Meet My Pinto World Champion, Beau!

The full story behind my horse Beau who has won a Pinto World Champion title along with numerous Reserve World Champion, World Top 5 placings and countless local and regional championships. From gangly two year old to training project, to World Champion and the most reliable and safe lesson horse on the planet, here’s his story.

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Show Name

Clu Tardy Too


APHA (American Paint Horse Association), PtHA (Pinto Horse Association)




Treats, Kids, Naps, Trail Rides

The Blood Sweat and Tears on the Road to Pinto World Champion

I knew this horse would be a champion, maybe not a World Champion, the very first time I rode him. Interestingly, our family was not really meant to own this horse. Beau came to us as a barely broke 2 year old to get some riding miles and be sold on commission. But I will never forget the first time I met him, he had been delivered to the farm during the day while I was at school. The farm owner was there to meet him but evidently misunderstood my Mom’s instructions to leave him inside in a stall until we arrived. Rookie mistake, don’t let someone else take delivery of a horse for you unless that person is your trainer. The farm owner, turned him out in the field with the older geldings, and you guessed it. They beat him up.

Clu Tardy Too, Pinto World Champion, Breedingstock Paint, APHA, Pinto, All Around Horse, Horseback Riding, Horse Showing

I arrived to the farm afterschool anxious to meet our new project and was quite horrified to find him bleeding. While waiting for the vet, I assessed the damage and cleaned the fresh puncture wound on his leg. After some stall rest and wound care for a few days, we were able to finally take Beau out for some exercise.

How We Bonded

I think spending those first few days getting to know each other and to pamper him a bit helped us develop a tight bond. When we were finally able to take him out for a light lunge, I just couldn’t get over how cute he was! And once I rode him, I knew we had to keep him. He may have had a grand total of 5 to 10 rides under his belt add to that the traumatic welcome he received. And yet, he rode around as cool as a cucumber. He was so willing and happy, I knew he would be a great partner. I remember telling my mom I had a gut feeling he was the one, the one we could win with! Little did I know, he would actually become Pinto World Champion or place in the Top 5 several times.

Clu Tardy Too, Pinto World Champion, Breedingstock Paint, APHA, Pinto, All Around Horse, Horseback Riding, Horse Showing

Training, Or At Least Attempting To Train

Don’t be fooled, the road to get there was extremely difficult. I was a pretty good rider but very novice at training. I had broken out my Morgan mare, Rythum, with my sister and ridden a handful of 2 year olds and very green OTTB’s. That’s it! I heard a John Lyons say once, “frustration comes from a lack of knowledge.” And that was basically the root cause of all of our troubles, but I was completely determined to make it work.

I spent hours reading, watching videos, working with trainers like Kelli Kinney from Jest-A-Bit Farm and others. We spent many frustrating horseshows running away at the lope because I struggled to teach Beau to carry himself. I struggled to teach him to stay balanced, maintain a rhythm and most of all to fight the urge to nit-pick. I caused a lot of the problems because I was unclear, or didn’t know when to release or reward. Constantly telling your horse they made the wrong decision is not necessarily teaching them what the right choice is!

The Moral Of The Story

Even as an amateur rider and competitor today, I try to be mindful of how I am training or un-training with every ride. It is so important to be clear and consistent. And most of all, get help from a professional! I wish I had had an ounce more humility as a younger equestrian.

2009 Pinto World Champion

Eventually, we made it to the Pinto World Championship Show in Tulsa, OK. The experience was amazing, I could write several whole posts on that. In fact, there will be a separate post coming on that topic! Ultimately, we learned a lot, had a great time and got to bring home some cool stuff! We also ended up Reserve Hi-Point Champion after competing in the all-around, we even did the speed events to try to earn some extra points.

Ironically, the class we won the World Champion title in, was Flag Race! We also placed, top 5 in Hunter Under Saddle and Western Pleasure, Reserve Champion in Dressage, tied for Reserve Champion in Trail but lost the tie breaker and ended up 3rd place, and placed in the Top 5 in the other Speed Events (Barrel Race, Keyhole, Pole Bending).

What’s Beau Up To Now?

Well, they say patience is a virtue. The dictionary should have a picture of this horse next to the word patience. For one more added cliché, he is worth his weight in gold. In reality, that’s a huge understatement! Beau spends his days teaching kids to ride, including my daughter, Brooklyn!

She’s currently learning how to canter on him because I can trust him to listen to me from the ground. All the years of ground work paid off big time! Brooklyn and the Rhapsody Hill Farm lessons students show Beau locally and take lessons on him.

Brooklyn also loves to ride him bareback whenever we let her! And don’t worry, he get’s spoiled with lots of treats!

Clu Tardy Too, Pinto World Champion, Breedingstock Paint, APHA, Pinto, All Around Horse, Horseback Riding, Horse Showing

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Clu Tardy Too, Pinto World Champion, Breedingstock Paint, APHA, Pinto, All Around Horse, Horseback Riding, Horse Showing

4 thoughts on “Meet My Pinto World Champion, Beau!

  1. It’s nice to hear about Beau’s history. I’ve been riding him a lot recently at your Mom’s Ladie’s Night. He is really a wonderful horse and a good teacher for me and just a sweetheart

  2. Hey, Liz, love reading your posts. I am a bloodline nut and love to look at them no matter the breed. It’s how I kind of learn about the breeds. I started with Arabians, your Mom got me started on AQHA and as a kid my father was friends with Ester Bird of Upton, who was very well known in the Morgan community (despite only breeding a few horses with the Green Mt. prefix. – one stallion she bred was Green Mt. Doc Bird) Anyway, when you feature a horse can you tell us the sire and dam?

    1. Hi Anne,

      Yes, I can add in their blood lines. I don’t remember them all off the top of my head but I’ll let you know when I update them. 🙂


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