Thursday, January 6, 2011

Katchi's 2010 - the good, bad, ugly, and ridiculous!

2010 was Katchi's first full year of eventing - he completed his first 4 events in the fall of 2008, but his 2009 season was cut short while we sorted out some preventative vet issues - it was crushing at the time to skip out on the fall season - but as someone said to me - live to gallop another day!

Katchi is not exactly an easy ride. He's smart and scopey. A good combination, but tough. Boyd Martin says he has more scope than any of his 4 star horses, but he's awkward. No joke. Towards the end of 2010, we finally made some real progress with Katchi learning how to use his power and me learning how to ride it! His enormous jumps almost feel normal to me now, and I've almost mastered keeping my ass out of the saddle as we sail through the air!

So, 2010 in pictures - actually just from 2 events - Rubicon (Spring) and Waredaca (Fall). Photo credits to GRC for the awesome snaps!

Katchi The Good.
We all love pictures that make us look good. Beezie Madden-look alike? Not exactly! Are there things to fix? Yep! But here are a few of my 2010 photos that make me say - oh yea, we're looking good!

Katchi The Bad.
We've made our mistakes this year, but there are only 2 times when I feel Katchi really let me down. One was at Fair Hill in August - it took 2 refusals and 51 time penalties to get over the first fence in show jumping. A green rolltop. The fact that Karen O'Connor almost fell off at it on a Training level horse is some consolation. She watched my round and when I came out of the ring, she said - what the hell is it about that rolltop? Uh, I'm sorry Karen O'Connor, me and my 51 time penalties sure as hell have no idea!
The other time Katchi let me down this year was at Rubicon. XC was tough, but we were getting there - we'd jumped the ditch combination, corner, mound, sort-of sunken road... and then Katchi made other plans at the bank. He hopped over the sort of skinny table, and mid-air, he decided the novice bank to the right was clearly a much better option than the Training level bank straight ahead. As Jimmy would say, "hey knucklehead, I walked the course, I have something to contribute to this conversation" - my words were more colorful.

Katchi The Ugly.
This section is inspired by Phillip Dutton's Wall of Shame. As you walk between Phillip's indoor arena and main barn, there's the Wall of Honor and the Wall of Shame. Souvenirs of Olympic games next to photos just like this one of me and Katchi! I've got the Wall of Shame sorted - Olympic medals might be a touch harder to gather up.

Waredaca was Katchi's best run of the year, minus one fence - the "wedgie" - Katchi jumped the logs at the top of the hill brilliantly and then he he got lost. Katchi said "gallop, gallop, gallop, oh, logs... ping... weeeeeee! these hills are ffffuuuunnnnn! MOM - what's up with the left rein - I got this... weeee!!! la, la la... shit mom, get off me - what's your ppppprrrrroooobbbblllleeeemmm??? what? what? shit - what? fence? - damn - late notice - late notice - I'm GOING - HOOOOLLLLDDDD ON!" Meanwhile, I said, "Katchi's a cat! love him! love him! love him! Katchi there- to the left - to the left - hey my man, to the left - SHIT Katchi, I'm not joking - jump, there' s a jump, there's a JUUUUMMMPPP - SSSSHHHHEEEEETTTT!" And here's the picture to prove it.

Katchi The Ridiculous

Remember how I said Katchi has more scope than Boyd's 4 star horses. Check out the next 2 photos - this is when I say, "seriously, really?" - Katchi, could you drop down 3 feet, tuck your knees a bit, and freaking chill out? Try it some time, jackass. You might like it. I know I would.

These standards are 6', right? Remind me to never take Katchi at a 6' fence. I don't even want to know what might happen. Textbook picture of getting "jumped out of the tack." Nice.

I know it looks like nothing's there, but Katchi swears there's a horse-eating ditch in that field! And I thought this felt like a normal relaxed Katchi ditch jump. Turns out my OTTB is some sort of Spanish Riding School bay mutant with a blaze!
So, that was Katchi's 2010 - the good, bad, ugly and ridiculous! Lets hope 2011 brings a lot more good, a lot less bad, no ugly, and well, I guess I'm stuck with the ridiculous.


  1. Katchi's focus is always on you, even when I'm feeding him treats. He tries so hard to please you---------tell him to jump, he does. He just wasn't given a height! But he knew you didn't want the jump to fall down..

  2. OK, I loved this post. Loved! The pictures are fantastic and you're a good writer. It's nice that someone is willing to show the good and the bad. I too have an OTTB, he'll be 6 in June. I heard they get their brains at 6. We did our first BN event this spring, then life happened.

    I'm looking forward to reading more!