Exclusive Interview: What Makes Traci & Carleton Brooks of Balmoral Farms Experts in Finding the Perfect Horse?

Traci & Carleton Brooks are two very talented horse people that have been able to combine their skills and build an extremely successful business known as Balmoral Farms. Traci has an extensive teaching background and a keen ability to match horses and riders while Carleton, best known as CB, is one of the most respected and recognized horsemen in the country. CB’s successful career spans over three decades of coaching, judging, riding and competing. We admire such qualities and want to share these insights with the rest of the ProEquest community. To learn a little more about what makes these two so successful we asked them a few questions:

Carleton Brooks at the Thermal Desert Circuit. Photo Credit: John Zambrano

PE - What characteristics must the horse have in order for you to consider purchasing? 

BF - When trying horses we look at quality and attitude the most, which to us are the most important attributes in successful horses. 

PE - Do you have a specific type of horse that you prefer or that you've found to have the most success with? Perhaps they don't move as well but have an incredible jump or vice versa. 

BF - We don’t get hung up on specific “types” of horses. We look at every horse as an individual with unique qualities. Finding good horses can sometimes be difficult and we don't want to narrow our possibilities. Sometimes they come to us in roundabout ways!

Carleton Brooks at the Thermal Desert Circuit. Photo Credit: John Zambrano

PE - Do you try to stay within a specific age range when trying horses? 

BF - It depends on what the horse's job is going to be. We are open to a horse that's a little older if it's for a child or an adult, as safety is our main concern. However, sometimes you come across the youngster that has a great brain that can be suitable for an amateur/junior, as well. Resale is always a consideration, but if the price is reasonable for the age and the horse is healthy and suitable, then it makes sense.

PE - Do you think the horse's physical capability or mental attitude is more important?

BF - Physical capability and mental attitude are both important, but if a horse has all the talent in the world but a very bad attitude it may not be worth the investment.  They need to have both to some degree. If the client can't ride it or you can't sell it because it's difficult, what's the point?

Carleton Brooks at the Thermal Desert Circuit. Photo Credit: John Zambrano

PE - What are some of the questions that you ask the horse’s previous owners or whoever you are purchasing the horse from?

BF - We typically ask about the horse's preparation for horse shows and its routine at home. Also what is the worst thing he/she does? Can he/she take an amateur ride and be forgiving of mistakes? Is there and special care needed, etc.

PE - Do you prefer to bring along a green horse yourself or a horse that already has experience and training? 

BF - We like to do both. If a horse finds us and we like it, we try to find a place for it at our barn doing a job suitable for them. 

Thank you for Traci & Carleton for taking the time to answer our questions and share their success with the rest of the ProEquest community. View their ProEquest profile to see what horses they currently have listed!