Sisters Deanna and Dana Fout enjoy an array of activities with their Arabian and Half-Arabian horses, including mounted shooting. Mounted shooting is a competitive sport which focuses on completing a shooting pattern while riding. Horses competing in this discipline must have great minds and pay close attention to their riders in an often noisy environment, with a host of distractions. Deanna and Dana share a little about the horses that have become their shooting partners.
(Emma) Tell us about yourself?
(Deanna) My name is Deanna Fout. I am 14 years old. Our farm is located in Suwannee county Florida. It is called Suwannee Oak Black Arabians.
(Dana) My name is Dana Fout, and I live in north central Florida on our farm called Suwannee Oak Black Arabians. I am 13 years old, and I am all about horses. I like to trail ride, show on the open circuit (both English and Western) and go mounted shooting. I came to love Arabian horses growing up on our farm, which is full of them. My great grandfather brought all of our buildings and his first Arabians here to Florida from Ohio in the 1980s.
(Emma) Who are the special Arabian and Half-Arabian horses in your life and why?
(Deanna) My horse's names are Liles Black Shania (Shania) and Dreamscape CT (Shelby). Shania was born in 2005 and has had one foal. Shelby was born in 2002 and also has had one foal. Both of my mares go to shows, clinics and mounted shooting. I do not shoot off my horses yet. We help set balloons for the more experienced riders. This helps our horses get used to the noise and the pieces of balloons on the ground. I also like riding games like Ride A Buck. That's where you ride bareback while you're sitting on a dollar and do what the judge says until the last rider with the dollar wins all the money.
(Dana) Kumonrya Koi (Koi), my Half-Arabian gelding, is sired by a foundation Appaloosa, and his mother is an Arabian. He is a goofy, lazy horse, but when he wants he can run like the wind. I love riding Koi in all disciplines. All in all Koi is a great horse, and he has helped me grow as a rider as much as I have helped him grow as a trained horse.
Odiyas Anaya (Annie), my Purebred Arabian mare, is just getting started in her saddle training. She is one of those "born broke" horses. Nothing bothers her. She doesn't even mind the noise when we go mounted shooting. She is also great at obstacles. Her grandsire was an Arabian race horse.
Koi's dam, Dreamscape (Shelby), has been doing 4H since forever, and now she is helping my cousin, Maddison Fout, learn to ride.
(Emma) What are your goals short term, and long term with the Arabian horse?
(Deanna) My short term goal is to represent my 4H club, Suwannee Young Riders, at Area B in 2019. I want to do Western Classes with Shania. My long term goal is to get better at mounted shooting so I can lope the pattern and shoot the balloons.
(Emma) What would you say to someone your age who is thinking of making an Arabian their next horse?
(Deanna) I recommend Arabian horses because they will keep you safe on the trail and when you're shooting in the arena.
(Emma) Parent/Guardian, what has your experience of the Arabian horse as a Youth/Family horse been?
(Jamie De Hart, Parent) Arabian horses have been instrumental in helping our children learn to function as a team. The horses are very easy going and forgiving. They seem to understand when different levels of riders are mounted. They meet each challenge bravely and put thought behind going through with things that may not be safe. They are big personalities that can show empathy and compassion towards their handlers.
Congratulations Deanna and Dana on all your hard work with your Arabian and Half-Arabian horses. We really enjoyed hearing about their versatility and all the different things you are working on with them and are looking forward to whatever else you add in the future, including more mounted shooting!