With glorious colour, a powerful and athletic conformation, and energy to back it all up, Kitty is an incredible horse. She stands on high alert, likes to move and prance around. She flirts and interacts with geldings in the next pen at every chance she gets. As a two-year-old, she was chosen as an all-round pleasure horse, but it wasn’t her calling and she never really settled into that role.
And then… she quiets. Once her attention is gained and she starts to think about the cues and body language of her handler, Kitty settles and responds. She watches, wary at first. Wondering what will be asked of her. Kitty is a sensitive and intelligent horse who thrives on interaction.
The fall of 2018 Kitty found her way to Legacy Ranch. We were concerned about her dominant herd behaviour and chose to keep her out of the mare’s pen, where Rock is the leader. With Rock’s age and physical slowing, a shift of power would very likely move her from the top of the herd to the bottom, and we would prefer to let her remain in position, teaching Breeze to be a kind leader.
So, instead of adding her to the mare’s pen, as we normally would another mare, we partnered Kitty with Radar. Radar doesn’t get along well with the geldings, so he was alone. As we anticipated, Kitty’s personality and energy are a good fit so she and Radar get along well.
Although trained for riding, Kitty hasn’t been under saddle in a few years. We chose to pull back any pressure for her to conform to our agenda and let her settle in. At first, she was stand-off-ish and unfriendly. With time, Kitty has become more trusting and stands for handling at liberty. As a kind of experiment, we continue to work with her at liberty to see just where we can go with her. We’re planning to put obstacles out this summer and it will be interesting to see how she responds to this sort of game. Perhaps in the future, she will become a cowboy challenge champion.