Hawk (formerly Fandango) | Owner: Carl Smith

I adopted Hawk (formerly Fandango) 20 months ago. From the moment we met I knew he was the right horse for me. He has such a gentle disposition and we compared him to a Bernese Mountain dog pup - Big, playful, gentle, lovable yet sturdy and stout. He and I bonded immediately. That bond has grown greatly over the past 20 months. We have ridden literally hundreds of mountain trail miles and put in many hours in the arena. He is unflappable. Nothing we’ve come across seems to bother him. If he does get amped up, he instantly comes right back down. I’ve said from the day he came to us that he has the best mind of almost any horse I’ve seen. He is also solid and sure footed - he has huge and healthy feet that carry both me and his 16.2 hand, 1,400 lb frame. I also love his kindness to my grandkids. He spent this week carrying my 4 year old grandson via lead line. I call Hawk our gentle giant, yet he has the forward movement and endurance that I want for our riding. 

Our passion is extreme trail riding. Over last summer and this we’ve spent many weeks in the Oregon Cascades. We’ve ridden parts of the Pacific Crest Trail, Oregon Coast range, Simco Mountains of South Central Washington and last month we rode to the top of Paulina Peak - 7,984 feet of elevation. We’ve crossed rivers, swam in lakes, galloped in the Oregon Coastal surf and ridden up and down valleys and peaks. We’ve also been competing in the Western States Stock Horse Show. The arena work does not come as natural to either of us as the trail, but Hawk gives me his all. As I work towards becoming a better rider, Hawk is right there with me and willing to ride Pleasure patterns, reining patterns and Arena trail work (which we enjoy the most). My goal is to become a more quiet, polished rider through all of the arena work and Hawk is the horse who will help me on this journey. 

My trainer, Stacey Riggs knew of MCR and had told us of the quality of the horses she had seen and the care and gentling they had received. My wife and I were following MCR through social media and through Sound Equine Options and through Stacey who made a trip to MCR in December of 2016. Stacey knew I was looking for a big bodied good horse. She called us from MCR and said she had found my horse. She brought Hawk home and we’ve been writing our story ever since. I have no regrets, only positive things to say about Hawk and MCR. He came to us gentled and with considerable ground work which set us up to saddle break and start his training. Thank you MCR for giving Hawk an incredible start and for trusting me with him.