Kayla August’s New Year started off with a gamble on a T-bred. She called her Resolution.
Plunking down $300 at Beulah Park in Ohio after driving 12 straight hours New Year’s Eve, August loaded up the red mare she had spotted in a Facebook advertisement, and returned to Aiken, S.C. that same night, pushing through until New Year’s Day.
“It was a huge gamble!” August admits. “I didn’t know if she was going to be a nut-job or if she could even do what I had in mind. But there was just something about her in that photo. I thought she looked like she was capable of greatness.”
Show name: Resolution
Barn name: Velvet
Sire: Western Expression
Foal date: March 16, 2006The 8-year-old mare, who raced under the name Debs Prettygirl, did prove to be great at the beginning—at being a wild child. “She was out of control,” she admits. “I tried to ground train her and she wanted nothing to do with it. She cow-kicked, reared and broke halters. She was wicked for three months.”
But all that changed when August gambled again.
“She was getting more and more sour with the ground work, so I finally just decided to get on her,” August says. “And she became an entirely different animal! She was quiet, easy to work with, and smart.”
They trained for eight weeks on the basics. Next, draw-reins were introduced to help her understand the concept of lowering her head and getting into a frame. She caught on quickly, and the draw reins were removed. And over the course of the year, August discovered that Resolution would do anything.
Less than a year off the track, Resolution tackled the notoriously difficult course at the Pine Top Thanksgiving Horse Trial in November. She took 9th place out of 16 competitors in the Novice division, handling everything like a cool-headed pro.
“This course is so hard. The course is maxed out, so the jumps are as high and wide as they can be for your particular level,” she says. “The water jump requires the horse to have all four feet in the water and then jump out. You don’t usually see that at this level, but I knew it was going to be hard.”
And now August knows the $300 Facebook horse is shaping up to be like none other she has trained.
“She’s one of the bravest horses I’ve ever met,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what you put in front of her, as long as I’m sitting on her back, she’ll do it, no questions asked.” ♥