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California Jackpot ("CJ")

CJ was adopted as a 5 year old by Dick Casey at the Walnut Creek (CA) sale in 1993. After Dick had him for a few weeks, he asked me if I would start him.

He was extremely quick to learn and literally within minutes of first working with him, he was packing a saddle and bearing human weight. By his 5th ride, we were comfortably doing walk-trot-canter transitions in the arena.

In fact, CJ did so well, he was a demonstration horse at a BLM workshop in his second month... showing off his ring manners as well as working obstacles and walking out on a paved trail in a public park with joggers, dogs, roller bladers and cyclists going by.

CJ was a little shy, but quickly became comfortable around people. In fact, within a couple of weeks, we could turn him out to graze and explore the stable without any fear of "catching" him. (He would either walk up to you or stand politely for your approach.)

Dick had health problems and soon after the BLM workshop, about 3 months after he started training, CJ was put out to pasture with some other horses, not to be ridden again for nearly three years. Dick eventually died and his estate gave the horse to the ranch (since they knew how much we cared about him). Even after such a long lay-off, CJ still could be ridden (a bit rough, the first day, though!), and on his third saddle, we took a solo road and trail ride 6 miles to a barn in the next town, dealing with trucks, trains, dogs, etc. CJ was as steady as if he'd never been away from packing humans!

I gave CJ to Dina Townsend who rode him for about 6 months, but with a bambino on the way and Corey, her own little BLM horse, taking up nearly all of her free time, I ended up "stuck" riding CJ again. Tough deal, eh?

"First Contact" (CJ and Willis)
(This was not his BLM approved pen.)
Second week of training
CJ at the Walnut Creek Mustang Workshop

(CJ got us involved in mentoring adopters)

More about CJ on Part 2

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