Friendly, open, hard-working – and above all fond of animals: these are the attributes that somone associates with Carmen, the likeable groom of the Equipe Bartolo Messina. In the current show CAVALLUNA – “Legend of the Desert” the Italian shows an impressive liberty dressage with 10 horses, a comedy number with a tinker and a little freedom with six cute mini-shettys jumping over small obstacles. Since the freedom artist cannot take care of all the four-legged friends alone, the Spanish-born artist supports him whenever and wherever she can: Whether it’s looking after the animals backstage or taking care of them – Carmen is definitely the good soul in the stable tent! Every morning she distributes the feed to the Italian’s horses, cleans their boxes or regularly takes them for a leisurely walk.
Carmen’s big dream of a life with the horses
For almost 20 years, the horse groom taught English at a secondary school on the Canary Island of Gran Canaria before she finally turned her big dream into reality four years ago: working with the noble animals. Together with her team colleague Nina Chauleur, she grooms a total of six sweet mini-shettys, an Arab, a Welsh pony, a Tinker, a Frisian, a KWPN, a Baroque Pinto, three Spaniards, an Appaloosa and a Lusitano. Besides this diverse mix, her own four-legged friend, the former race horse “Fine Art World”, is also on tour. The English thoroughbred competed in the British Newmarket on one of the oldest racetracks – and at that time made the hearts of many fans beat faster.
When the hobby becomes a vocation
On tour weekends, a normal working day for Carmen’s starts at seven in the morning and ends shortly after the last show at around 11 pm. After feeding the four-legged friends in the morning and mucking out the boxes, she often goes for a little walk with the horses. She then always takes enough time for each animal. That Carmen is completely absorbed in her work is especially noticeable when she talks about “her” animals and her eyes start to shine. She knows the respective eating habits and special character traits of each four-legged show star. Mini-Shetty “Charly”, for example, loves carrots as well as concentrate, while Tinker “Johan” loves to sleep, reveals Carmen.
During the week the noble four-legged friends are accommodated in the intermediate stable near Mönchengladbach, where they can relax and enjoy a light training. Here too, Carmen, who speaks five other languages in addition to her mother tongue Spanish, always lovingly looks after the animals and makes sure that they lack for nothing.
After the grand tour finale of CAVALLUNA – “Legend of the Desert”, Carmen, team boss Bartolo and of course the horses will travel together back to the Italian island of Ischia, where they can all relax and gradually prepare for the upcoming tour 2020/2021 CAVALLUNA – “Secret of Eternity”. Carmen has been part of the Italian’s family for a long time and therefore has a permanent place at Bartolo’s horse ranch “Aragona Arabians”.
The job as a horse groom requires a lot of diligence, dedication and love for the horses. Above all, it is the calmness that Carmen particularly appreciates in these noble four-legged friends: She finds inner peace in their proximity and the honest nature of these sensitive animals impresses her again and again. For hours Carmen can watch her fosterlings. Even during her holidays, the groom prefers to spend her time with and around the noble four-legged friends – for example on the farm of Sebastián Fernández’s CAVALLUNA team in Granada, in the south of Andalusia.
Always there with passion
Her tip for all those who would like to become a horse groom: “Passion for animals should be above all! To inspire their confidence, it is important to be calm and consistent at all times and to give the horses a feeling of security”.
Carmen has dared and lives her passion for horses every day anew. Today she can no longer imagine a life without her noble four-legged friends.