Katinka
katinka.jpgDr. Julie Ballard Haralson has been riding for years. Her love of horses has taken her from Fox Hunting to eventing and dressage. With the help of Belinda and Bill Wertman, Julie imported a seven-year-old, KWPN mare named Katinka. “Katie” arrived at Touch ‘n Go in January of 1999.

As I longed her the first time the thought crossed my mind that she might knock her teeth out with her knees! Katie looked more like a hackney pony than a dressage horse. She had a pleasant disposition but had a neurotic streak. At the first attempted halt I discovered her tendency to throw her head back with all her strength. Now she was trying to knock MY teeth out. I called this her transformation from Katie to Crazy Horse! So she spent the next year of her life staring at the sand while I worked her down, down and more down.

Once she began to work through her body and relax everything started to click. That’s when I realized what a star Katie could be. We went to our first show in March of 2000. Her Second level win at that event began a streak of fifteen undefeated classes. As a the season progressed Julie and I realized that she was routinely posting scores in the low 70’s and had a shot at a Horse of the Year award. In the fall Katie moved up to Third level and the success continued.

Katinka finished 2000 with a USDF Region III Championship at Second level. She placed fourth in the USDF Horse of the Year awards at Second level with a median score of 71.75%. A third place in the Dutch rankings and a mare approval by the KWPN rounded out her achievements for the year.

At the end of the 2000 competition season Julie decided to ride Katinka herself and sent me another talented mare named Jezebel. Over the next two years Katinka and Julie became a team and allowed Julie progress as an Adult Amateur competitor. In 2002 Katie became a mother through a successful embryo transfer. The result was a brash little colt by Olympic Ferro named Vincere who I now own.

Overall, Katie is another horse who broadened my experience and reinforced the fact that first impressions are important but certainly not the whole picture.