Cato and Me: We strive for Perfetion (sp error intended)

Kicked it up a bit, all over TA 22, JBLM… in the sunshine. Great workout, for us BOTH!
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/315880317

Donna Snyder-Smith did admonish us all NOT to *use our horses as gym machines* well, Dear DSS—> This horse gives me a similar work out, I have no say in that! Cato IS a GYM Machine!

Cato Potato worked hard at conditioning and I worked hard at figuring out how to ride this giant horse perfectly. Oh. wait. There is no such thing as perfect? Oh GOOD! Thank goodness. I will take my Catomiracles small…. 500 feet without a spook at *something*. A nice smooth trot without something making us go sideways or getting startled at *something*.

I am still amazed at how much steadier Cato is when he can SEE clearly ahead and all around. Today, because of the rain and weight of flowers,. the Scotchbroom was over the trails and Cato could not see the trail; we literally went OFF trail several times….. I let him. Found ourselves out in some field, or in some brush…. *Uh Oh, where did that dang trail GO?* 🙂 Hahahahahahaha…..pretty funny!

Here is what Cato DOES do: he moves out smoothly, goes where I point him, willingly, he trots through water, does not spook at frogs hip hoppin’ around as we trot through the water, he eats grass when I ask him to, and he seems to enjoy himself with ears forward and he enjoys getting scritched after a ride and getting treats.

Here is what Cato does NOT do: he does not bolt, he does not go very much sideways, he does not go far when he spooks, he does not drop his head ( thank goodness because yours truly has ahold of mane all the time), he does not attack dogs, he does not lay his ears back much, he does not bite, or kick, and he does not hold a grudge.

What a beautiful day, sun, warmth, lovely undusty trails and roads, empty…… except for the black jeep and the white truck and the bicyclist. Cato looked carefully at all of them, but only looked.

I find myself reflecting on the process of building a relationship with a sensitive horse….. I cannot quite remember how it was with Chance and Bella ( it HAS been 5 years now). I am quite sure that all was NOT perfection at first; in fact I do have some memories of *wtf, why did you do THAT?* conversations with Chancey and Ms Hella Bella. So, this is similar. But, I have ONLY been ridin’ Cato since April 22…… that’s not very long so what right do I have to expect perfection right now? duh!

How is it we expect everything to be perfect with these awesome horses? If we decide we want to ride horses that are metaphorically Ferrari’s, or what my trainer Phyllis Ryan calls *sports cars*, then we must learn the gears and how they operate. ANYone can drive a VW Bug…but these Sports Cars? with 4th and 5th gear???? Not so much…. takes awhile to learn how to be smooth and seamless with shifting, accelerating,decelerating, stopping, turning, backing up, etc. You see?

Had a wonderful conversation with Amanda, Cato’s mom…… we made all kinds of plans for Klickitat Endurance ride, yay! I get to ride Cato Saturday at the Klickitat endurance ride, 30 miles, LD. I am so excited and…. other emotions swirling around…truly a wonderful opportunity to see how Cato and I do in a competition. Thank goodness Amanda shall be there to crew for us so Cato shall have mom AND auntie there…. no horse could have a better support system.

Dare we talk about what happens after Klickitat?????? that’s next and depends on so many things, so many variables, BUT, dreaming onward?

Cato schedule: Klickitat, Sunriver, Bandit Springs, and then….

Bare Bones– hopefully by Bare Bones? Amanda shall be back in the saddle again….

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