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Stallion Stories

Schroeder

Sandro Hit x Escudo I

Owner/Farm: Kathy Hickerson of Majestic Gaits, New Hampshire

Schroeder & Kathy on auction day.

From the day Kathy Hickerson laid eyes on Schroeder as a 2.5-year-old at the Verden auction, she knew she had to bring him home to Majestic Gaits. Kathy had been on the Hanoverian Verband Breeders’ tour, and she was excited to bid on a dressage stallion to add to her roster. It just so happened that Kathy, who is typically a KWPN breeder, had not found a stallion in Holland that fit her mold, so she made a list of the bloodlines she liked most in the auction before heading to the stalls for up close examination. At that point, quite a few quickly came off the list! Character, type, and conformation were non-negotiable characteristics in Kathy’s program. She knew from the moment she met Schroeder that he was the one.

Kathy reminisces, “I wanted them to be good enough for the KWPN. That also narrowed down the selection. It was really fun to be with the group but also my partner, VDL Stud, was at the auction. I met up with Weipke van de Lageweg and he asked what stallions I had on my list. I asked to see his list first as I can't possibly bid more than him. I crossed Schroeder off his list. He said he has a lot of jumper blood for a dressage horse. I said I like that. I luckily ended up buying him in the auction!”

Kathy had a funny experience in the auction when, in her excitement to ensure she won the bidding on Schroeder in the all-German language auction, she raised her yellow Hanoverian card again and the auctioneer said in English “You already have the bid.”

Through the auction, Kathy became Schroeder’s second owner after buying him straight from his breeder. The breeder started Schroeder under saddle and even offered to buy him back. However, Kathy politely declined. Schroeder was just what she wanted.

Bareback piaffe!

Today, Schroeder is a FEI Grand Prix mount, ridden by Liz Caron. Schroeder boasts a super character, nice type, and fantastic movement. Kathy notes, “I loved the jumper blood in his lines but also liked Sandro Hit and he was popular. But more importantly he had a champion mother. It was important for me that he had a good dam line.” Turns out, this was the magical genetic formula that has been consistently heritable in Schroeder’s offspring. Though Kathy leaves the riding to Liz, Kathy’s special bond with Schroeder is secured from her involvement in everything he needs and does outside of the under-saddle work. Kathy has been there with him every step of the way from trailering him to Chicago for Young Horse Finals to the Dressage National Championships, and to collections in the breeding shed. Kathy enjoys managing his breedings and takes great satisfaction from the positive feedback she gets from happy breeders and owners of Schroeder’s offspring. As Kathy says, “That is when I know I picked the right stallion for sure.” Schroeder consistently stamps long legs and a beautiful head and topline, and performance horses that excel in sport.

Schroeder’s favorite treat is bananas, and his favorite pastime in his stall is looking out his window at the sky. Schroeder loves interacting with people and, in fact, adores the attention. Perhaps most importantly, Schroeder loves his rider, Liz Caron. In the barn, Schroeder’s character shines through. He is stalled amongst the mares (both next to and across from him). Kathy is adamant that her stallions learn “that there is a time to be a stallion and a time to not. He can talk to them. That is ok. But no acting on it unless we are breeding.” Schroeder got ample practice with this when he was often trailered as a young horse with mare Uloma MG.

As far as personality goes, Kathy notes that Schroeder has a playful side! Schroeder will grab “the broom next to his stall and start sweeping. We have a video of it on Facebook. He also likes to throw his ball outside the stall and people throw it back in for him. He also played with a toy with a Doberman. People who visit him see his cool character. They say, ‘Wow, he is very well behaved.’ I respond, ‘Life is too short to have a stallion that does not behave.’ He also loves for someone to just hold his tongue.”



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