Tess McCallum and SlideMeAShotOfJuice
1) When and where did you first see your roan, how did you end up with him as yours, and how long have you owned your roan?We first saw Bourbon as a weanling in the field in front of our trainer's (Bill Thomas Performance Horses) facility. He stuck out like a sore thumb being the only roan horse in a herd of red colts, and by that age, he was already super frosty. His entire body was nearly completely white with the traditional dark head and legs of a roan and a cute, fuzzy flaxen mane and tail. He was quite adorable, but so shy and uncertain. He would hide behind the other colts in the pasture, but ever chance we got, we'd go out and play with him until he got a little more comfortable with us. At that time, we never thought we'd own him, but he was just so dang cute we couldn't help but give him some love when we stopped by the trainers. I own his half brother and never thought I'd own another Smart Like Juice horse because they're so hard to come by because of how popular they are. People just don't let go of their SLJ horses, and if they do, they're too expensive for a newly graduated college student to afford. But my trainer knew how much we loved the lines and he offered Bourbon to us for a price we couldn't pass up. We had purchased his half brother about 13 years ago and Bourbon is a carbon copy of his brother with an amazing temperament and loving nature. His half brother is a money earner and point earner in NRHA and AQHA reining, and a year end champion in the NRCHA. We purchased Bourbon from the pasture of yearling colts with only about two weeks of handling on him in June of 2018, so we've had him for just over a year now.
2) Where, what level, and in what classes do you show your roan?
Bourbon is just currently a two year old in training for reining and reined cow events, but he'll be shown the Foundation Quarter Horse circuit next summer as a three year old to get him exposure to an arena setting before being shown the MRHA futurity in September. Depending on his performance in the Michigan futurity, we may also show him in New York and Tennessee for their NRHA futurities. He'll be shown Open level by our trainer, and following his futurity year, I hope to be able to show him in the Non-Pro while my trainer shows him in the Open.
3) What is your favorite thing to do with your roan horse?
My favorite thing to do with Bourbon besides riding him is grooming him. I still ride him from time to time even though he's in training for the Open futurity, but getting to the barn after a long day working and pulling him out of his stall to spend the evening with him is the best kind of wind down time there is. He's everyone's favorite horse at the trainer's out of 20-some horses there because he's such a calm, quiet, and friendly stallion. I can just drop the lead and let him stand in the aisle way while I groom him and he's perfectly content to stand completely still while he's being brushed and loved on. He won't move a muscle when the brush is going over him unless he's got to tell me where the itchy spot is. He gives great hugs and really loves his people, so that time spent just brushing him is always so nice!
4) What is your favorite memory with your roan horse?
I'd say my favorite memory with him thus far is the first time I rode him solo. He took some time to come around and get comfortable around people, so turning a near pasture raised colt into a really loving and eager student was such a fulfilling feeling. He went from being scared of his own shadow to being brave enough to walk down the trail with confidence. We lightly started him at home so he would at least be used to being ridden at the walk, trot, and lope before he went to the trainer's full time, and being able to put his first come rides on him right here at home was an awesome accomplishment. It was a great feeling having my own hand in his success on his journey to being a performing sire.
5) What are your thoughts about the American Roan Horse Association?
I attended the American Roan Horse Association's inaugural World Show as the second photographer for the three day weekend and had an absolute blast. I can't wait to see the association expand and grow, and I think the incentives are a fantastic way for roan horse owners to get their roan horse out showing in the pen, and be rewarded for it. As a non-pro in the industry with a junior stallion hitting the pen in 2020, I really look forward to nominating him to the incentive programs, as well as attending the 2020 World Show. I know a lot of the association is geared towards pleasure and hunt horses, but I'm really excited to hopefully bring a performance stallion to the ARHA World and show the versatility of the reining/reined cow horse in its ability to perform across multiple disciplines, and I think the ARHA is a great platform to do just that. I'm an equine graphic designer and photographer with an appreciation for every discipline, so being able to see all of the top quality roan horses come together for such a great event was a really great experience. The customer service of the association is unmatched by any other association, and I really look forward to getting into the benefits of the membership with my roan horse!