ROCKWALL, TX -- "Every minute you're handling a horse, you're training them," Black Star Sport Horses Head Trainer Lisa Blackmon said Wednesday. "We're teaching them to be submissive, to a point. You need a little fire for a really interesting competition horse."
Blackmon would know. She's taken seven horses to the top level, and perhaps that number's about to grow.
Black Star Sports Horses in Rockwall has had three foals enter the world this spring. All of them were bred for a very specific future: dressage.
It's one of the oldest sports known to man, dating to 435 B.C. The horses are trained to be almost balletic in their movements, wowing judges with their agility, strength, and proportions.
"She's got the hocks set the way we like to see them, she's got that nice rectangular shape, she's got very large elbow joints," Blackmon said, pointing out the best attributes of the youngest foal, just 45 days old. "You can tell a lot even from their personalities at this point."
Nope. These aren't your normal ponies. They're bred for precision competition, and it's a science.
"The best way to do it is find where my mare is weak, and then find a stallion that really knocks those things out of the park," Blackmon said, explaining that sometimes that stallion is located in Holland or Germany.
Black Star has one bit of greatness in house, though, that knocks pretty much everything out of the park, and his name is American Xpress.
"He scored a 9 on his temperament, a 9 on his rideability, a 9 on his trot, a 9 on his gallop," Blackmon said.
He also sired two of the three new foals.
The question is: Do we have future champions in our midst? Well, only 10 percent even reach the level necessary to go to the Olympics, but...
"With the lineage that these three foals have, any of them could be on the United States Equestrian Team," Blackmon said with a tempered enthusiasm.
For now, though...
"We have the leisure to let them grow slowly because we're not riding them until their 3," Blackmon said.
Ride on, babies! Greatness calls!