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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

T.S. BLACK TIE AFFAIR - Trick horse

Continuing my theme of horses immortalized by Breyer, I contacted the owner of T.S. Black Tie Affair, a new Breyer horse. Jan Sharp sent me the following pictures and stories about this beautiful stallion who will surely earn his unicorn horn someday!

Black Tie is a 21 year old 7/8 Arabian pinto stallion. When I saw his photo in an Arabian magazine, I contacted his owner on the other side of the country to ask about breeding some of my mares to him and ended up buying the whole horse instead. When I got him home, he would charge the front of his stall at me. So, being a trick horse trainer, I knew he needed to change his attitude and give him a new direction and focus in his life, so I would begin to teach him tricks. The first trick I taught him was to lay down. The next day when he charged his stall door at me, this time I turned around and yelled at him. He looked a bit startled, then retreated to the rear of his stall and promptly lay down. He had no idea what I was yelling about, but he had connected that laying down made me happy, so he lay down. That was the start of his brilliant trick horse career and he never charged the door again.

Eighteen years later, he had performed for tens of thousands of people, stood amid wheelchairs and walkers, and put his head into baby buggies so toddlers could pet him. Many kids first contact with a real live horse has been by touching Black Tie's velvety soft nose. I use him to both entertain and educate children about horses. They always ask the most funny questions. They want to see his teeth and his horse shoes, things they never get to see if their only contact with horses is from their TV set.
We have a good time teaching kids about horses. Black Tie stands motionless amid hundreds of kids when we visit schools. He knows he needs to be careful around them.

Not only did Black Tie become a star trick horse, but also in the show ring. He has earned 22 Pinto World and Reserve World Championships, the Pinto Open Supreme Championship, two World Show trophy saddles, and over 3800+ show points in all divisions. In 2010, he earned the Arabian Ambassador Award from the Arabian Horse Association for his many years of sharing his talents with so many people for so many years. Black Tie is also the star of the how-to book, "Trick Training Your Horse To Success" (Eclipse Press).
In 2011, Black Tie became a Breyer model horse, which opened the doors to him reaching every more people. Just knowing that somewhere out there, there are little girls sleeping with a Black Tie model, or have it standing on a place of honor, makes me happy. I hope that Black Tie and I have done our own little part of helping to ignite a love of horses to a whole new generation of children. That would make us very happy.

Jan Sharp

Thank you Jan!
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