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    12-10-2012, 11:57 PM
She's got a nylon halter, as I don't have my rope halter anymore. But otherwise, she's getting about the same drill. I can read her body language enough to figure when she's going to bolt away from me, so I wave or pop the whip behind her and take a step closer to her back end to make her move forward away from me. If she keeps moving, we'll go for another circle or two, then ask her to stop in the opposite spot from where she's bolting away. She is starting to get the hint that she is not allowed to stop unless I say so.
Endiku likes this.
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    12-11-2012, 11:29 AM
Teen Forum Moderator
Great! Those little guys are very smart, I'm sure she'll have this down pat in no time.

I just can't get over how adorable she is. I was fooled into thinking she was a yearling too though o.o so I was suprised to hear that she's closer to three. I'm sure that decent food and lots of love will go a long ways towards gettings her looking more her age though. Poor gal came from one tough situation!
Poseidon likes this.
    12-11-2012, 10:01 PM
She's a quick little booger that apparently takes ass whoopins seriously. Today was just a bad day at the barn in terms of work and getting things taken care of, so working with my horses got pushed way back. I did Abby first, then grabbed Kaja. Oh she did so good!!

No pulling. We stayed in almost the exact same circle the entire time and definitely didn't move any direction more than 2 feet. No pulling. W/T and transitions with very subtles cues.

Hopefully this lesson sticks after a couple times and we have a solid "safe" point. I'm not going to push her right now, just relatively short periods of trotting until she gains more weight and fills out with some more muscle.

I am a happy camper.
Endiku likes this.
    12-19-2012, 03:38 PM
The last week has gone well. We only had a few moments of conflict while working on lunging. Nothing that wasn't resolved immediately though.

She got to go outside on Sunday though! My roommate took her mare and filly home and is bringing back her gelding. Kaja and the filly were holed up inside a small barn because the filly figured out how to get out of the fencing once and we didn't need to take any chances. Kaja gets to hang out with Abby for a good portion of the day. Abby has zero interest in being friends, but she is like that with most other horses. Fortunately, she hasn't attempted to attack Kaja, but Kaja has also just avoided her.

She made some new human friends yesteday. We have a new boarder who bought a mare for her daughters and her parents come out with them often. Yesterday, the woman's uncle came too. First, they thought she was a Shetland. But she let them pet her fluff and was quiet about it (she is still understanding the "humans are allowed in your space whenever they feel" concept and jumps when touched unexpectedly and is cautious about it).
    01-18-2013, 02:44 PM
Sooo I haven't updated this in nearly a month. Time flies..

Kaja has finally understood that grain is food and can be eaten. I am guessing she figured it out from watching Abby get fed and realized she can eat it too. I have started her on a little bit of Strategy (1/2lb daily right now) to help her gain more weight and as bribery. She still doesn't really like being caught, but now she knows that buckets mean food and when I'm there, I have been tricking her into being caught then feeding her inside so that "Human + catching + barn = FOOD!"

And now that she's figured out that it is, in fact, edible, it is just the greatest thing in the world. She also figured out treats the other day. I tried to give her a peppermint one, which she wouldn't take. Then a boarder handed me this cookie thing and said one mare wouldn't eat treats, but ate that. Kaja wouldn't take it from my hand at first, but I put it in a handful of grain and she ate it. Nooow she takes ones from my hand. She likes apple and peppermint.

Since she got a break, we're still mostly doing trotting to build up some muscle. I've added a vocal cue to it, which she's figuring out pretty quickly. I want to work on just getting her to lope on a lunge line, but she much prefers trotting, even if she is beyond turbo trotting (which is funny to watch with her little legs. Tehe). I have gotten her to lope, but it's more of a work out for me. We have a roundpen, but it's not set up and some of the pieces are being used elsewhere. Nobody really used it when it was set up and the only place there's room for it is outside and takes up a lot of room.

Overall, she's gotten friendlier and seems happier.
HollyLolly likes this.
    02-10-2013, 08:39 PM
I haz good news and bad news.

First, Kaja has become very friendly towards people now and even nickers at Abby when I bring her back outside from shenanigans with her. I wish I could get a recording of Kaja's "nicker." It's a sort of old man grunt.

Yesterday was an interesting day. I was going to attempt ground driving with Kaja since she now bridles well and does not seem to care about wear a dressage saddle for a period of time. First, tied the bit to a stirrup and did that whole pressure/released shindig. She figured that out very quickly.

