Monday, April 26, 2010

Kiger Shaman For Sale

If you are into mustangs you probably know about the Kiger Herd in Eastern Oregon. We have watched this heard for the past 12 years and in 2004 we adopted a weanling: Kiger Shaman. He rode home in our trailer calmly eating hay and laying down to rest when we stopped. He was cool, calm and collected and very pretty!

 He grew into such a pretty boy, sweet and well built!

He took easily to being saddled and loves ground work. He is fantastic at lateral work and can side pass over barrels or logs with ease.

Shaman like many Kigers is very Spanish. He is compact, built very square and is very strong backed and very quick. He can spin on a dime, rolls a barrel at a canter pushing it with his nose, and loves to chase anything - I imagine he would be fantastic on cows.

Shaman stands at 15 hands, his feet are rock hard, his neck is perfection. He is a dun, you can see zebra stripes on his legs and chest. His small hooked ears look dipped in ink. He is friendly and expressive. Everyone who meets him falls in love. He stands square and unlike many horses, it's hard to get a bad photo of Shaman. He is a beauty!

Like many Spanish horses he has a lot of Brio. He is very quiet, but when you ask for energy you get it! He is fine for children on the ground, but as a riding horse he is still very green and is still learning. He needs a quiet confident rider, who is experienced at this point or a professional trainer to bring him along.

 Shaman is experienced in Natural Horsemanship and was brought along slowly and carefully. He has been ground driven, lunged, worked at liberty, goes in and out of the trailer without a momen's hesitation, is great for the farrier, and goes on trail walks. He has been ridden very lightly, and is used to a bit, but ridden mostly in a halter to preserve his softness.

Shaman likes to play! He is full of beans and is such fun to watch. He's a character!

Shaman's canter is a dream!  He is round and light and can canter in very small circles without much effort. I have never ridden this canter, as he is not at that stage in his training, but it's not hard to imagine how smooth and easy it will be.

Shaman is used to all sorts of things being tied to his back and floating over his head.

Last fall he began some training under saddle. He is still anxious, but goes in and out of it. At 62, I don't think he's the boy for me.. I like my laid back Black Elk.. But, oh, what a picture Shaman makes!

I think with time, He could be awesome on the trail, working cows, showing or even in Dressage. He is made for the upper levels of collection. Cowboy Dressage perhaps? 

Sadly due to the economy and time, we are offering him to a good home for $4,000.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who is training who?

I have been frustrated with getting a bit in Black Elk's mouth. Impatient. Yes, I admit it. Even though I firmly believe many of the issues with starting horses are created by people not giving  them the time they need to understand  what we are asking. Sometimes it's about a  threshold, they can go to a certain point and no further and we ask too much to fast. I know the secret to success and that is to break it down into tiny little pieces, steps that the horse can be successful with. 

Constantly I remind myself, how do I want this part of our relationship to be in a year, in 5 years in 20 years. So, I take the time it takes to do it right. This is the polar opposite of Get 'er done.. With Get 'er done.. you most likely will never get the Partnership you want. The horse may comply.. but is left with a bad feeling.. as you will be too.

I use a clicker. This is how I gentled Black Elk and he LOVES it!  He also 'get's it!'. Working loose in a round pen, he will continually come back to me to solve the puzzel. I always end before he gets bored or discouraged. So, I got out my clicker and my bucket of pellets. We started with a crop. Having him touch the crop with his mouth. Now keep in mind, Black Elk is an introvert, it has only been recently he'd take an apple from someone's hand, and he still prefers you put it on the ground. He does not liked to have his mouth fooled with.

For the past few days I have been gently playing with his lips and putting a finger in the side of his mouth. But whenever I tried to put in the bit.. oh, no.. he said NOT THAT!  I never let it escalate into a fight, but I was discouraged. So, I needed to back track.

We spent about an hour together, first with the crop and then with holding the bit and having him line his mouth up with it, then click and treat, hold out the bit, line up his mouth, wait a little bit longer and click and treat.. then finally line up his mouth, and have him open his mouth.. click and treat, and then line up, open, put in the bit, click and treat. YEP, you guessed it. It was successful!  Black Elk trained me to do it slowly and he got lots of treats and by the end I was tried so I gave him the rest of the bucket of pellets and fed the boys and called it a night!