The Nokota horse Kiche

Kiche in the Lakota language means Sky Spirt….which fits this guy…..

Kiche under saddle

Kiche is a wild Nokota stud I had the pleasure of meeting at the ND colt start in June 2011. He had never been touched by a human before so taking him from first touch to riding was very special to me.

The reason I called him Kiche was because every chance he got with other horses, he was up in the air with them, always trying to over take them, over come and just be plain OVER them….see the pictures below.

Yeah…he’s the one up in the air all the time!

Dominent with other horses, he was an absolute pleasure to work with on the ground. Totally accepted touch and loving, bouncing up and down..whatever….when we got around to accepting the human off the fence sitting on you, he was like WHATEVER….just let me eat this grass and I don’t care!

I made a rookie mistake the next day though….I saw how far along others were and thought, we should have been there so in a rush I set him up to be mounted from the fence….he switched sides and I slipped on anyway….realizing within a moment that felt like it was an hour how wrong I was. I got down and right away when I started to say Ahhh in my head, I felt him swell underneith me, it was an unacceptable feel totally foreign to him and he was going to start bucking it off (It being me, I grabbed his mane and flipped off him….unfortunently, my super savvy save of myself wasn’t super suave, my cowboy boots with the cute curved heel curved into the ground and sent me backwards into my collision with the earth) Yeah….nice Jen…

Bouncing my head off the ground

After many laughs and people saying “nice one Jen!” I got right back up and this time did it right, I only worked with ONE side the day before and got on the OPPOSITE side….DUM de DUM DUM…so I worked with him a bit more and we were able to sort it out…It was okay to get on from both sides now.

I then made another mistake, I put my 45 lbs saddle that I handle as gracefully as a buffalo in Tiffany’s on Kiche’s back. My friend Charlie had to come over and help me…because I didn’t chinch up tight enough the first time….Kiche went into a bucking fit. Jack Lieser says he’s only seen TWO Nokota’s in his entire career buck….and mine was one of them!

Charlie was able to approach Kiche and tighten the cinch a second time securing the saddle. Kiche was fine about this but as soon as he was released to go join his buddies, he deicided bucking was up for grabs again…..especially when halvsies another dominent stud was around….

Everyone was laughing asking me if I’m ready to ride that tomorrow.

Honestly, I didn’t know if I could but I said ‘Oh Yeah” any way……I figured I found a connection before with this guy, I’m pretty sure I can find it again even with this foreign heavy object that didn’t fit him well regardless.

The next day I got the saddle on without issue and Jack asked me ” would you like to ride him or would you rather I try first?” Without even taking my pride into consideration I told Jack “I would like YOU to ride him first”

Kiche and Jack

and ride him he did….Kiche did not buck, did not complain and responded like most Nokota’s do, willingly, eagerly and happily.

So after Jack rode him, I got on….no big thing….we were kept in the round pen just in case but he did wonderfully. I never got the feeling I couldn’t trust him, I could feel his willingness and he never felt for one instant like the day before like he wasn’t okay.

Me riding Kiche in the round pen

Willing and happy feeling I realized I had taken this colt from first touch to riding in a few short days even WITH my blunders and mistakes…and he didn’t seem to judge me for that!

He just seemed to me, so EASY to get along with…happy, and I felt fufilled knowing I didn’t push this baby into doing anything. This was a partnership and it felt so simple and honest. So rewarding knowing I will go back to my horse a better horseman then before and all because of a simple wonderful colt who taught me more then I can explain that I call Kiche the sky spirit. I hope he is adopted into a wonderful family that understands how special he is and can see how much they can learn from him just being in thier lives.

I will always remember you Kiche. Thank you so very much for what you have added into my life. Love always….Jen

Photos of me with Kiche, courtosy of Frank Kuntz

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