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Cita, Partner of Sandy

For a while I always though the horse of my dreams would be a Trakehner but in the back of my mind I always thought it would be a neat experience to adopt a Mustang from the BLM. I had heard so many horror stories about trying to tame them so I kept it tucked away.

Well, fate stepped in and I ended up in Central Oregon on a 5 acre mini ranch less than two years ago. I decided it was time to have a horse again after going almost 20 years without one of my own...I borrowed, took lessons, snuck rides, and learned as much as I could in that time...but it's not the same.

So along came Nochecita (Spanish for Twilight or dusk...literal translation "little night"). She was adopted from the BLM by some terrific women in Western Oregon. They told me no one else even gave her a second look at the adoption in Reno. She was rounded up from a herd in Central Nevada when she was a yearling. According to them, she was a tough nut to crack, striking out and kicking because humans were evil!

Obviously they got through to her. When I found her (much thanks to my friend Shari for pointing her out and insisting they bring her in for me to have a look at !) she was barely two and she was basically gentled and halter broke..that's it. We brought her home April of last year, and I have to say, in my 25 years of riding and training and such I have NEVER experienced anything quite like Cita! The differences between her and the domestics can be very subtle or blare out at you.

I am definitely part of her herd, which is an honor..although we have to vy for herd mare status sometimes! After doing lots of groundwork and bonding the first 9 months, I started to ride her a tiny bit. In January, we had a set back...she got into a panic situation and I bailed, injuring myself in the process. Unable to ride her because of the risk of reinjuring myself, I was introduced to the wonders of clicker training!

So in the last several months I have gone back and filled in the holes, built up our confidence and learned how to use c/t to improve our communication and trust in each other! Down the road, I would love to adopt a wild one and start completely from scratch. In the meantime, my goal is to teach Cita in the classical dressage manner and have her show off to the world what her kind is all about!

This one is where I asked Cita to "touch it"
before she crossed the scary bridge.
These photos are off a video.

Here's us going across...
sorry about the cables in the way,
hope people can get the idea anyway!

Here's Cita touching the slicker.
She was a little apprehensive,
but she stood her ground.

Here we had to serpentine backwards
through three barrels. We hadn't practiced this one,
only backing through an L.
We experienced technical difficulties,
but we did it! I stopped and clicked to
keep myself from falling apart!

I ask Cita to step up to my mounting bucket, so I can get on...she learned to do this with c/t.

I asked her to move forward and even trot a little! I think she's getting it figured out!

Of course we stopped to c/t often!!!

We even went over the scary bridge a few times!

and finally stepping up to the mounting bucket for dismount!

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