Nautica is a 2006 registered American Saddlebred gelding by Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man and out of Reefing by Periaptor
I bought Nautica as a six-year-old after having shown him for a year while marketing him as a junior exhibitor’s horse. He was purchased as my first “step up” show horse out of Academy, which is the saddle-seat discipline’s version of schooling classes.
Strong and game, Nautica was everything an American Saddlebred show horse should be. He naturally had a high-stepping trot but could also canter in a teacup. On days when I could get him to focus, he was an ideal equitation horse, however, those talents came with a personality to match. Nautica was not an easy ride at first. Between spooking, leaping and one incident in which we almost took out a judge, our show record was pretty hit or miss. Despite the spotty record in our first year of showing, we earned enough ribbons to win our state’s highpoint championship award in juvenile show pleasure and a reserve in equitation, both very competitive classes.
In 2015 Nautica suffered a major injury as a result of a trailering accident. A few days after the incident, his hind end movement deteriorated as he became progressively more and more lame. Our veterinarian determined that Nautica had fractured his sacrum on the right side near his SI joint. The prognosis was guarded due to the nature of the injury and the lack of viable treatment options. Nautica spent about a year on stall rest with hand walking-only privileges and various medications. It was a long year. Fortunately, we were extremely lucky for his type of injury and after a two-year total recovery and rehabilitation period, Nautica was able to return to light work.
Three years since his recovery, Nautica was finally sound enough to show in a few equitation classes at small, barn-hosted shows as well as locally at one of our state’s rated horse shows. As a saddle-seat horse, he had good days and bad days and still carried a little post-traumatic stress about hauling long distances. Nautica soon became bored with his lifestyle as “non-traveling show horse” and in the fall of 2018 we decided that it was time for a change.
Twelve seemed like the perfect age for Nautica to take up a new challenge and I found the idea of him learning basic dressage to be the ideal next step. Nautica moved to his new barn in December of 2018 and we began working with a dressage trainer. We are very excited to see where his new lifestyle takes us.
I am thrilled to have such a willing and talented horse who beat the odds of a career-ending injury and who I get to learn with and fall in love with all over again. We are excited to share our progress as we take on this new challenge—dressage!