Grounddriving..was a massive fail. She kept thinking I wanted her to lunge, so when I tried to straighten her out and stay behind her, which would work for a few feet and she'd go in the direction I'd want, but then she'd get very confused at all of pressure and bolt. I figured we were not making any progress and I was just hurting her mouth. I lunged her for a little bit to calm her down some.

Then I had the brilliant idea to get on her again..with no one else around. Not my best idea, but yeah. She was still rather worked up when I started trying. She didn't mind me pressing on her back, but really didn't like me jumping next to her. I pushed down on the stirrups with my hands a few times. I got one foot up in a stirrup when she bolted and I flopped over and managed land my right thigh on my left heel. I have a nice bruise today.

After quite a few attempts of just weight on her back and me moving around up and down on her left side, she calmed down enough and allowed me to hop on. Woo! Guess who was awesome?? She required very little pressure on her mouth to turn and figured out very quickly that a clucky noise and pressure on both of her sides meant go forward. Her stopping will need some work. She knows "ho" but would get tense when I pulled back with both hands. I had her halter underneath with a leadrope so when she didn't stop with "ho" and bit pressure, I pulled the leadrope so she could feel the pressure on her noseband, which she understood. Overall, it went well. I kind of wish I had someone there to either take a picture or verify that this did happen.

Her bit also arrived in the mail yesterday night (I didn't check the mail so I had to use my roommate's bit still). This is her bit: http://www.sstack.com/English_Bits_F...Cheek-Snaffle/ Roommate's is the same, but with D-rings instead of full cheek. I tried a few snaffles and she seemed to prefer the straight rollers.

Unforunately, we are in the middle of a large snowstorm and even if work and class are canceled tomorrow, I'm not going anywhere fast, let alone the 20 mile drive to the barn. BOOO.
    02-14-2013, 11:51 PM
We've made some progress over the last couple of days.

Yesterday was a big fight again over whether the human can be on my back. It involved a lot of swearing and Kaja running around. I did get on her and all was well, but she bolt from my mistake. She gets really confused and tenses when I pull back with both hands (though she turns with very light pressure) and instead of stopping, she runs through it.

So that happened due to me screwing my hands (meant to pull back on the leadrope/halter to get her to stop). I was fine, then started to lose my balanace because I am a western rider attempting to ride this little thing in a dressage saddle because my barrel saddle is far too big for Kaja.

Sooo I start slipping and I know it clicked in her head somewhere that she could get me off if she just stopped. I don't remember if there was body language from her or something because it was quite fast, but I realized it and prepared for impact. She stopped dead and launched me into the arena wall. Luckily, from riding my BOs' little Welsh/Mini mare they had for a while, I developed reflexes fast enough to twist and hit my back rather than, say, my face.

I came away from that with a stirred temper, a completely jammed left index finger (not sure how that happened.. I stood up and it hurt like hell, now it is swollen and half purple. Awesome) and more sand in my pants than I cared for.

After some calming, I managed to get back on and we ended on a good note.
    02-14-2013, 11:56 PM
Today was a huge improvement for a 3rd ride.

I lunged her for quite a while to wear her out and use fatigue to my advantage. **** little Fjord can trot forever though.. One of the trainers was in the arena also and commented that he liked her leg conformation, which I thought was nice because I think she's rather calf-kneed. However, after our conversation, I'm pretty sure he still thinks she's a Shetland.

Either way, she let me on after only a couple of attempts with getting my foot in the stirrup. Wooooo! We walked around for a while and was doing awesome, then she spooked at something. No idea what. THIS TIME I had the sense to grab her neck so if she were to stop, I'd just lean forward, rather than flying off her. It worked. I held on until she stopped and realized we weren't going to die.

This happened several times throughout the time I was in there. I felt really bad because this other lady was going to do some circles with her gelding and thought it might have been her fault and then she decided to just walk. I may have ruined her ride, but she's so nice that she wouldn't have told me anyway. She really helped work on some patience wth Kaja though because I made her stand still while we had an extended conversation about mountain lions.

After another spazz, we finished on a decent note. Not as well as I would have liked because she had bolted and stayed tense for quite some time. I was running out of my own time, anddecided to end it before it got worse.
    02-26-2013, 12:04 AM
First, last Thursday, little Kaja did so well. She got lunged a little, then I grabbed her bridle and showed her on the ground that pressure on both sides of her mouth meant stop, along with hearing "ho," which she already knows.

