I haven’t been posting much here because a group of friends and myself decided to take home a wild Nokota horse after our last clinic in North Dakota. Because of this we created a new wordpress blog so we could post on our progress. The other blog is http://nokotaproject.wordpress.com/
We needed a conservancy horse with the “Right stuff” mentally, emotionally and physically that we could take home, integrate into our herd and train through the summer to sell in the fall.
We decided on Marmalade. Structurally he’s a bit older so he’s less rangier looking then some of the younger horses. Nokota’s mature more slowly than domestic horses, at times still growing until 7 years old! So, they go through some pretty awkward looking stages. Marmalade is on the tail end of that. Mentally and emotionally we wanted a horse that’s going to be an all around good sport with people being our first project horse we needed that trait to give us a step up when it came to training and eventual sale. He’s very expressive and has no qualms about letting us know what he’s feeling and gets frustrated when he can’t figure something out but there’s ZERO aggression or acting on the confusion, he just chooses to think harder which is another great quality in him.
He’s coming along very nicely and we are making sure everything we put in him is quality, taking the time it needs and doing it the right way, right away instead of rushing him into anything or trying to fit anything on an agenda, he shows us when he’s ready to move on in a very Nokota like fashion.
He’s already starting to socialize with people who come into the herd, getting pretty gentled on haltering and seems to not only recognize when he has a rider but takes care of them as well. He’s never bucked, kicked out, tossed his head or even swished his tail when being mounted or ridden. He just seems cool with it all. The other day I rode my horse Kiko while my friend Kelly rode Marmalade and they just followed us around the arena like it’s no big thing at all.
Tomorrow our (Kelly and my) trainer Jerusha is coming out to work with him. We are a team of four- Me, Kelly, Jerusha and Charlie (who are both colt trainers at our colt clinics with Jack Lieser.) training this horse.
With everything that’s coming out from this wild colt, I can only see very good things happening for the future of this project. I’m very excited about this opportunity and have very high hopes for it’s continuance in the future. For us, for the Nokota’s and for the Nokota Horse Conservancy.