Tonka's 6 years old today! A couple of days ago I posted The Story of GJR Shahanna Kahn aka Tonka! When I originally created that post, I planned on it being two parts. After I wrote the first part, which was really an intro to the video, I realized there was more.
I still needed to write the rest of the story.
As cool as breeding and training and showing a National Champion was, the "behind the scenes" part of the story is actually bigger-more exciting-and more important.
Because when Mike began coaching the WGA Equine Team, he didn't "settle" for doing things the way things had "always been done". He didn't pay any attention to people that asked why he would put so much time and effort into "these kind of kids".
He believed in "his" kids a bit more than that. Quite a bit more. He thought that maybe, just maybe, if he treated them and coached them like any other kids, they'd step up.
And you know what? They did just that.
Three young men that had never seen a horse show (let alone competed in one) went to a Class A Arabian show. They competed in the open division and did a fantastic job. Not because Mike "taught down" to them. But because he did the opposite. He expected them to do well. He gave them his all when he coached them and they returned the compliment.
The story of GJR Shahanna Khan, and how she came to be a National Champion (aka Tonka) was featured in the Modern Arabian Horse magazine in 2014 featured below. as shown below. If you click here, you can download the pdf file for easier reading!