On Sunday, my young friend Aurora came over for a ground school lesson with Shaman. She is 12 and longs for her own horse, but it is not just horses she is learning about. These are life lessons about using your energy, maintaining good boundaries and paying attention. For many young woman it is about finding your voice and being heard. I remind her she is in charge and help her to find that place. She is learning about body language. The horses are masters of that art. She likes to work with Shaman, who is crazy about her. When she arrived, Shaman got up from his nap and came and stood at the gate watching her, then went over and rolled the barrel in a circle at a canter..(surely this will get her attention!)
Aurora usually cleans the corral prior to her lesson. Then she uses her body language to encourage Shaman to come to her and lower his head for the halter. We use a rope halter as it provides clearer information for the horse. Grooming is one way of establshing a relationship and Shaman loves the scratching and brushing! Aurora is working with him to stand still on the black mat and after two lessons with her, he is being very cooperative.
The first few lessons Aurora worked in the round corral, but this week we headed out into the arena for some lunging. Shaman was happy to move out at a trot and canter, listening attentively to Aurora. It was really fun for me to see how well behaved he was.
That seemed so easy, we set up a course for Aurora and Shaman and he loved that! Aurora had to jog and she had roses in her cheeks when she was done!
Shaman is a Kiger Mustang. We adopted him at 6 months of age. The Kigers are the most well known of the herds in Oregon, and are highly sought after as they are very Iberian in origon. You can see from this photo how he tucks his butt under him and brings up his back, arches his neck and carries himself with pride. Yet, on the ground he is quiet enough for a complete novice. (with Supervision) Kigers are known also for the dun factor: dark points, spider webbing on his legs and chest, hooked ears that looked as if they were dipped in an ink well, thick dark mane and tail, fine boned, hard feet and easy keepers. He has never been shod and never been lame.
Like most horses he looks better in the summers!