Paolo Pettena, aka “Babbe”, is a 44-year-old rider from Vicenza. Many think that he shouldn’t even be on a horse doing “what he does so well.”
His motto is, “Never give up!” because no one can tell you what you should and can do; only you can decide your own destiny.
The story of Paolo and his horse Energy For Me, stable name “Nanetto”, began in 2016 and has proved to be extremely satisfying not just for them, but also for their trainer Nicola Cordioli.
Reining involves guiding the horse with the reins and barely noticeable aids through a pattern of movements; this is why the feeling and relationship between the trio of rider, horse, and trainer is so vitally important.
Paolo sees Energy For Me as his teammate in competitions and their relationship is based on respect and trust. But this on its own is not enough: the preparation and training need to be worked on consistently to get good results and equally important is the horse and rider’s ability to orientate themselves in the arena.
“I always want to do better and do my best. The feeling you get as you enter the arena is priceless.
When I’m competing I’ve got just the right amount of nerves, and my last thought is the pattern, which is the routine I need to follow. The right circle is the most critical moment for me as I’ve always had problems with that.
A horse means loyalty and willingness; he never betrays me. I have to thank him, always, for what he does for me.”
Paolo believes that having a calm, level-headed horse is essential to getting to the arena in the best possible condition and diet plays a key role in achieving this: a feed must ensure that the horse has the right physical and mental balance as it always needs to be responsive, yet never too excitable, fit, explosive yet even-tempered, and ready to put in the best possible performance during the competition.