It has been a long time since I have felt this way. Probably all the way back to spring of 2003 when I brought Kid home to a boarding stable near our house. But even then I really don’t remember this intensity of feeling. I definitely have the fever for my new mare!
While Kid was our first Texas horse, bought three years after we arrived here from Florida, and I was seriously enamoured by his impeccable manners, his glittering copper coat and forelock hanging in his eyes like rakish teenager, I was not at point in my life where a horse could emotionally take over my life. I loved to be sure but I was not obsessed with him.
Now, 11 years later, with a whole lot of road behind me, rocky road, uphill climbs and some gentle trips to the country, my heart is more open ( or ready ) to care. The day after giant Bruno lost his fight and I laid him to rest, an ad appeared on Facebook for my roan mare.
From the moment I laid eyes on her, I had to have her. And it wasn’t because everything was perfect. Certainly, I did not have funds for a new horse, not after vet bills, expenses with my mother’s passing, huge medical bills for Lauren or needing to fix up the barn (again) for new boarders. Completely irresponsibly, I worked out a deal to buy the mare. I owed money to a bunch of people, but still went ahead.
I am an experienced horse buyer and let emotions drive the purchase. I didn’t even ride the horse, although I watched the owner and my friend ride her. Stupid! I should have asked more questions as well,but I didn’t.
And from the moment, the mare we named Kalina, Hawaiian for heaven sent (which I believe her to be) I fell head over heels for her. I LOVED her amazing thick tail that falls to the ground. Her forelock is the bleached out black of an island kid who spends everyday surfing. Her eyes are gentle and kind. Kalina is a registered quarter horse with the big bone and size of her Hancock relatives and the grace and performance style of the Zippo Pine Bar horses. As much as my world is now deeply seated in warm bloods and jumpers, my roots will always go back to my daddy and his love for the athletic quarter horse. But this mare is big as well. I watched her in the pasture yesterday standing amongst Feather (Irish Sport Horse), TeeDee (thoroughbred) and Cody (World Champion Quarter horse jumper) and she was taller than any of them!
At just over 16 hands, my incoming filly, Betty Sue will no doubt out grow Kalina to be the biggest in the barn, but right now Kalina is the tallest. She is not startling tall like Bruno but with her unique blue roan coat, she is eye catching.
In the category of it all being perfect, while this mare has wonderful ground manners, the first time I rode her I didnot get what I expected. From watching the videos of her and seeing her go in person, she appeared uncomplicated. Gee, not so much. While she walked where ever Jordyn or I asked her to go, at the trot she was prone to fast stops. When I asked her to canter we were not much of a team. Our communications were off. As we went around at the canter, she would suddenly drop her head and stop on a dime. Pretty hard to ride and unsettling as well!
Lauren had just been released to get back in the saddle. She has been doing some flat work withFeather. I think Lauren just felt I was old and couldn’t ride so she got on Kalina. The walk and trot went okay. Oh, but the canter, Lauren got lulled into thinking that would be fine as well. Off they went in Kalina’s big strided, flat kneed canter, until once again she stopped, dropped her head and spun just like she cutting a calf. And just as cleanly, Lauren flew from her back, instinctively protecting her broken arm. When she hit the ground, the tears sprung from her eyes. In seconds though, she realized she wasn’t hurt and laughed happily.
Yesterday, Dev worked with the big mare and assured me with a little work she will be just fine. I am even going to take some lessons on her. Who knows I might even end up in the show ring again! My riding goals this year were around what I would do with Bruno. Those opportunities are gone. But some new goals are in order.
I am finding myself wandering out to the barn and Kalani’s side over and over. I get off of her and minutes later want to saddle up again. I even picked out this beautiful new brow band for her. I am in love with this sweet mare. What a wonderful feeling!