5 Strides with NINETTO

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

An “interview” with  the jumper ready to make  his Grand Prix debut (via his rider, Anna Ishiyama!)

The 12-year-old bay Oldenburg,  who goes by Teddy at the barn, showed consistently in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers at WEF 2020. TPH caught up with  him as he prepares to compete in  his first National Grand Prix.

1. What’s your favorite thing about  being in the show ring?

I love when my mom gets all dressed up and I have my hair plaited. When I have the plaits I really feel-show ready and all business. I love being alone with my mom in the ring. I was in Florida when we had to stay put for about three months and I missed the show ring. I’m not sure why we were stuck at home, but I was getting quite bored. I kept hearing the word “virus.” Not sure what that is, but I hope it’s food!

2. Sorry, it’s not. But speaking of food, If you could eat any human food, what would it be?

I absolutely love any and all things I can get my mouth on. I try to eat my standing wraps and blankets but my humans put me in a bib! If I could eat any human food I would choose any flavor of cake and ice cream to go on top. The humans think it’s funny when, after I eat my grain, I have it all over my face, and even my ears.

The 12-year-old bay Oldenburg, who goes by Teddy at the barn, showed consistently in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers at WEF 2020. TPH caught up with him as he prepares to compete in his first National Grand Prix.

3. How do you feel when the jumps get bigger and the turns get tighter?

When the jumps get bigger, my drive and focus shift into another gear. My adrenaline starts pumping and I get super excited. I’m sure my mom can feel the excitement. I love the tight turns but I think my mom loves them more than I do. The bigger jumps are more fun for me.

4. What’s it been like getting to know  your rider, Anna?

I love how she is always spending time with me and trying to find ways to make me feel my best. The first couple months were tough. I was unsure of what she was asking me to do, and I think she was too. But I know I can trust her now and she trusts me. We had an awesome and successful time in Florida. It was my first time there and hers. I didn’t know that trainers rode the horses until I arrived in Florida and a lady named Nicki [Shahinian-Simpson] got on me. She says I am very polite and soft in the mouth. I think she likes me. She really knows what she is doing. Nicki gets me show-ready and she helps me maintain my focus.

5. What do you like to do when you’re  not training or showing?

I love to have my field days with my sister Caristina at our barn in Kentucky. The humans call her Elsa. We eat grass from dusk til dawn together. I also love when my mommy takes me out and grooms/bathes me. She takes me on trails around the property. I get to see lots of cattle and polo ponies on my trails. I love to hang out in the barn with the humans and play with my toys because it makes them laugh. They got me this awesome ball that hangs in front of my stall.

Originally from the September 2020 issue.