Wayne, Ill.—Aug. 22
Lexie Kment’s Thoroughbred Manatee may seem unassuming in his plain brown wrapper, but put him in the dressage ring and his star power is evident.
After winning the children’s championship at the U.S. Dressage Festival Of Champions last year, Kment and Manatee are well on their way to repeating the feat. In their team test today, they posted a top score of 76.72 percent.
“So today’s test went really great,” said Kment, 14, Palmyra, Nebraska. “He was super on my aids, and we had a good test. It was better than I was expecting if we’re being truthful.
“Some highlights in my test were my leg yields; those felt really great,” she said. “The canter-walks felt really good, and the halts felt really good.”
Manatee came into Kment’s life five years ago when he arrived in her mother Jami Kment’s barn. A student was moving on to a young horse, and Jamie initially planned to make Manatee a lesson horse. But after spending some time with the 17-year-old gelding (Man From Elderado—New Traditions) she thought he’d be a good fit for her daughters Kylee and Lexie.
Kylee rode him to third in the children’s division at Festival in 2018 before Lexie took over the ride. Manatee lives out 24/7 and usually goes barefoot. He enjoys lying down in the pond in his pasture and playing in the water.
“In the barn he is exactly like a manatee,” said Lexie. “He is so lazy. He falls asleep in the cross ties. He drags his feet, so he doesn’t normally have to get his hind feet done because they’re already filed down.”
“We just always liked him,” Jami added. “We bought him to be a lesson horse, and the girls have just grown into him, and he’s developed really nicely.”
Watch Kment’s test, courtesy of USEF Network:
Lexie’s been doing her homework since last year’s Festival, and she felt it’s really paid off.
“[Our partnership has] developed a lot,” she said. “He’s definitely my baby boy. We have really been working on his suppleness and throughness. It’s been going really well.”