Charlotte Green was destined for a lifelong journey with horses. The familiar adage “they were born to ride,” strikes a chord in many of our hearts. We feel this connection to the horse that is rooted deep inside of us. This statement might ring most true for Charlotte Green, born to a horse trainer and raised with horses in her backyard.
Charlotte was drawn to horses from the day she was born, and as soon as she could walk there was no keeping her away. “My mom, Catherine De Coster, said when I was itty bitty, she figured out I could get out of my crib because I’d climbed out, put my boots on, and walked down to the arena where she was riding. She looked up from the horse and there I was, in my diaper and boots.” Charlotte recalls with a chuckle. Catherine was a horse trainer, encouraging her love for horses. Her dad might not have been a horse enthusiast, but he was the most supportive father Charlotte could have asked for. “My dad wasn’t a horse person, but we sure have trained him up! He has always been so supportive of me showing horses. While I was at Baylor, he had a billboard in his office of some of my equestrian accomplishments.” Charlotte’s path to horse success was paved from the very beginning thanks to her mother’s expert knowledge and her father’s endless support.
Growing up as a trainer’s child can be rough on some, but Charlotte found great joy in her circumstance. Since she had a strong love for horses, so it was only natural for her to be out at the barn with her mom daily. Her mom wanted her to succeed which drove Charlotte to work hard to accomplish what she set out to. As Charlotte began advancing in her skills, her mom sought out additional help for her daughter from a longtime friend. “I think a lot of trainer’s kids will agree it’s hard to take lessons from your parent(s). I challenged my mom’s authority a lot, I’m not sure how she kept her patience with me all those years. Sometimes my mom would get Kellie Hinely to give me lessons because I would stop listening.” Kellie served as the perfect coach, molding Charlotte still to this day.
When Charlotte was young, a longtime client of her mother named Dan Peppard decided to send a foal that he had bred into training. Little did they know but the bay filly that arrived by the name of Central Park West, aka Parker, was about to help shape Charlotte’s career in the horse industry. “To this day, Mom said she was the easiest horse she has ever broken.” Charlotte recalled. “About a year after they broke her, she got sold, and shortly after, she was donated to an equestrian team. My mom found out and called the program to ask if they ever sold horses because she wanted Parker back. They said they wanted to keep her but took mom’s information anyway. Not too much later they called and said they would sell her because they thought she had an injury that they couldn’t feasibly fix. We bought her back for almost free. She came back to us around 2007 and we rehabbed her for the injury she and started showing the next year.”
In 2008 Parker and Charlotte hit their first show together. It wasn’t long after that Charlotte came to her mom with a hefty request. “I showed her a couple times in 2008 and at the end of the year I told mom I wanted this horse to be my novice youth all around horse. The next year I did basically every class. She had only done trail before that, but she was such a giving horse she tried everything.” Charlotte said with a grin. “She taught me the trail and she taught me to love it. It is still my favorite class. She had the mareish quality that she was so tuned into your body that if you even thought about loping off, she would do it.” Parker helped to mold Charlotte into the rider that she is now. Parker allowed Charlotte to learn to ride every stride and to be acutely attuned to the horse that was under you. These qualities helped to set her up for success in her college riding endeavors. “That was a very valuable skill for me to have while I was on the Baylor Equestrian team. She taught me to lose, to win, and how to set goals and achieve them. I will never be able to express how much she did for me.”
Parker is now 23 years old, living the life of luxury with Charlotte and her mom. “She lives loose on the ranch. We leave her stall open where she can go in to eat and take naps. The rest of the time she’s in the barn aisle, by the pastures with the other horses, or wandering the ranch. She chooses what to do with her time.” She said with an air that let you know that Parker runs the ranch. Which she deserves after delivering a Bronze World Champion title with Charlotte aboard as well as countless other titles. “She did so much for my mom and I, so now we do as much as we can to keep her comfortable and happy for her last bit of time with us.” Parker wanted to give Charlotte and her mom something to allow them to carry on her legacy in the show arena. In 2018, Parker foaled out a beautiful bay filly that looks almost identical to her. Charlotte and her mom named the newborn cutie Nicky and more formally Mechanic Parkin Only.
Nicky is sired by the Mechanic, which the two ladies hoped would provide a little more height to counter Parker’s small frame. Charlotte shared that things don’t always turn out the way that you plan when it comes to breeding. “Nicky is about one inch taller than her mother. And looks almost identical to Parker. She is already a pet and has a big personality. My heart is warm knowing we will never sell her, and she will always get to be with us.” Charlotte shared more about her young mount. “We just wanted a piece of Parker with us. Even before Nicky was born, I was imagining winning on her. She has no idea the amount of pressure I put on her!” The process from breeding your mare to finally seeing your foal in the show pen can be a long one, and it was even longer for Charlotte and her mom because they waited until Nicky was almost three to put her first rides on her. Those hopes and dreams that Charlotte had for her are what made it all worth the wait. “She was small and there was no rush. When other trainers were starting their coming 2’s, we started our coming 3. I got to do her first four rides. It makes me feel like I have a connection with her. October 3rd, 2020 was her first ride.”
Almost one year to the day of their first ride, Charlotte won a major title on Nicky at one of the largest shows of the year clear across the country. “Our main goal for her first year was the Ocala Championship Show 3 Year Old Trail. We showed in July and September and she just kept exceeding expectations. She kept getting more and more broke in a short time. In Ocala, I was Reserve Champion in the Non Pro 3 Year Old Trail and my mom placed Top 10 in the Limited Open Trail.” When asked what made this success possible in such a short amount of time, Charlotte credited their consistent training program that gave Nicky confidence. “She lives a happy life at home- she is out on a pasture 12 hours a day, and has a clear, consistent training program. She doesn’t see any reason to not do what is asked of her. She has a good attention span and she listens well. She doesn’t spend time fighting against us and is agreeable to trying new things.” Charlotte feels that Parker passed down her great mind and feel to Nicky. She loves riding her every day and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
While earning a major title in the Trail seemed like a big enough feat for a 3 year old, Nicky decided to outdo herself in November. Charlotte noticed that Nicky had a knack for Showmanship, and event that she hadn’t shown in a decade. Charlotte and her mom went to work relearning the ropes. They did well enough to earn the Level 1 Amateur Showmanship Championship at the 2021 AQHA World Show. They aren’t going to stop there, with big dreams already in play for the 2022 season. Charlotte is looking to add horsemanship and western riding to their repertoire. “I have some high hopes for the showmanship and trail even if takes us years to accomplish. I’m going to start doing horsemanship with her this year and my mom is going to add western riding hopefully. She just needs a lot more miles before she can be exceptional at anything. Each time I show her I put a lot more trust in her.” We know that these two will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come! Best of luck and continued success to Charlotte and Nicky.