Congratulations to SUCCEED’s “Your Horse, an Olympian at Heart” contest winners Katie Passerotti and her horse Bastian!
Katie and Bastian won a free SUCCEED Challenge Registration with a 60-Day supply of SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program. We were able to catch up with Katie who told us a little bit about herself and her Olympian at heart horse, Bastian.
Love at First Sight
I met Bastian on May 5 of 2007. I was looking for a young eventing prospect. A good friend of mine had seen Bastian at a farm in Maryland and thought he might be just the horse I was looking for. I hooked up my trailer and made the seven hour trip down to take a look at him. He was an untouched three year old thoroughbred who had lived out all his life. When we walked out into the pasture to see him, he came right up to see who we were and to see if we had any treats. He had a quiet look in his eye and I was hooked. Thirty minutes later I was loading him up on my trailer and heading out. Since that fateful day, Bastian has continued to prove what an amazing horse he is.
Training a Three Year Old Thoroughbred
He took very well to training and it was only two weeks after I had bought him that our relationship and destiny changed drastically. I was dismounting from a friend’s horse when the horse spooked and bucked. My impact with the ground caused a burst fracture in my first lumbar vertebra and permanent spinal cord damage. At that moment I had to make a decision whether I should keep my untrained three year old thoroughbred or sell him and find a horse that was trained and “bomb” proof.
I think that because it became a way of life so quickly, Bastian never batted an eye at the series of physical aids I used to get out to and around the barn, from my wheelchair to my walker and cane. He let me go in his stall, brush him, halter him and lead him around. It made my decision to keep him and roll the dice that I would end up with a horse I could ride easily. Since then our relationship has continued to grow and both Bastian and I have learned to accommodate each other.
Competing With Bastian
Currently Bastian and I compete in recognized Dressage competitions and have just begun showing Second Level. Bastian has taken very well to his Dressage training and regularly earns 8s on his gaits, but his heart is always into flying over the fences and galloping across fields. Bastian loves to jump; his little ears go from relaxed and floppy dressage ears to homing devices looking for the next obstacle to clear. This coming year we will be attending more shows that offer Para-Equestrian classes and we will be looking to begin the process of making the selection trials for the 2014 WEG Para-Equestrian Dressage Team.
A True Olympian at Heart
Bastian is an Olympian at heart in everything he does. When I returned to riding after my accident, Bastian quickly adapted to my physical limitations and has acted as the perfect gentleman since. He has grown up and matured into such a wonderful, sweet horse who is always willing to try his hardest even when he isn’t sure if it’s the right thing to do. The fact that he tries so hard and is always so willing is what makes him an Olympian at heart. That to me is part of the Olympic spirit – no matter what the odds and how tough the competition is, you have to give it your all and go for it. That is Bastian’s attitude. He consistently gives his all and shows his tremendous heart in everything he does.
Looking Forward to Trying SUCCEED
I am looking forward to trying SUCCEED because of the changes that start to show during weeks 3 and 4; the greater alertness, as well as the changes from weeks 5-6; the more balanced energy, greater stamina, improved exercise recovery and enhanced physical ability. Bastian and I are making the move up to Second Level Dressage and looking to ride at the 3* level, and these are all concerns I have as the workload and work expectations have increased from showing at Training and First Level. It is of the utmost importance that I take even better care of his health and his physical well-being. I want Bastian to have a long and healthy Dressage career.
Follow Katie’s blog to hear more about Bastian and her life as a rider and owner.
Congratulations again to Katie and Bastian. They are truly an inspiring pair.