Tuesday 15 August 2017

Three Years

On August 15th 2014 I bought and brought Kachina home, so Happy Gotcha Day Kachina! Also Happy 15th Birthday! (kind of - because I don't know her foaling date but she was 12 when I got her so she's 15 now)

Years of 4-H record books taught me to annually analyze my horse's market value (anyone else do this?). That makes this day a little tough because the reality is that her age makes Kachina less valuable now than she was a year ago (or two, or three), and we don't have enough of a training progression to counteract that. The people I bought Kachina from did a good job with her, but over time I've realized that the limited training they did with her more just covered up holes in her knowledge instead of filling them in. It's apparent that Kachina did not have the best start in life and we've stumbled into multiple holes of tension and lack of understanding. On paper, we are in a similar place as we were 3 years ago, Kachina is still a great trail horse, but in the arena we are still a pair with hopes that training level dressage will be achievable soon. Off paper, we've both gone back to the beginning (several times) and we've built up a more solid foundation to grow from. I do believe that Kachina is a more educated horse than she was, and I'm definitely a more educated rider than I was, and that's important to me.

While I know the reality of the market for a 15yo grade horse at Training Level, I feel a lot more positive when I look at the prospects for Kachina staying with me. We may be at Training Level, but we've gotten here with an eye to building the tools we will need to progress farther. It hasn't happened yet but I do believe once we solidify a few more things, First Level isn't THAT far away. Even if progression remains slow, there's no rush (except for my eagerness). Kachina may be 15 but she's fit, healthy and sound with no sign of slowing down (knock so much wood). You never ever know with horses but it's entirely possible that we have another 10 years of full work to get where we want to get. The best part is that we're having fun now and I don't see that changing. Here's to the next year!


  1. I try not to worry too much about training progression in an ammy horse--yes it's a great thing to have in the back of your head and yes having goals to work towards is critical, but you're not in this sport to make money. As long as you're consistent in producing a well-rounded equine citizen that's fun to ride and be around, you're on the right track.

    1. I try to worry about it only once a year ;)
      It's hard not to get impatient for progress sometimes, but in general I do try and remind myself that the journey is what's important

  2. Ahhh, happy happy gotcha day!

  3. Happy three years! I often think absent mindedly about my horses relative value considering his age, history, health and training. And the reality is he will never be worth much on paper without some amazing accomplishment to counter act the wear and tear of years on the track. But ya know what? I'm cool with it bc he's the perfect horse for me and absolutely not for sale anyway ;)