CLOUD 9 WALKERS
"Takoda" (Sioux for "Friend to Everyone")
Beautiful 3-yr-old 14.3H Coppery Sorrel/White Spotted
Registered Tennessee Walking Horse Gelding
Barbara rides Takoda beside Jessica, who is riding War Eagle up front. Following is Liz riding Bond, and Larry riding Hobo, his 23-yr-old gelding that he bought from us over 15 years ago. Hobo is still working at his mounted patrol job at Houston area shopping malls.
Click on embedded arrow ABOVE to see the first time Liz (who is our 12-yr-old little 'apprentice') riding Takoda on his daily workout.
Click on embedded arrow ABOVE to see our beautiful winter Texas trail ride in Spring Creek on 12/30/11.
Click on the embedded arrow ABOVE to see our beautiful winter Texas trail ride in Spring Creek on 12/30/11.
"Takoda" -- Mellow Fellow! Another home grown jewel -- half brother to Chisum and Lash Larue, this 3-year-old 14.3H extremely flashy sorrel and white tobiano Tennessee Walking Horse gelding just made his first camping trip and trail ride, and did a fabulous job, thanks to his rock solid round pen foundation training. He stepped over logs, crossed deep creeks, splashed in the lake with waves rolling in, climbed hills, gaited beautifully and cantered slow and easy like a rocking chair. He's going to be that family type horse that you love to have sitting in the your pasture when company comes over or that you take occasionally when the husband joins you. Easygoing and mellow. Right now, probably most anyone can ride him and feel safe -- he is solid four-beat gaited smooth, slow athletic rocking canter, will cross any obstacle or body of water (see his videos!) $4950
Click on embedded arrow ABOVE to see our recent Angelina Forest/Lake Sam Rayburn trail riding/camping trip in December, 2011.
Click on embedded arrow ABOVE to see Part Two of our recent Angelina Forest/Lake Sam Rayburn trail riding/camping trip in December, 2011.
We had 12 horses on this trip, and only 6 pens, so 6 horses spent the night on the overhead picket line and then rotated into the pens the following day. Worked like a charm! From left, sorrel/white spotted "Takoda", bay MFT mare in training with us, black and white spotted "Zip" in the far back, buckskin "Ernie", and in the foreground the black young gelding we raised "Lash Larue". You can see Rio in the distance in one of the pens, and to the far right Huey and Victor build a nice fire for a steak dinner!
Click on embedded arrow ABOVE to see Takoda's round pen workout on 11/28/11.
"Takoda" -- As most all of his brothers and sister, and in the tradition of his sire, this gelding is as gentle as a lamb, very mellow and quiet but will get up and go when you ask him.
First three days, he learned to go, go at three different speeds, and turn to the inside to show respect. They are worked on a "tree of knowledge" (cedar pole in the middle of the round pen), with a concept of driving with one rein.
Next few days, he learned to drive with the long reins, learning to get up, whoa, turn, flex and back. He learned to tolerate the girth with the bitting rig and to pace himself at speeds that he is commanded to perform. He was taught to stay focused on his trainer.
Next few weeks, he learned to accept the saddle and be driven with the driving lines through the stirrups, as well as accept someone mounting him from both sides of the saddle, with lots of 'accidental' brushes across his rump as we mount and dismount.
The fourth week is all about settling down, walking relaxed on command, running walk relaxed on command, relaxed canter and smooth, obedient transitions. The goal is to get him to stay in the requested gait until he is given a cue to change gait. When he is asked to reverse, he is trained to reverse always at a walk.
The fifth week, a "dummy" rider is introduced -- the first night, a rider is asked to be dead weight in the saddle, with the trainer giving instructions from the center of the ring. This dummy rider is asked not to touch the reins, not to move, not to talk, not to be involved other than just simple weight in the saddle. The second night, the rider is asked to give cues in a very subtle way AFTER the trainer gives the cue. The third night, the rider is asked to relax, is allowed to hold conversation while riding, and gives cues at the same time that the trainer is giving them from the center ring. Circles and go's are introduced, stopping and backing two steps is asked. This is all using only a halter and lead rope for reins.
The fourth night, the rider gives the cues and the trainer is simply there to reinforce the cues if needed. By the fifth day, the trainer is pretty much just there to observe, and then for the next week, the trainer takes over and rides with just the halter working on turning in a circle with nose to the inside with no pressure, ride squares, continue backing training, yield front, yield hindquarters. Before he ever left the round pen, he understood all these commands, and by asking to yield both front and hind, he easily learned to side pass on cue.
After a couple of weeks of intensive handling, the bit is introduced (with tasty molasses!), and now double reins are introduced (one to a leather noseband and one to the snaffle). Another week or two in the round pen on the bit, after the horse is taught that he is being allowed to stop (instead of commanded), he knows the one-rein stop, and understands transitions, he is taken to the trails to be ridden alone -- no other horses with him.
This teaches him to think for himself, as opposed to just learning to react. He learns that he can trust his rider, that he can be courageous in the face of his perceived danger, that he can cross creeks, step over logs, encounter deer, squirrel, rabbits, motors, bicycles, etc. He learns to pace himself and not use up all his energy at the beginning of the day, and he learns to hydrate along the trail. He learns to gait perfectly without the distraction of the stress of other horses, feeling like he needs to be where they are. When his gait is fast enough to keep up with his peers, he is then taken on group rides and taught to ride at the back, in the middle, and at the front, all on a loose rein. He is taught that he should not panic when he is ridden a lot further back from the group, leaving the group and then rejoining. He is being trained to canter on both leads along the way, but that if asked, he should not increase his gait even though the other horses are getting ahead on the trail.
Next comes Highway 101, where he learns to tolerate busy traffic, dogs, 4-wheelers, garbage cans, whatever scary obstacles he can be exposed to.
All along the way, the goal is to get him to round his back, break at the poll and tuck his nose, drive his hindquarters forward and have a perfect four-beat gait with loose reins, light touch and all while BAREFOOT!
Now, this pleasure prospect will be hauled to camping trips across the nation, on a never-ending education! So far, he is right on schedule for a diploma . . . stay tuned!
Sire of "Takoda"
(ABOVE) "Go Boy's Champagne Pride" -- sire of Takoda
"Jolie" -- half sister to Takoda. Click on her picture to see more about her (she is already sold, but you can see her history).
Cloud 9 Walkers
P. O. Box 878
Hardin, Texas 77561-0878
(55 minutes east of Houston)
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