When two-time RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo champion Lisa Lockhart thundered down the alley at AT&T Stadium on February 19, 2017, the flash of buckskin horseflesh beneath her was a familiar sight. However, it wasn’t fan-favorite An Oakie With Cash.
Alan Woodbury’s eye-catching buckskin mare, Rosas Cantina CC, has taken the spotlight for Lockhart so far this year while “Louie” heals from a stifle issue. “Rosa’s” equally colorful personality makes her a vivid addition to Lockhart’s string.
“The difference between being on her back and being around her is night and day,” Lockhart said. “She is absolutely the sweetest, most kind mare I have ever been around. On her back, she’s like a lion that’s ready to pounce. Thankfully, she’s very lovable and very sweet to be around.”
Though Lockhart admits Rosa’s “lion-like” intensity under saddle can become rather difficult to manage, her talent doesn’t go unnoticed among the barrel racing community. The 2010 mare was started by Jacque Woolman and futuritied by Hallie Hanssen before coming to Lockhart in 2016. After hauling Rosa to a limited number of circuit rodeos and the 2017 American Rodeo, the veteran competitor says Rosa is one of the fastest horses she’s ever ridden—even through the kinks of their new partnership.
“She can run a hole in the wind. It’s a manner of trying to contain that speed and tunnel it in the right direction—she gets very scared and worried, but she’s so incredibly fast she can make mistakes and still clock,” Lockhart said. “We are a work in progress as a team. Even as worked up as she can get, she wants to be trainable and wants to please, so I really commend her for that.”
Lockhart says Rosa is a challenging change of pace from the stalwart Louie. Their bond has strengthened through the trials of adjusting to each other’s styles and personalities. Rosa takes comfort in Lockhart’s quiet confidence in the saddle, while Lockhart has been pushed out of her comfort zone to run and season the fractious mare.
“A different way to explain how Rosa is to ride would be she is very dramatic and reactive, and unforgiving to any miscalculations I may have,” Lockhart said. “That makes her quite difficult to ride, but we are continually working on how to better understand each other. It’s a comfort zone to get on horses you know are seasoned, so it’s really hard for me sometimes to force myself to step back and say ‘No, I’m going to do this.’”
There’s no doubt Rosa’s kind heart and exceptionally sweet demeanor have made the process more enjoyable for Lockhart. Rosa is quietly affectionate and thrives on physical contact, though not in an obnoxious way, Lockhart notes.
“She’s a touchy-feely horse; very friendly,” Lockhart said. “She likes to be up close and personal, whether it’s at home or waiting our turn before we run barrels. She will, in a quiet manner, inch forward and invade other people’s personal space and other horses’ personal space. Whether she puts her face against you or swings her hip and puts her rear end around, she likes to be touching. I just can’t say enough things about her being so sweet and pleasant to be around.”
Lockhart has also discovered Rosa’s everyday quirks; something she says is one of the most rewarding parts about spending so much time out on the road with her horses.
“Rosa has these cute little quirks—she cracks me up when she drinks water. She prepares her lips, like it’s this big ordeal for about 10 seconds before she actually puts her lips in the water and takes a drink,” Lockhart said with a laugh. “It’s fun to find these little quirks and recognize them and know these things about your horses.”
This article was originally published in the July 2017 issue of BHN.