I went to ride her as a "project" horse, not because I was really looking for another horse but because of my insatiable curiosity and desire to ride all the pretty horses.
She was pretty horrid the first time I rode her. Forward wasn't in her vocabulary, unless rushing and heavy is forward. Then she'd get really light up front (baby rears, what fun!). When I got off to longe her, she bolted and slipped and cut herself. Then when I tried to get her to settle down, she reared all the way up in front of me. When I got back on, I finally started getting through to her, and at the end of the ride we had a few moments that were just stupendous. They just felt amazing.
And I thought, well, maybe I should ask to ride her again.
The second ride went better, there were no baby rears or other crazy silliness. And I knew I was in love with this goofy horse. Between the trot that once it was stable felt like we were floating and her habit of violently shaking her bit up and down when she's bored, I just felt like I could connect and talk with her. No, it doesn't make sense, but such is the heart.
I sent a message to her owner being honest about my inability to afford her / the second horse at the moment, but in a few months when summer camps rolled around, if she was still for sale, I'd love to purchase her.
She called me back almost immediately and we talked for a while about it, and she agreed to take payments on Kat because Kat's been waiting for her person and it's time she have a home.
I picked her up on Saturday.
My first ride with her on Sunday was not particularly acrobatic, but definitely flighty. There are horses living at the far end of the arena and every time they made a noise, Kat would slam on the brakes and stretch her tiny ears wayy up into the sky. We worked through it and she started to settle in.
I even popped her over a few crossrails just to see how she'd handle it.
Monday was a great day, we spent nearly an hour trying to teach her to shorten and lengthen her walk to help facilitate relaxation, then trotted over some poles.
Yesterday there was a great hullaballoo at the farm including a loose arabian, a trailer driving too close to the arena, and people trying to load into the trailer down by the barn. Kat either wanted to prance about or stare aggressively at the whole process. She settled down by the end, after a bit of discussion.
I'd brought Lucy, and Lucy likes to run in laps around the arena. So we'd trot around and get to the point where Lucy met us, and Kat would jump and trot really fast and say, "OH MY GOD!" I'd half-halt and remind her that we have to stay trotting quietly. The second time around the same thing happened. The third time, she sort of fake-jumped. It was as if she was trying out, "Oh my god?" to see if she could get away with it. Then she settled into ignoring Lucy, as it's supposed to be.
Katarina is by Hall of Fame and out of Strike Bound, a dutch approved TB mare. She spent six months in training with Katie Hoefs-Martin and has then spent a while in part time dressage training at home. She once went to a Buck Brannaman clinic and moved cattle. She's never really jumped, so I will be bringing her along with the goal of eventing her.
I'm so. freaking. excited, guys!