Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kota - Day two-The meaning of whoa

Yesterday was fairly uneventful, at least compared to Tuesday.  I finally got my DSL back so I am not operating on an air card.  We will see how long it lasts, hopefully more than the 3 days it stayed on last time.  I have been without DSL in the month of March more than I have had it.  Grrr.

The equines seem to be getting along okay, Kota and Chip aren't fighting and Kota doesn't have any pieces missing out of him.  That's a big step for my bully of an App!  Yesterday at lunch I saw the TWH licking Kota, the TWH doesn't "groom" horses normally, he licks them instead.  It is pretty gross as then you have a soaked horse and the TWH has a hairy tongue.  Blech.  Kota seems more comfortable around the donkey though he clearly isn't thrilled, at least everyone is integrating.

Last night was day two of groundwork and tonight will be our first mounted session.  We worked on the groundwork basics more, especially the WHOA.  Because, of course, the whoa was nonexistent when he came here and I feel it is a pretty important part of training.  We did lots of softening in the beginning by making him walk with his head down, showing him he can walk at different speeds with his head down, stopping at different speeds with I stop with his head down, moving his quarters away and such.  Then we worked on moving the quarters until I said whoa and then not moving even if I continue moving.  Then we worked on my saying whoa  and not moving even if I walked all the way around him, this one was extremely hard for him.  After we had that down fairly well we worked on the beginnings of lunging again.  At a walk he walks on a circle at the end of his lead line until I say whoa and then getting him to stop and not face me or step to the outside.  Pretty tough stuff for him.

Overall things went pretty well.  In the end he will halt 90% of the time when asked and will stand until there is pressure to move.  I was even able to get a few trot steps and then go back to walk/whoa without any explosions or big corrections.  Kota only had one almost-meltdown, when we were finishing I switched from leading on the left to leading on the right and he thought he would be a donkey about it, butt planted and refused to move.  He got several hard jerks from the halter which lead to him almost freaking out but was able to contain himself and think about it and then we finished without an issue.  Funny how these animals can be sometimes.  We will see how he goes under saddle tonight, stay tuned!


  1. I will come back to get caught up I promise. Sorry I get so far behind on reading. I just wanted to respond to your comment on Faran's hooves. That's actually not the same hoof. When we got him we could only pick up one hoof because he was trimmed in stocks (or not at all) and had no balance. I couldn't remember which hoof it was though, so it hasn't elongated that much. :) That does mean they are very mismatched though.

    I figured the hole was thrush, but wanted to make sure. I haven't heard of Tomorrow, so I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

  2. LOL Zeppelin does the licking thing too. On both Faran and Chrome. It is gross, but at least their manes don't suffer lol.

    Sounds like Kota is a smart pupil. I'm glad it's going so well. Does he seem to be one of those horses who retains things well or do you have to keep reminding him? Looking forward to reading about your first mounted session with him.