Cato Viento or *Cato the Magnificent is Back*
When I made the commitment to ride and condition Cato, the unspoken understanding was that I was conditioning him to compete in endurance rides for
to ride him IN those rides. The intent of this relationship was to make sure that Cato is in shape so Amanda can ride him in competitions when she is healed.
Wellllllll…… even before I took Cato back home, at the endurance clinic with Karen Irland, Amanda and I were chatting about taking Cato to Klickitat; I said * I’ll ride him at Klickitat*, folks, it just slipped OUT! and then…..when I took Cato back home Amanda and engaged in a heart-felt conversation ( I had said I would ride Cato at Klickitat because it was a 2 day ride, no, I had not really thought about HOW that would work out);about how exactly Klickitat would work out. Much to my surprise and delight, Amanda said she would bring Cato to Klickitat and crew for me; ME! CREW.FOR.ME! what a GIFT…..I am still inexperienced enough to not really know what that means…… you know how it is…. you say * sure, I’ll ride him…..* and then…. you start thinking *what did you just say?*
🙂 * what did I just agree to?* Ok. I can. do. this. I.really.can.
So, now, in hindsight, after the whole event is over I have to say it was a success! I lived, Cato Lived, I survived enough to ride Chancey the next day ( although I was really tempted to call it a weekend after the one ride!I did NOT, however, I got UP and rode another 25 miles or more on Chance —>no fear!).
I can even say we had a good time! I was smiling and laughing and sitting down, shutting UP and hanging ON! LOL.
Here is Day 1 25 mile LD
Here are some things I learned:
1. Cato is an ENDURANCE horse, he puts his game face on and GOES!
2. I read a horse story once when I was a child that was about a horse called Viento, The Wind. Cato’s new name is Cato Viento, pretty much my hair was flying straight out backwards the ENTIRE ride. G-forces, man, G-forces.
3. Cato does not drink out of streams, yet; nor did he drink at any of the water UNTIL vet check.
4. Cato is FINE being left out on the trail by dozens and dozens of other horses; well, not quite THAT many, really because we came in 12th or so out of 50 or so riders. BUT, he never did ANYthing when other riders and horses blew by him or left him. Game face ON stayed ON. He is a professional.
5. Cato’s heart is a good large heart! he pulsed down to 56 in 1-2 minutes of arriving at vet ck. even though there were no ribbons and no warning that the vet ck was coming up so we ended up galloping INTO the vet ck, eek! so, not my usual practice but…… Cato pulsed down in 1-2-3 min…. yeah! omg…
6. We did it; and my pictures show that Cato is pretty much leaving me behind, sometimes. ( rolls eyes….. don’t show these pix to Karen Irland, omg). I need to be more balanced while riding him in a competition BUT he did not lose control, I was never out of control of him. He was FINE!
7. Cato still does spooklets IF he thinks he is first, he does NOT even do spooklets IF he knows there is a horse, any horse, in front of him. He did not ever do major spooks; ( crossing my fingers, behind my back!).
I am grateful to Amanda for funding Cato’s and my experience at Klickitat; I am hoping ALL of the wonderful comments Cato got wherever I took him, were payback enough.
I am NOT kidding! Everywhere I took, or rode Cato? here is what I heard:
*he is beautiful, what is he?*
* that is an amazing looking horse*
Ron Sproat said * he is a tad short*
*Cato is yummy*
* He is gorgeous*
To all and everyone, I asked them to please tell Amanda, his mom, what they said. I am hoping that they did and that Amanda got her ears FULL of Cato Compliments.
Now that I know what we need to work on and how to ride him better and more balanced and trusting him more to be just himself, I cannot wait to ride him again!
Bandit Springs here we come!
Enjoy the pictures!
Cato the Magnificent is BACK! Thanks to his mom and I.