Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another almost sunny day...

Cheri came by again on Tuesday, the weather was quite a bit warmer than last week, but the sun was toying with us and playing hide and seek with the clouds!

We started by taking out Ahote, aka Target, our 5 year old stallion because the entire herd of mares and geldings were down and resting at the far end of front pasture...which is also out of site. We were hoping Ahote would remember his work from last summer and he didn't disappoint us.

He paid no mind to those mini girls who were down and resting within sight and went right to work.
After a quick join up and the bridle, surcingle and side reins went on. We worked both directions; walk, trot, change (directions) and whoa. Ahote gradually relaxed his top line trying to get long and low. I was pleased considering the length of time since he was last worked.

We switched it up to yielding from pressure to side passes and bending laterally.
Moving the front and rear independently was easily accomplished .
We definitely need a lot more practice to prefect moving sideways simultaneously! Next time we will try several exercises to strengthen his balance for a smooth, coordinated movement.

Cheri mounted Ahote and attempted leg yielding to side pass.

Ahote was acting a little confused, then irritated. Neither of us noticed the herd had returned and Ahote wasn't as confused as distracted. He gave us a warning with a slight attempt at a rear; the second attempt was a touch higher, and by his third Cheri decided it was time to dismount...quickly!

We went back to join up; not allowing Ahote to stop on the side where the herd had gathered.
All "whoa" commands were given at the far end of the round pen. Once he had his ears back on us, we requested he stand still...for a full 5 minutes while a few of the mares nickered at him, the geldings pranced back and forth. Ahote was wonderful!

Cheri then led him around the pen, past the herd, this direction, then that, making their circle smaller and smaller so more time was spent close to the other horses.

I believe this is wonderful training for his mind, especially as a stallion so as to understand when he is working, his mind is with us and his boy parts can't be ruling his brain!

You could see that his hormones were fighting with his desire to please (although he kept his composure and stuck with the work at hand) as his outside eye would occasionally strain (thru his peripherals versus turning his head) to catch a glimpse of the herd. He stuck with his work and I am very proud of that success.

I had Cheri stop him facing the herd about 15 feet from the fence and stand quietly. He broke out with one step before being asked to move, so he was backed, circled, walked toward the fence and stopped again.

This time he waited until asked to move, then dropped his head asking Cheri for a rub.

Good boy!

Cheri mounted him again and they went back to work. He acted oblivious to his audience, but wasn't as relaxed as before. I am confident that will come with a lot more practice.

And just for the record...Ahote was born a very loud buckskin pinto...he's not covered with manure stains! Those are what's left of his buckskin markings...which actually appear interestingly metallic and shimmer in his summer coat.

Mac was next to come out and had completely forgotten last weeks lesson as to which talking head he is suppose to listen to!:~)
His hormones took over and as far as he was concerned we didn't exist! I jumped on the quad, quickly filled the hay wagon and as I drove down the fence-line the herd followed. I led them out of site and out of mind...well almost out of mind as initially Mac had quite the temper tantrum over their departure. A little join up and Mac quieted. We pretty much followed the same routine as with Ahote.

Several other horses were worked before we worked our last horse for the day. The sun was finally out, but it was late in the day and we were pretty much in the shadows--in other words it was getting cold! ....Nokwisi; a beautiful mare I got from Susan Lejonhud and had breed to Betsy Lirakis's Chip back in 2006.

I don't believe I rode Kwis but a couple of times all of 2009. Goodness knows why, she is a very special gal. Her gaits are so smooth and comfortable, she's quiet but has the ability to move out. Since it had been so long, we began with the usual join up. OK, she looked at us like "BORING! WHY are we doing this???"

She was promptly mounted and worked on bending, serpentines, figure 8's and transitions. She enjoyed the session as much as we did.

Eivissa, Kwis's late 2 (in September) year old filly, intently watched over the fence asking why mom's getting to have all that fun! Too cold, getting too dark and we are too tired for any more today....Maybe next time!

Cheri will be here tomorrow, God willing, so I have some lesson plans to figure out yet tonight. Until then...enjoy the ride!


  1. Although it seems like alot of work training stallions, they sure are beautiful and you and Cheryl did a great job with them! I was going to ask you what color Ahote was, because he was so unique -- born buckskin, wow...lovely curl on all of them. Great pics, thanks for sharing your day with us, Lesly aka Annie!

  2. Those are 3 beautiful curly horses.I do love buckskins very much.Good job on the stallions,it sure is good to train them often.I especially like your mare too,just beautiful.Can't wait to see more of your horses.

  3. Those sound like great techniques to use to train your stallions and I love seeing the pictures with their curly coats and the snow...

    I also love the name Ahote. What does it mean?

  4. Thanks Denise aka LuLu! Yep born a buckskin pinto, got his sire's gray gene and I still love him!

  5. Thank you Claudia. I am a sap for both a buckskin and a pinto! When Ahote was born I thought I had died and gone to heaven. With Cheri here to help me 2x a week I should be able to keep up with the boy's training...and it sure pays off. Kwis is a beautiful gal, isn't she?!?!

  6. Hello Brie! I really enjoy working with the boys. Probably because the results can be so dramatic from square one! I hate to say it, but I am looking forward to some fresh snow, everything is starting to look dirty...and nothing but rain in the extended forecast.

    Ahote is a Hopi male name for restless one.


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