Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kate Saves the Day

Hauled Kate down to Valley View's arena this morning, and met up with Pat.
I needed to get back in the saddle, after Sunday's fiasco.
For just a moment , I thought about taking Maddie, too.  But not quite yet.  Her vet appointment is tomorrow, then we'll see.
Who's ridin' with us, Ma?
It's my buddy Chief!
I'm ready, Ma.  Let's go!
I didn't think to tell Pat to shoot with the light behind her, so these riding photos are all a little weird for light.  But...
Lots of inside heel, as she wanted to drift in towards Chief (though the couple of times they did get close, she would squeal and get all girly at him).
And, really, she wasn't a dang horse at all, especially since it was her first ride since October.  I did have a few butterflies at the start, but Kate was her usual laid back self, and as we trundled around I relaxed a bunch.  She is SUCH a different ride from Maddie, but I guess I needed that right now.
That's all back brace and down vest out there in front of me.  Really.
 Spent about two hours, lots of walking, some jog, a bunch of circles and bending lines, and forehand and hindquarter turns, and some standing around practice (while Pat and I jabbered).

All in all, it was a good ride, and good for me.
We set a date to get out on the trail Friday morning, if the weather cooperates.

I sent an email to the clinician yesterday morning, expressing my discouragement  in no uncertain terms.  When I got back from riding this afternoon there was a response from her.

She was apologetic.  She says she didn't recognize me in different clothes. (I had on blue jeans both days, the same black barn jacket, the same Purina emblem insulated vest, same boots, slightly different watch cap; the only thing that was different was my flannel shirt, which was only visible when it got warm enough to take the jacket off, and then the vest was there.)  But, you know what, I'm beginning to believe that may be the case--because all the times I spoke to her on Monday, it was like she was not talking to anyone she had every interacted with before.

She said she was worried for me, and that was why she wanted me off Maddie.  And because of the context, there was no way for her to know whether I was capable enough to go on from there--heck, we'd been mounted for less than 10 minutes, and I don't know that she observed me at all until Maddie spooked--but it would have been nice of her to check in with me on that.  This spook, though identical in nature to last year's, was less intense--this time I managed to stay on her, and she stopped (with Gary's help).  And last year I DID get right back on and work through it with Maddie!

She did offer me a full refund, saying "I am sorry I did not live up to your needs.  I usually do pretty well at that, but... if you feel I failed you then obviously... I did."

I feel better today (thank you, Kate), so I will exchange another email or two with her, and then move on.  Maddie and I have work to do. 

Maddie leading the KVTR group out of the mountains, summer, 2010


  1. Glad Kate saved the day - you guys look great! That was good that the clinician responded to your e-mail. Best of luck with Maddie . . .

  2. I love the photo of Kate and Chief - it makes me want to reach out and stroke those soft sweet faces. Yay for Kate for giving you a good day.

  3. She is such a beautiful mare--I love that shot of her eye at the top of this post. Good for you for letting the clinician know you weren't satisfied.

  4. Maybe this is unfair, but it seems to me that if I had 14 kids in a new class, and something happened that caused one of them to have to stop participating, I'd remember them the next day. And, I am not the best for learning faces and names quickly. That said, I'm glad you communicated your disappointment, and that she responded. In the meantime, yay Kate! I also love that shot of her with Chief. All the best with Maddie's vet appointment.

  5. Kate is SO beautiful. I love it when you ride easy Kate because that means there's more pictures of lovely Kate!

    Teaching would be a nightmare for me because yes, I could talk to you on your horse and then completely forget your face by the time I saw you on the ground the next day. That doesn't condone anything about her behavior! but she might actually be telling the truth, pitiful as that sounds.

  6. Hooray hooray HOORAY FOR KATE!

  7. Your mare is an absolute cutie, you know that?