When I first saw Cat she was a suckling. Very pretty baby. Huge butt, and huge eyes. Very cute. She and her dam belonged to a friend. I said something about her being a nice looking baby, my friend said, "Yeah she is." Oh, this was looking like a keeper for them. I said "Well if you think about selling her, I'd be interested." My friend laughed at me and replied, "I bet you would."
Well, two and a half, three years later a woman I knew wanted to get rid of her 10 year old TB mare. This mare was gorgeous. The woman had to have her for her 10 year old daughter. This was not a child's horse. She was a wonderful horse, very well trained, good manners, and brave. She was also an Intermediate Level Eventer. Not a kids horse...k. I had advised these people, not to buy this mare. I hadn't seen her, but didn't think a horse that jumped 5', and could keep up with the big boys on a cross country was a great candidate for a spoiled 10 year old. A kid that always blamed her horse when things didn't go as planned. The kid was hard on horses, unfair and mean. (She grew out of it, and is now embarrassed if you bring up her past behavior).
I was there the day the hauler delivered the mare to the barn. When he unloaded this mare, she took my breath away. She was an absolutely beautiful, exquisite mare, in her prime, black bay, refined, uphill, super fit and just glowing with health. The woman asked if I thought she looked okay. Good lord, the woman had no clue how special this mare was. I later found out, the mare had belonged to a woman that trained and had a eventing/dressage barn, (I'd shown at this woman's place small world, huh?). The horse was her daughter's. The daughter wasn't doing what she was supposed to, or paying much attention to the mare, so the trainer/mom sold the horse.
After the mare had been there for a week, they asked if I'd ride her. There was a jump course set up. The mare felt pretty good, responsive and quiet. So, I thought what the heck and started the course. This mare made me feel, and look like a genius. I swear she counted her own strides between jumps. Never hurried, she'd land a jump and calmly look for the next. Way cool horse. The woman asked if I thought the mare was tough to handle, that their trainer didn't like her. Their trainer has beautiful equitation, looks great in the saddle. She is however, one of those strongly on the aids riders. Legs clamped on, and a very strong contact...more pulling than contact. I don't think this was a good mix for this light sensitive mare.
After awhile this family decided the TB mare was crazy. The mare was not crazy, the people were. I took my friend to see this mare, as a potential broodmare. The woman goes to get the mare out of the stall. Mare is quiet, comes out of the stall quietly, sees the green grass and gives a little tug to get to the grass. The woman screeches, throws the lead rope at me, and yells, "Take her, take her, you take her!" Both the mare and I are looking at this woman like she's nuts.
My friend likes the mare. Wants to know more about her. So we hunt down the trainer. I ask the trainer some questions about the mare. The trainer dislikes her...a lot. I asked what the mare did. The trainer responds, "She ran backwards and sideways with me." So, I'm waiting for the rest of it...expecting to hear that she reared up, slammed her into the arena fence, fell down...something. When no further explanation came I say, "And?" The woman gives me a nasty look and says, " I feared for my life, I will never ride her again." Allrighty. Okay so in my mind I'm thinking 'you fuckin pussy, how can you call yourself a trainer'? (I'm a much kinder person now, I'd just think...oh you freaken wuss).
My friend still likes the mare, even after hearing how horrible, dangerous loco'd she is. (Yes they used the term loco'd) Yup, we're on the nor cal coast, no loco weed here folks. My friend wants Elaine to look at her before she decides. The people haven't set a price, so we're kind of up in the air. Elaine's comment when she sees the mare..."Load her up."
Turns out, they want to swap the TB for a young horse that they can have trained. My friend has quite a few young horses, some started some not. So, we're pointing out the horses more suitable for dressage, and some hunt classes. I'm pushing George, big 2.5 year old, flat muscled, good mover, and super kind and easy going. They don't like George because he's a funny color. He's a bay roan...he's a silvery lilac color through part of the year. I think he's beautiful.
The mom asks me what horse I like. I say I like Cat, but she's not a dressage prospect. She's more of a working cow type horse, and she's kind of fast twitch. Oh no, I'm wrong....she'll be a great dressage horse. They must have her. Cat is 3 at this time, has 30 days on her. Doesn't the mare in the picture look like a smokin dressage horse to you all? Yeah, that's what I thought.