“I have to take a horse to the veterinarian, and another horse doesn’t act right. I have two stories due and a stack of papers to grade. Could you please call me back?”
That phone response most concisely accurately describes Carolyn Kaberline.
The Topeka woman is a lifelong horse enthusiast with a longtime teaching career and is an in-demand professional writer.
She was recognized for her dedication to horses and writing their stories with recent induction into the Better Horses Network Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Clover Cliff Ranch, Elmdale.
As her tight horse and writing schedule loosened, Kaberline reflected, “I was a typical horse crazy kid living in Topeka.
“All I ever wanted for a Christmas and birthday present was a horse,” she insisted. “My folks said when you can afford one, you can get one. It wasn’t that a horse cost so much, but the money for a place to keep and care for one did.”
Horse ownership didn’t become a realization until Kaberline was a student studying journalism at Kansas State University.
“When I was a sophomore at K-State, the Shawnee County Teachers Recreation Club had a cooperative barn over on Topeka’s east side. Unbelievable now, members could board a horse for a dollar a month, maybe a little more in the winter,” Kaberline said.
To be a member, one had to be a teacher or studying to be one. So the obvious thing for Kaberline to do was to change her major in order to be permitted to keep a horse there.
“I bought a four-year-old green broke recently castrated Appaloosa gelding. I had my own horse and was really excited,” Kaberline admitted.
Still, that horse was just too much for a newcomer. “I didn’t have him long and traded for a grade ranch gelding called Chico. He was a great horse for me,” Kaberline contended.
She went trail riding and even rode Chico in shows there at the boarding facility. “I didn’t really have the foggiest idea what I was doing,” Kaberline admitted. “But I had a horse and was having the time of my life.”
Without her own horse trailer, the new owner was also limited on where she could go and what she could do with Chico.
Deciding she wanted a registered horse, Kaberline bought her own college graduation present. “I got my first teaching job at Mayetta High School and found a sorrel three-year-old registered Quarter Mare Wimpy’s Flit,” she said.
Soon acquiring a trailer as well, Kaberline successfully showed the mare at halter in circuit shows while working on riding improvement.
Taking a teaching job at Caney, Kaberline moved southeast with her horse, soon becoming friends with area horse owners there.
“You know how it is when you have a mare, the next thing is raising a baby,” Kaberline said. “I went stallion shopping and decided to mate my mare to Cedar Chant who Dean Smith was standing.”
The result was a bay mare Enchanted Flit. “She was racy built and hot,” explained the horsewoman who’d by then started teaching at Perry.
Boarding her horses north of Topeka and moving forward, Kaberline raised most of her own horses in preference to buying them.
“I bred Enchanted Flit to Impressive Too which produced Too Enchanted, my first really top show horse,” Kaberline said.
Placed in training with Mark Gratny, the mare collected a superior award in open halter competition as well as numerous amateur wins.
“Too Enchanted was broke to ride. But, Teddi, as we called her, was really a tank and showed best at halter,” the owner claimed. “Teddi had 39 grand and reserve grand championships qualifying twice for the world show.”
Always wanting to ride in competition successfully, Kaberline acquired a proven register of merit show horse Baretta Lark. “He was a lot of fun, and we placed well,” she said.
Never straying from her close involvement with horses, Kaberline retired from teaching at Perry, but is back in the classroom. “I teach social science, English and other classes in a three-quarter position at a parochial school here in Topeka,” she said.
All total Kaberline has taught school 48 years to date always with her horses for relaxation after the classroom.
“When I was in school, my teachers always told me ‘you’ll be a teacher,’ and I always said, ‘no I’ll never teach.’ Look what a horse can make one do,” Kaberline smiled.
“I have four horses today, two 24-year-olds and a 21-year-old, all that I’ve raised. A couple of them are not in real good health, so I’m uncertain for their future,” Kaberline said.
Her other horse is a dun mare Fancy Me A Dunaholic, better known as Sadie, who is being shown in local competitions. “So far, Sadie has just been entered in the open classes at the buckskin shows to get some experience, but we’ll go for points before long,” Kaberline related.
“I keep my horses with trainer Chuck Sperry here in Topeka,” said Kaberline, who lives in her Topeka home where she was raised.
Owning a small pasture near Meriden, Kaberline had envisioned building her own horse facilities. “I’ve decided with all of the upkeep that would entail, I’m better off boarding my horses out like I’ve always done,” she said.
“I haven’t been riding too much lately with school, writing and taking care of my retirees,” Kaberline said. “I do want to get back to riding my dun mare and showing again.”
Horse stories with Carolyn Kaberline’s byline have printed in publications throughout the country. “I sure don’t limit my writing to horses, but it’s close to my heart,” she admitted.
Actually, the horsewoman-author looks to expanding writing to include science fiction, and has been a script consultant for several Star Trek fan films. “You’ll laugh, but I already have a couple of science fiction pieces that I’m working on. Yes, I’ve become a ‘Trekkie’ over the years,” Kaberline admitted.
“Still, I’ll always have horses. Like Winston Churchill said, ‘The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.’ For a woman like me too,” Carolyn Kaberline surmised.