Everyone loves an underdog. Or in this case an “underhorse.” But that is not how this story begins…
Colicchio was born in Holstein, Germany with the genetics to win. Like many other foals that share his father’s legacy, Colicchio carries the weight of one of the most talented and accomplished show jumping horses in recent history, Casall. With a striking resemblance to his dear ole dad, and an equally impressive mother, Colicchio was sure to follow in his parents’ hoof prints, making his own history along the way.
He was purchased as a foal by an American dressage trainer and her Danish show jumping husband, destined to make the trip across the globe to live a glamorous Southern California lifestyle. When Colicchio turned 4 he traded in his German passport to move to the infamous OC where wives are rich with Botox and horse people are, well, just rich. Colicchio’s parents were neither, but they were rich in knowledge and horsemanship and had all the faith in the world that their German import would live out their California dreams for him.
He was started under saddle in dressage, with all good intentions to establish a solid base for his potential jumping career. However, the classical German way of training followed him to Cali, and the American quickly learned that Colicchio would not fit into the traditional box. The more he was pushed the more he pushed back, showing his fiery side more often then not, and becoming a handful of ornery. Increasingly fearful of his temper, the reins were passed over to the Dane with the hopes he could better handle the young spirited brute.
Day after day the Dane did his best to gain Colicchio’s trust, letting him toss and turn about around the arena, literally chomping at the bit to get the unwanted passenger off his back. But the Dane kept coming back, unfazed by the tantrums, and letting the young stallion know, it’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to lash out, but it’s not going to deter me. Get it all out now, and then we make our peace and move forward.
And finally that’s exactly what happened. Colicchio eventually succumbed to the fact that despite his best efforts the Dane was unbothered by his antics, and soon realized that all his fussing about was in fact a bit exhausting. However, just as the tides were settling, in the spring of his 5th year, another storm brewed underneath. And just like that Colicchio was in trouble. What presented itself as colic, manifested into the discovery of a herniated testicle. Under the knife the stallion went, and he came out the other side with one half of his manhood removed.
The universe has a funny way of unveiling symbiosis in the intertwined realities of horse and rider. The Dane himself, having just been knocked down by a business deal gone wrong, and a relationship hanging in the balance, also found himself halfway to defeat Both Colicchio and the Dane spent the next 6 months slowly rebuilding their strength and faith in the future. The Dane began to bring the stallion back to working order, while simultaneously rebooting his career in the equine supplement arena.
However, while the Dane was skilled at fixing even the most “unfixable” horses, those skills were not transferable to his relationship. After 18 years the couple came to terms with the state of their relationship and began the process of a separation on amicable terms. Unfortunately, at the same time, like so many times before that, the Dane who now possessed a potential diamond in the rough that was primed for him to polish up, would lose his mount to another rider. The Dane brought the Stallion to HITS Thermal, with the joint decision it was best to pass the horse along to another professional who could sell the horse.
The couple split, and the Dane lost the Stallion. Or so it seemed….
I am not a religious person by any means, and I am a daily disbeliever in god’s plan being for the greater good. But I wholeheartedly prescribe to the belief system that “everything happens for a reason.” This is coincidently, or perhaps not so much, where I pop into the picture. I myself was at a beginning of sorts, following the end of my marriage, and running a fast growing business hans solo.
Well I quickly fell in love with the downer Dane. He was just the right mix of brooding emotionally unavailable man that my heart skips a beat for. Lucky for me the Dane fell for my crazy as hard as I fell for him and our personality differences became an asset through both of our relationship recoveries. After so many failed attempts at love, you always tell yourself this time it is going to be different. And it was, this time he came with a horse! An added bonus for a horse crazed girl like myself.
The Dane’s old horse Cagney found his way back to him after being tossed around for years from amateur to amateur. A talented horse with a big heart, but with a sensitive quirky side, Cagney was definitely not amateur proof. But as seen with the Stallion, and then with me, the Dane has a special touch when it comes to making “crazy” work.
I fell in love with Cagney quicker then I fell in love with his dad, and I longed for the day the Dane would pass him along to me. I being the one amateur of course that would finally master him. Yes, delusions often accompany the crazy. But Cagney and I were made of the same stuff, totally anxiety ridden neurotics that just wanted to love and be loved; it was meant to be. Luckily I have been blessed with the skill of persuasion and I could see that I was wearing the Dane down. If only there was something else that could seal the deal.
Colic was not exactly the answer to my prayers I had in mind, but only a few short months after Colicchio was with the new trainer to be sold, he once again presented with Colic. Off to the hospital he went, and once again underwent surgery for a blockage related to built up scar tissue from his ballectomey. The Dane and the American were besides themselves, sick with worry over the baby they had brought into their lives only a short 2 years ago. The divorce was about to be finalized, and the decision was made that the stallion would stay in the family. Colicchio, once again found his way back to the Dane, giving them both a second chance at fulfilling their destinies.
When Colicchio came back into the Dane’s life, that made horse number 2. Two horses, and well, no money. Hmmmm, what’s a dude to do? Yup, give one to the girlfriend! And that’s how Cagney became mine.
Both horses and man, broken in many ways, but with all the potential in the world, came into my life just in time to be saved.