from: my westtexas.com
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Training animals has been a passion of Cathy Carden's for as long as she can remember.
"I've been training animals since I was a little kid," said Carden, who along with husband Brett is part of the 2012 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus coming to Ector County Coliseum Thursday. "Every pet under the sun -- cats, dogs, hamsters, snakes, birds, rats. I trained rats. They are very smart.
"I had all kinds of animals. Drove my mother crazy. My family's act was horseback riding. I was riding before I was walking. My dad bought me a pony when I was 12, Silver. He was the right size, and he was beautiful. And I started training him, and that's where I got my start with horses, and that's what I've done ever since."
A seventh-generation animal trainer and performer, Carden began performing as a ballerina on horseback in her parents' Cossack act at the age of 5. By the time she was 7, she began working with her parents to care for animals, including her family's three young elephants. At age 12, Carden was training elephants and Liberty horses. At age 18, she received six Liberty horses as her high school graduation gift from her parents so she could perform in the family's circus, the Hanneford Family Circus.
Although training animals was her passion, Carden knew it was important to be skilled in other areas of performance. So she learned how to be an acrobat, aerialist, trampolinist, dancer and later a vocalist and announcer.
Currently the featured animal presenters in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents BARNUM BASHSM, the Cardens perform three different presentations: one featuring three Asian elephants; a second with mixed hoof stocks including two camels, two Arabian horses, two Shetland ponies and a miniature horse; and a dog presentation highlighting terriers, poodles and mixed breeds.
Read more: http://www.mywesttexas.com/entertainment/article_f4c51173-8310-523d-99ac-8480f1283fab.html#ixzz1v7pWnfbs