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Sentinel Butte, North Dakota

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kena starts school

It is Kena's turn to start learning all a cowhorse needs to know. She has been halter broke since she was little. She has had her feet picked up, things rubbed all over her body and flapped around her. All of those things she did well with although it took her longer than Kalin, who is the same age. Kena has a totally different personality and it took her a long time to mature and want to really have much to do with people except to get fed. She is going to be a one person horse and that person seems to be me. She  tolerates Doug and Cody but comes to me for affection and I really seem to have her trust.
The day we first put the saddle on Kena she had actually let Doug trim her feet without much of a fuss. Since she had been good with that, Doug decided to get the saddle on her for the first time. Being Kena though, made us know using the foot rope on her would be a good idea. She would not have the opportunity to kick or have a fit over the things to come. Doug's foot rope is thick soft cotton and it is never pulled tight enough to hurt the horse or leave a mark. It definetly makes things much easier.

Putting on the bridle was not too traumatic for either Doug or Kena. Neither
was the saddle blanket. She had the saddle blanket put on her numerous
times in the  past and suprisingly the bit in her mouth did not bother her much.

The saddle being slowly eased onto her back didn't seem too bad. Even
the cinch being gradually pulled tight didn't cause a problem.
Then the drama queen went into action! She forgot
about the foot rope restricting her movement and pulled

Finally choosing the path of least resistance,
she laid down in the soft straw/soil/manure mix of the corral.


Doug just let her lay there for awhile, actually walking
away for about 10 minutes to get the tractor and put a
bale of hay into a feeder in another corral. Eventually, Kena
did get up, much subdued and ready for round two.

After talking to her and getting her even more calm he
took the foot rope off of her. She let him climb into
the saddle on the first try. She stood still like a pro.

She stood there for a long time before deciding
what she should do.

Things looked pretty good for a little bit.......

She pitched a fit, rearing up twice before I got the photos snapped. She flipped
over the second time coming over almost on top of Doug who was able to roll clear.

After her tantrum, she thought things thru again.

She let Doug give her some encouragement to move.

They made several laps around the corral and ended on that
good note.

These two photos are of Kena two weeks later chalking up yet another ride. She has not laid down or thrown another tantrum of any kind. She has had a refresher course on leading when she was saddled and then led behind Badger when we moved cows last week and yesterday with Kalin and then Denny. She gets kind of pushy when led like that but otherwise is fine. In the next few days, she will make her first ride outside of the corral alone with Doug. I have high hopes for her when she is trained. Like Kalin, there is no reason she can't be an awesome cow horse.


fourwilkies said...

Very interesting! Smart horse to lie down and think things over instead of fighting herself into a frenzy. I think she'll make a great riding horse.

DayPhoto said...

Now that is a horse whisperer!

Very interesting post!!!!


Sharmin said...

You got some great shots. I remember similar incidents when Chris was breaking "Rooster". He had a few fits, and trying to back him into a roping box was pretty interesting. He finally relized he liked to rope, and could burst out of the box like crazy (had a little trouble with the barrier for a while, too). Rooster isn't with us anymore, we sold him to a trainer who trains horses for Chad Saunders and Bobby Hurley. We may see Rooster at the NFR one of these days.