It would take a book to detail the many adventures
and successes that Karen had with Mandamus. It was a partnership
that lasted 15 years! From getting acquainted just minutes after
his birth to competing Grand Prix was an education for Karen that
cannot be acquired anywhere but through the school of hard knocks! “Fools
rush in where Angels fear to tread,” and Karen rushed to buy
the newborn foal from her favorite mare, Caribic. From there the
rocky road began.
Mandamus (who at 18 is still competing in the Advanced
Young Rider division), had super gaits. He was full of presence and “character”.
He did love to spook, rear, spin, and take off bucking. At the same
time he could be lazy. He was a very quick learner, both for the
good, and for taking advantage of his rider. He learned his changes
in one lesson. He picked up his one-tempis easily. He loved to passage,
and lateral work was no problem. Even canter pirouettes were pretty
quickly learned. Getting past the judge’s box was not so easy.
Riding from the stall to the arena was on pins and needles. If someone
sneezed he might decide that was an excuse to leave!
When things went well, he
was a blast to ride, easy to sit, light in the hand. Not many horses
make it to Grand Prix, and Karen is grateful to have had the experience,
as trying as it sometimes was.
He won many year- end awards over the years, winning a Regional
Championship, and placing Reserve more than once. He taught Karen
many valuable life lessons, including the lessons of perseverance,
humility, and grace under fire!
- USDF Performance Certificate - Grand Prix
- 1st Place at Grand Prix (2002) - American Holsteiner Horse Association
- Karen earned her USDF Silver and Gold Medals with Mandamus