Another boarder held her while I hopped on after and she nailed it right away. I didn't ride for very long (10 minutes maybe) because was doing so well and didn't need her to blow up.

She also got her hair cut off! I'll have to upload a picture later.

Howeverrrr..then on Saturday, she lost her mind. We had a little fight about getting on beacuse I didn't have anyone to hold her for me, but I got it. She was tense the whole time, so I was being careful and trying to get her to calm down...then I coughed. Didn't even think about it. Off like the freaking Kentucky Derby. Since I am in the **** dressage saddle, I have to stand up in the stirrups and grab her neck to stay on and let her run herself out or I'll go flying (I wear jeans, not breeches with some grip).

She got even more freaked out when she'd try to stop and throw me like she did a couple weeks ago and I wouldn't come off. Eventually she slowed down enough for me to bail sideways and stop her. There was no calming her down and my arms and legs were so tired from standing like a freaking jockey that I just sat down in the arena next to her.

Sooo I gave up and decided she can sit for a little while and mature mentally. I've pushed her far enough and have realized her limit. I'll continue working with her, but she can mature more. She's come SO far in the last 4 months, but she can hang out. She's going to live at the neighbor's house about a mile from the barn anyway for other reasons and will be there until the middle of May.

In May, I am leaving to go work at the summer camp I've worked at since 2007. Abby and Kaja are coming with. Abby's been there, but it will be entirely new for Kaja. Luckily for me, we have a roundpen (and a very large arena, but I'm mostly going to use the roundpen) annnd about 30 various western saddles at my disposal to find a fit for her, which I'll be much more comfortable in. If she bolts, 1) she'll be in a roundpen and 2) I can actually maintain my seat and pull her to a stop rather than being a helpless passenger.

Crappy decision to make, but it's for her benefit.
    03-25-2013, 07:03 PM
I haven't updated this in a considerable amount of time. Only a few exciting things have happened since my last point and they were on the same day.

The vet was up a couple weeks ago to get everyone their spring shots. Sigh. Abby does not do shots. The last couple of years, my former vet also did teeth, so she would get her shots and teeth done in the same day..and while under tranquilizer. Then during her fall shots, she didn't react at all, so I assumed she might have grown out of it.

No, sir. The vet gave her a shot in the butt. She knows better than to actually kick anyone, so she kicked back with the opposite leg (kicking away from him, but still making her point). He gave the next shot in her neck. Then came strangles. It took 4 of us. She stood all pissed off after the first couple of shots so when she realized there was another and it was going in her nose, she went into "Oh haaaaail no" mode. I was holding her, vet had the vaccine, a tech tried to cover her eye, and my BO finally had to twitch her, which made me nervous because she had been twitched often when she was younger for reasons unknown to me. She was quite angry with us all.

Then it's Kaja's turn. Little munchkin didn't even seem to know what was going on. It took a couple of minutes to get hers all done and she was completely unfazed. A slight flehmen response to the strangles vaccine that looked more like she just scrunched up her nose than anything. Good munchkin.

I realized that one boarder's trailer was hooked up and sitting in front of the barn. I asked permission to use it because I saw it as a wonderful opportunity for a lesson on trailering. The only person I could find to help me with my mares was my BOs' 17 year old daughter, who is not the bravest of souls. However, she happily held Kaja for me while I was going to have Abby hop in and show her there is nothing scary in it.

Guess what 9 year old, normally fine to trailer horse decided this trailer was just too scary? Sigh. I don't haul her often and the trailers I have used with her have had one large swinging gate. This one had two smaller ones that open opposite directions with a small threshold in the middle. Apparently it was going to kill her. I couldn't ask the girl helping to smack her butt because she is just a timid person and would be uncomfortable with it.

Instead, she said she wanted to see if Kaja would go in because "she looks interested." Little sh*t hops right in! The girl turned her around and walked her out, so I tried again and yep. Jumped in like she'd been doing it her entire life. This time I backed her out, which she also mastered and was just happy to have a treat.

BO came out a few minutes later and helped me make Abby get in the trailer just for the sake of getting her over the tiny piece of metal that was monstrous. Once she was in, she stood there like, "Oh wait. Nevermind. I know that this is." Dumb ass.

Other than this, not much has happened. Kaja is shedding so I will eventually be able to post pictures of what she actually looks like under the fluff.
xxdanioo likes this.

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