Charlie the Macho
He is quite a mini macho, the “Charly”… In any case, he wants to be the boss in his Italian horse herd – even though he was entered in the Guinness Book of Records in 2013 as the smallest stallion in the world. But his courage and his heart make him a true personality, and so it is not surprising that he would like to take the lead with Friesian mare “Rebecca” or Andalusian “Baltazar”.
His home is the beautiful island of Ischia, where he and the other four-legged friends live on a beautiful farm – with owner Bartolo Messina: “‘Charly’ always wants to show that he is a real guy. He is not afraid of anything or anyone in the world”, he explains, “Fearlessness is a very important quality for show horses, but for me, Charly’s strength of character also means that I have to take good care of our friendship in order to be able to work with him. We’ve been training together since he was two years old – and now, four years later, we’re a great team.
Bartolo himself is a horse man through and through. Having grown up in a family of riders, he cannot remember the first time he sat on a horseback – he was still so small then. From his father, he says, he has probably inherited passion and sensitivity. “Over the years I have been able to try out many different riding styles: dressage traditions, stunt riding. But for me personally, ‘freedom’ is the crowning glory of working with horses. It is here that it becomes most evident whether we really reach and understand each other… It is like magic.”
“Sol”, his avatar
The Italian feels most strongly connected with “Sol”, an Arab, Bartolo Messina’s favourite breed. “He’s incredibly intelligent and we trust each other blindly. I see him as my avatar, as if we were two souls in perfect harmony.” But Bartolo also loves his other horses with all his heart, as colourful as they are: Besides mini horse “Charly”, Frisian “Rebecca”, Andalusian “Baltazar” and “Sol”, Cartujano “Fenicio” and Welsh crossbreed “Zagor” are also part of the team. To show the facets and the skills of the individual characters is especially important to the horse lover. “Whether small or large, elegant or rather ponderous – all of them are capable of really extraordinary things. They take care of each other and become a unity, strengthen each other”, he describes. “Actually, they are a wonderful role model for us humans. My greatest aspiration is to emulate them. Bartolo Messina and his horses are more than just a herd. They are a family