#TheFavorite was a popular term for describing Make Mine a Goodbar, A.K.A Mac, around his Temecula barn.
This gelding had several other little nicknames including Buddy, Mac Daddy, Good Boy or simply The Best Horse Ever. Everyone who came in contact with Mac would immediately swoon over this big red horse. He was loved by everyone. Sadly, on May 3rd, Mac passed away, leaving his owner, Jan Carpenter, heartbroken. “I feel like I have this tremendous hole in my heart,” she remarked, dabbing the tears off her cheeks.
Carpenter had owned Mac for nearly nine years, purchasing him at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. The pair were almost not to be, for Carpenter was struggling with getting an appointment with Mac’s trainer to try him at the time. Even though she looked at many horses during her time there, none seemed to be the right fit. She describes the experience as “...trying these other horses and none of them got me excited. There were a couple that would have been okay. But I just didn't get that warm and fuzzy feeling about them.” Eventually, Carpenter had grown frustrated and just wished to go home. Late one night, however, she finally got an appointment with Mac. It was pouring rain, and she laughed
when recalling the memory. “This was the last thing I wanted to be doing. My attitude was I'm just going to get on and ride him around and say thank you very much and go home. So they come bringing out this big red horse-” Carpenter pauses again, takes a deep breath, dabbing more tears away. “And I just sorta looked at him and said well that’s a big red horse, I watched him walk quietly through the rain into the arena.”
Carpenter proceeded to get on Mac and ride him around the arena. She was already getting that warm and fuzzy feeling from just jogging him around, but then the trainer asked her
to go ahead and lope him off. “I ask him to lope off and it was like I was riding a rocking horse, he just had this big soft stride and you could barely feel his hooves touch the ground,
it was just so soft. And I knew right then that he was the one.” She pauses, smiling shyly, “That's a nice memory. Anyway, needless to say we brought him home.” She finishes off smiling again, eyes bright. Mac’s caretaker of three years and his trainer of the last five, Beth Clemons, reminisces on her first memory of this horse.
Carpenter had texted Clemons a picture of Make Mine a Goodbar with the caption, “Meet Mac”. Clemons mistakenly thought the horse was Heavenly Mac, remembering that, “My
response was ‘You bought Heavenly Mac?’ Carpenter typed back ‘Who is that?’. Even though that was not his name, it certainly fit him.” She goes on to express seeing him coming off the trailer, recalling his sweet eyes, little did she know this would be the horse that changed her life.
Since Carpenter purchased Mac when he was so young, all he really knew how to do was pleasure. Yet, Clemons saw the potential in him to be an all around horse. “He had only
been shown in the pleasure when I got him in training and he was so talented and so natural the trail and western riding came easy,” Clemons says. Indeed, Mac was a natural mover and with the help of his amazing trainer, he went on to do great things. “The first time I showed him in Senior Trail, I asked his owner, Jan Carpenter, if I could take him in to see where he was because he was likely to point out of green that year. It was a Silver Dollar Circuit, and I went early in the morning. He ended up qualified for the world show in his first go. That year we went to the world show (still a green horse) and were 17th in the L2 Senior Trail.” Clemons says, recalling her favorite memory with the gelding. He won several circuits in Western Pleasure, Trail, and Western Riding, even qualifying in all these events for the world show. At his last show right before his passing he won the Sr. All Around, circuit in the Sr. Western Riding, and Reserve in the Sr. Western Pleasure.
Mac had the natural talent to do so well at the shows, but talent only gets you so far. What made Mac such a force of nature was the drive he had to show. “He loved to show, absolutely loved it,” Carpenter says. “The last couple years I haven't been able to show him as much.
So there were times when other horses in the barn would go to shows and he would have to stay home. This would make him very upset. It was kind of funny because he was always the first one in the trailer. From his window he’d start seeing Bath walk other horses to the trailer. He did not like the fact that other horses were going to the show and he wasn't. I liked that about him, he wanted to show, he liked it and liked being there. He liked his job. He loved it.”
Clemons described this horse to have more heart than anyone could imagine out of the show pen also. “The hardest part about training Mac was that he did exactly what you asked him too, which meant if his novice rider, Jan Carpenter, asked for anything a little bit wrong, he tried to do what she asked even if it wasn’t what she meant.” Carpenter adds on to this statement, “So there were times that I frustrated him so much and he never got mad and he just kept on trucking, probably thinking ‘Lady, what are you trying to make me do?’ I know I confused the hell out of him sometimes. And then eventually we got it. He was just a cool horse that way. He put up with all of my stuff. He was a good boy.” Carpenter pauses and almost whispers, “He was a good boy.” Mac was an extraordinary mover but that was not the only thing that made him into such an amazing horse: his unique personality also played a big role in these women's lives. “He was just a big ‘ole goofball,” Carpenter begins, explaining Macs personality. “He had all these different voices. His voice was sometimes this little soft nicker like okay I know you're here now let me sleep. Other times it was louder as if to say I want attention!” Carpenter chuckles, smiling at the memories. “He and Beth had this extrandonary relationship. He would do absolutely anything for her. For me, it was the same,” Carpenter goes on to say.
Clemons talks about this special relationship this pair had, one deeper then just horse and trainer. “Mac captured my soul from day one,” Clemons begins. “We just clicked. We respected each other and grew to have an amazing bond. He trusted me in every way and I trusted him more than I could ever trust any human. He was my best friend. We just loved each other. Despite having horses my entire life, I’ve never had a relationship that deep with an animal. He gave me confidence and taught me how to be a great horse trainer. Sometimes I think he trained me.”
This amazing bond they had together is what makes his passing so difficult for Clemons. “I’d love to tell you I’m fine and I’m being strong but that would be a lie. I feel lost and I don’t know how to live my daily life without his knickers.” Though Mac is gone, Clemons will always keep the memory of him in her heart Mac did not only change Beth Clemons life but Carpenters also. “I thought about him constantly even when I wasn’t with him. Sorta like my whole little world revolved around him.”
Carpenter had so much love for this horse it made her realize so many things, some that she wants to share with other horse owners. “I think he loved me as much as I loved him. It made me realize, horses have feelings and a lot of people just treat them like objects but they have feelings. I think I would just like to say to people out there, show your horses you love them everyday, because you never know it can happen so fast and their gone.” “If I had one more day with him, I would have thrown a halter on him and loped on him bareback. Reached down and hug his neck and walk around the arena a million times,” Jan Carpenter says, still drying tears. She might not have had this last perfect day with Mac, but she knew that they had a perfect companionship for as long as they knew one another, “He knew that I loved him and that Beth loved him. For that I’m grateful. That he knew he was loved.” Mac may be gone, but he will forever be #TheFavorite in everyone's hearts.