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  • Written by Allie Layos
  • Category: Profiles

Elisabeth Goth: An authentic passion

Elisabeth spends lots of time in the Kubota at Visser Stables, dragging the ring between horses.Elisabeth spends lots of time in the Kubota at Visser Stables, dragging the ring between horses.When I arrived at Visser Stables that Wednesday afternoon to meet Elisabeth Goth, I was surprised to find her at the wheel of an orange Kubota RTV 500, dragging the indoor. I’m not sure where I expected her to be – socializing with other customers on the sidelines? Giving orders from the doorway? – but this wasn’t even close to what I had envisioned.

“Hop on,” she invited me. “We can talk while I drag.”

She stepped out to let me aboard, and when she did, I saw that she was wearing three-quarter length workout pants. I climbed, mystified, across the seat, settling next to someone’s cell phone and an empty coffee mug, and discovered it felt surprisingly natural to be bouncing along in a Kubota beside a woman I’d watched from afar since childhood. But that’s Elisabeth; she has no interest in putting on airs. Every ounce of her energy is focused on one solitary goal – being the best horsewoman she possibly can, and doing it all with class.

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  • Written by Jane Simmons
  • Category: Profiles

Michael Beasom: Texas horse trainer

From March through December year after year, Beasom Stable “exhibits each month at horse shows from Texas to Tennessee, including the Lexington Junior League and the World’s Championship Horse Shows,” stable owner Michael Beasom told me.

“The average number of horses we take to a show is ten. We have a 15-horse van that I operate myself for each trip,” the third generation horseman said. Beasom Stable is located in Boerne, Texas, a suburb of San Antonio.

Michael’s riding started before he even started grade school. 

“I began taking riding lessons at age five from my grandmother. My mom drove me to my grandfather’s place — Elton Cates Stable — which was about an hour each way every Saturday for the lessons. Prior to that, I would spend weekends with my grandparents where I followed my grandfather around like his shadow.”

Riding in horse shows began a year later when Michael was six years old.

“At first, I showed in Academy classes and then walk-and-trot equitation. My first horse was named Elle Dee that I showed in Equitation, and then in Show Pleasure, until she passed away at the age of 24. I won the 1988 Show Pleasure Championship at the Texas State Fair show with her when I was nine years old. There were 17 entries in the class,” he noted.

“Just before my 10th birthday, my grandparents found my first gaited horse named The Champagne Express. I showed him for over three years.”

Once Michael began showing in performance classes, he “was asked to catch-ride for many trainers at the shows.”

In the summers, “I travelled with my grandparents to many of the larger shows. Through the years, I continued to spend as much time as I could with my trainer grandfather at his stable learning from him,” Michael told me in our late May interview.

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  • Written by Maureen Jenner
  • Category: Profiles

Thomas “TJ” Santaferra

How old were you when you acquired your first American Saddlebred and what was its name?

I was seven years old when I acquired my first American Saddlebred.

What or who inspired you to become involved with American Saddlebreds?

On a family vacation, my parents and I went on a trail ride in Lake George. After the ride I asked my parents if I could have a horse of my own. They quickly replied, “No.” Later that year they surprised me with a horse they picked out for me that just happened to be a Saddlebred. The horse they picked out for me was too hot to have at home, so we put her in training at a National Show Horse and Saddlebred farm in Upstate New York, where I also continued my riding lessons.

Who has been your biggest influence and/or mentor within our Saddlebred industry?

In the Saddlebred community the biggest influence to me has been Elaine Gregory. She gave me the big push into pursuing my path in the Saddlebred industry. When I was young (15) she asked me if I would be interested in spending the summer with her to learn to be a horse trainer. I eagerly replied “Of course.” Working with her not only gave me the ability to work with and show a number of nice horses in different divisions and suitabilities, but also opened the door to be a highly sought after catch-rider for the remainder of my juvenile career. She not only taught me the right way to perform daily activities but coached me on how to turn out a show horse and communicate with potential customers. I will always be grateful to Elaine and all that she offered me at such a young age, giving me the foundation to become the horseman and person that I am today.

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  • Written by Jane Simmons
  • Category: Profiles

Isaiah Garn: young Missouri farrier

Isaiah and his wife, Jennifer."Helping horses become sound or remain sound is the most rewarding part of my work. I don’t have any special technique. I just do what I do and the horse owners love it, and I think the horses do too. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told by an owner that ‘my horse always seems to feel better.’“

Farriery is a business “where you can never say you know it all. Every day, I learn something.”

Isaiah Garn, a 24-year-old farrier who works south of St. Louis, Missouri, in the small northeast Jefferson County town named High Ridge, reflects the historic independence of his town.

High Ridge is a unique municipality that is run by elected trustees. It has not ever become a city, rather being an unincorporated self-governing town. The early German and Irish settlers, the story goes, wanted to keep a rural non-urban governmental structure.

“I was homeschooled most of my youth. In some of the years, I used different Christian school programs. I had to do all the same tests and work that the kids did in the public school. The plus side was I could go at my own pace and do two days’ work in one day and graduate early. I was graduated at 16 years old and went to horseshoeing school at 17.”

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  • Written by Jane Simmons
  • Category: Profiles

Kelly Hulse: Directing the Stephens College Saddle Seat Program

Kelly Hulse.Kelly Hulse.When she took over heading up the Saddle Seat discipline of Stephens College’s equestrian program in July 2014, Kelly Hulse was already an Adjunct Professor there since the Fall of 2013.

“I was so excited and happy to be able to continue working with the girls I had come to know well.”

After Stephens College advertised in a national search for the full-time position, Adjunct Professor Kelly applied. Following the review of all the applicants, the school’s selection committee offered the job to Kelly.

In her Stephens job, Kelly teaches “three riding/driving classes, currently using 16 American Saddlebreds, Hackneys, and Morgans,” she said in our December interview.

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