Serving and helping whoever needs assistance whatever it is, she’s there offering support and guidance.
“I’ve always wanted to help who I can. If somebody is struggling, I try to build them up increase their confidence.”
That’s apparent in horseshow circles, but classmates and those in the community verify Mable Mestagh always steps up for another.
“It’s interesting, but I really think it relates to working with horses and horse people,” the McLouth farm girl said.
“Since I was quite young, I’ve trained my own horses developing confidence and guiding them to understand and improve. It’s naturally carried over to always helping others with their horses, especially children and newcomers.
“Then wanting and being ready to offer guidance to everybody who might need or want assistance” Mable explained.
The most admirable trait has developed such that she’s planning a career doing just that. “I intend to major in early childhood special education,” Mable said.
Of course, her life’s work will never interfere with her first love: horses.
“My family has always had horses and I’ve ridden and shown almost my entire life,” Mable said. “I really didn’t fall in love with horses until I got started working and training young horses.
“My horses learn from me, but I probably learn more from them. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’m always continuing to learn; there’s so much to learn,” she added.
Appreciation for horses comes from her family. “My mom showed horses extensively when she was growing up with strong support from my grandpa and grandma. They’ve all been a big influence and inspiration to me,” Mable credited.
Kathrine Shade is Mable’s mom and her grandparents are Bo and Paula Rollins who live just up the road. Destiny Mestagh is her older sister, an outstanding horse woman in her own right, credited for motivation as well.
A recent honor graduate of McLouth High School, Mable just returned from a Colorado vacation before heading off to college. “I have so much to pack, but it’s been a really busy summer,” she admitted.
That’d likely be an understatement especially when reviewing everything she had at this summer’s Leavenworth County Fair in Tonganoxie.
Of course, most importantly was the horse project. Collecting awards in every show category, Mable seemed most pleased to exhibit both the grand champion and reserve champion halter horses.
“That was especially meaningful since it’s my last year in 4-H,” she admitted. “I’d worked so hard developing these young horses and then win both top places among the good horses there.”
Busyness continued as Mable entered award winning dogs, goats, floriculture, baking and numerous other exhibits at the fair.
That might give inkling of the menagerie on the family farm. “We have nearly every animal imaginable. I have a ton of barn cats, chickens, ducks, cattle, even two potbellied pigs,” she said.
Of course, there are a number of Appaloosa horses, several Miniature Horses and even a spotted donkey.
“My grandma is the one who really helps me with my floriculture project. She loves flowers, has natural ability to grow and fit them together to make really awesome bouquets,” Mable credited.
A leader among peers, Mable has served as officer of both the Happy Helpers 4-H Club and the McLouth FFA Chapter. She’s collected highest awards in both organizations even placing second in the national FFA horse judging contest.
As might be expected, Mable is active in the Leavenworth County 4-H Horse Club serving several top offices.
“I’ve also served as an officer in the Kansas State Horse Show Circuit (KSHSC) Youth Group including president for a couple of years,” she said. Her mom serves as a leader in both of those youth horse groups.
“I take on the leadership responsibilities to help these clubs, but it helps me grow, too,” Mable said. She’s also assisted with events to help inner city children learn about rural life.
Horses come first in all of Mable’s interests. “I haven’t participated in other athletics in school. Oh I did run cross country, track as a freshman, but it interfered with my horses,” she said.
“The other students wonder why I’m not out for sports,” Mable noted. “I tell them horses are my sport. There’s not enough time to do justice to more than horses.”
Riding proven older family horses for a couple of years as a beginner, Mable has prided in working with younger horses. “Ever since I was 10-years-old, I’ve been training my own horses. At first I’d send one off to a trainer for 30 days and finish it myself.
“I taught my horses what they knew, but it also taught me responsibility and patience,” Mable said.
Admitting a disadvantage was not always winning, she confirmed, “When the young horse came around and beat those seasoned horses that was a real accomplishment.”
Her route to success may have not been easy, but most satisfying with long lists of KSHSC and 4-H awards.
“I ride in every class there is,” Mable said. “My horses go in pleasure, racing and ranch competition. They’re all around horses.”
Always notable nowadays, Mable and her family are generally mounted on Appaloosas. Unless there’s an exception of working with another’s horse or adoption of neglected horses which she’s done sometimes.
“We did have Quarter Horses when I was little, but we like Appaloosas best,” Mable said. “They are diverse, have more ability and are so tough. Oh, the color, too, I love the color. Washing the white is a pain sometimes, but my horses always have the most eye appeal and stand out.”
All of the Appaloosas are half siblings going to Kiloe Kobe who relates to the Quarter Horse Impressive.
A major achievement with her own trained horses was when Mable collected awards with them at the Kansas State Fair.
She had the champion 4-H snaffle bit project horse, Finest All Star H, called Dude. Then Mable also collected the reserve championship in the 4-H three-year-old project division with My Kinda All Star.
“I’ve shown a lot at the state fair in Hutchinson, but it was really fun to win those competitions,” Mable conceded.
It’s often easy to become attached to a certain horse, but Mable has sold several horses she’s trained.
“I’ve sold some Miniature Horses for children and also three of my own riding horses,” she said. “I make sure that another person can ride the horse besides me. I sure want the buyer to get along with my horse. That builds me a good reputation as a seller.”
Summer’s nearly over and off to Kansas State University. “I’ll be living in a dorm my first semester and then move in with Destiny. She’s a fifth year mechanical engineering student, and lives in a house our grandparents bought us to use during college.”
Originally thinking she’d be a kindergarten teacher, Mable had an opportunity to work with special education students her senior year. “It made me change my mind to help young children with any learning, physical or mental disabilities. I want to help as much as I can,” she reiterated.
That could be as a private contractor, in homes, elementary schools, day cares, just anywhere needed.
Whatever direction her career takes, Mable Mestagh will have her first love Appaloosas while anxious to help whoever needs assistance.