May 04, 2020

USEA Horse of the Month: Winston

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Photo courtesy of Haley Geraci.

During this downtime, the USEA members have submitted their favorite horse tricks to be featured on the USEA social media. The tricks have consisted of horse kisses and horse smiles, but one trick that stood out was the synchronized dancing done by Haley Geraci and Winston. Going into a month with no competitions on the calendar, the USEA nominated the dancing horse, Winston, as the USEA May Horse of the Month! Winston is a 13-year-old Morgan cross gelding ridden and owned by Geraci.

He loves to learn new tricks and his favorite treats are skittles and gummy bears – learn more about the May Horse of the Month from his dance partner.

Photo courtesy of Haley Geraci.

About Winston

  • Barn name?

“He goes by Winston both at shows and in the barn.”

  • Favorite treat?

"Skittles and gummy bears!"

  • Favorite phase in eventing?

“He is a show jumping superstar. He turns on a dime and never touches a rail.”

  • Personality traits (introvert or extrovert)?

“He hates other horses! I'd say he is an extrovert though. He loves to go on ‘field trips’ (shows and such) and he gets angry when we go without him!”

  • Likes?

“He loves doing tricks! He gets very excited. I think he just likes to learn. He is very smart, so you have to keep him busy.”

  • Dislikes?

“Once again, other horses. But also, I'd say he hates being groomed. He's all squirmy and gets irritated.”

  • How did you train your horse to dance?

“That was a process! I started by using the handle end of a dressage whip to yield his shoulder. The tough part was having him cross his left over his right. Once he did that, I incorporated a verbal command, "cross it over", while leaning towards his shoulder, and reinforcing the movement I wanted with the whip. From there on, it was repetition, then I added the verbal cue, "bring it back" to have him step back where he was to regain his balance. I'd say this one was one of the hardest tricks to get solid so far, besides laying him down. THAT was difficult!”

  • Any other facts that you’d like to add?

“He is 13 this May, and we have been together ever since he was 4 years old! I was 11 when we found each other. He and I worked up to the C-1 level in Pony Club and attended Pony Club Championships in 2017. He is 15.1 hands, and the highest we've jumped is 3 feet and 6 inches. We've competed up to Beginner Novice and have schooled Novice. He's such a fun ride for a Morgan cross, my heart horse forever.”

Miss any of the previous 2020 horses of the month? Find out about the USEA January Horse of the Month, USEA February Horse of the Month, USEA March Horse of the Month, and USEA April Horse of the Month.

About the USEA Horse of the Month

The USEA is recognizing an event horse each month on the USEA website and social media. The USEA Horse of the Month is determined based on performant and event results and announced at the beginning of every month. The May Horse of the Month was selected based on the horse trick submissions from the USEA members.

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