. I got him started him in March and started showing him in May. He took to everything really well. He’s really strong in halter because he’s nicely put together. He did hunter under saddle, Western pleasure, and trail.
H&R:What’s he like to ride?
Hansen: He’s very predictable. I had the same horse every day.
Actually, we dubbed a theme song for him. The “Low Rider” song because he is a little bit shorter. He had a really extremely slow jog. That’s kind of where he had his swagger.
He’d just trot along like “nobody else can do what I can do at this gait.” He’d be looking around to make sure that he had an audience. That’s what was fun about him in the ring, you could just see people watching him because he had the demeanor to him. He’s very smooth-gaited and very strong underneath me. I don’t think he ever argued.
H&R: Does he have any quirks?
Hansen: Not necessarily. He was in a stall all the time to keep him in good condition. Being a stallion, you wouldn’t expect him to be able to hang his head out in the aisleway and get by without talking to everybody, but he just really wanted to make sure everyone knew he was there. He’d just stick his head out the stall door and show off his pretty little face.
It’s not really a quirk, but it shows his personality. At a show or anytime, I could just bring him out in the middle of the aisleway and he could be standing there without a halter or anything on, and I could go get my saddle or blankets and sleezies–whatever it was–and trust that he’d be standing there when I came back.
H&R: Did he ever have any funny or silly moments?
Hansen: If he ever knew that he did something wrong or did something he shouldn’t be doing–whether I was on him or on the ground–he’d kind of just get real low in his front end, almost like a cutting horse. He’d never go down or anything, but it just like he was saying ‘Oh, I wasn’t supposed to do that.’ It was his way of collecting himself. That might be his quirk. If he was doing something wrong, about the time I’d go to fix him he’d kinda surrender like ‘Ah, I messed up back there didn’t I? I didn’t mean to.’
H&R: What did you enjoy most about training him?
Hansen: Knowing that I’d be noticed in the ring with him. He’d walk in, and everybody’s attention would draw right to him. The willingness he had ever day. It’s hard to take a horse that’s been in the breeding barn and then go and expose him to everything under saddle. He was just pretty intelligent and willing to please. That was my favorite part of training him.