For those of you who follow my personal Facebook page, you probably saw my posts during our trek to Texas to fetch the latest mustang to join the herd for a makeover. The Las Vegas TIP Challenge, to be exact.
There’s something about competing in Las Vegas, the very state where the majority of our mustangs have come from, that appealed to both of us. Believe me, it wasn’t the thought of the long drive out there…that’s for sure and certain!
Unlike other challenges, Cat and the other competitors get to pick up to five horses, one of which will be assigned to them for the event. Cat selected an adorable black mustang with a curly mane and frost-bitten ears–which makes the ears rounded and looking a bit like Shrek…super adorable! Unfortunately, it was injured and she was assigned a new mustang: #7815. This one was also black, had a curly mane, and frost-bitten ears.
However, when we picked her up in Texas (thank you Amber!), we noticed something very unusual about this mustang. Her legs. For a long yearling, this mustang has legs that would be the envy of any runway model.
It didn’t take long for Cat to bond with the mustang. In fact, she managed to remove the tag on Day 1:
By Day 3, #7815 (now officially known as Indie) was moved to reside in the big barn. On Day 4, Indie went off property to Rafter Cross Cowboy Church.
Now, don’t be thinking this horse is super easy–she’s not. But there is something about her that created a strong connection with Cat.
Back in New Jersey, Cat’s horse Undee remains at Seaton Hackney Stables. He was originally my horse, gifted to me on my wedding day. But when I had cancer, I couldn’t ride and I passed him along to Cat. Half Lusitano, a quarter Friesian and a quarter Appaloosa, Undee is a magnificent horse. Pitch black, long legs, and tiny white spots on his bum. We tried to bring him down to Florida–he’d have been an amazing show horse for HITS–but he was so stressed out and fighting the mustangs, we had to leave him behind. Now other riders are using him at our facility up north.
When I looked at #7815, I said to Cat, “Look at those legs. Maybe this mare will be your replacement for Undee.”
Immediately, she beamed. “Indie! That was one of the names I’ve always wanted to name a horse.”
And I’ve always wanted her to show at HITS on a mustang. A win for both of us!
Anyway, Indie does have a little spice to her. But nothing like the last four wild mustangs that Cat has tamed and trained. Or, perhaps, working with those spicy ones helped train Cat to handle a little sass. I suppose experience will do that to a trainer.
I’m looking forward to seeing what happens between these two. It’s always beautiful to watch the development of a bond between Cat and her mustangs. This one has been especially sweet to witness.