Photo by S. Ralston
- BLM Freezebrand 08605123
- Bay 2-year-old Gelding
- Mustang # 5123
- Born Summer 2008
- Captured from the Callaghan HMA, NV on January 6, 2009
- Will be registered with the Wild Horse and Burro Association
- Sponsors: Joanna Barnish and Louis Sorrentino
- Students: Samantha Rodgers and Rebekah Verdieck
I am so glad I get to tell you how
RU Koda has been doing this month. He has made me very proud numerous times,
just this week. On Monday, March 28th, we weighed the horses on the scale in
the Red Barn. We had been struggling with Koda with the scale at the Ryder’s
Lane barn, but on Monday he walked right onto it and stood, waiting for a cue
to walk off. Also that day, in his session with one of his Ag Field Day
students, he figured out how to play soccer with himself and was pushing the
ball around the barn with his nose.
On Wednesday, Koda and I had a
session with Jose. Koda had been turning in front of the person leading him
when asked to stop (halt). Jose addressed this problem, showing me how to ask
him to stop through my body language. At the end of our session, Koda halted immediately
beside me when I stopped walking. We also worked on changes in pace while walking
so Koda pays attention to my body- that way, he senses when I am about to stop.
We also desensitized Koda to the spray bottle. Jose was able to spray Koda’s
nose, ears, face, body, and legs without him flinching or becoming tense. Koda
is so advanced; we have put bags, balls, ropes, traffic cones, and umbrellas on
his back, over his head, etc.
Koda and I had another session with
Jose on Friday. Since it was raining, I dried him off with a towel and was able
to rub him down all over. He was okay with me wrapping the towel around his
legs, and putting it over his ears. He’s still not too keen on having the towel
over one or both of his eyes. We also worked with him in the wash stall, and he
learned the boundaries of being on crossties. After he tried lurching forward
on the crossties once, he stood nicely on them. We found that he is scared of
the hose, if it is turned on or off, and we will be working with him with that
in the upcoming weeks.
Koda has grown into such a sweet,
wonderful horse in the five months I have been working with him. Granted, he
still has an attitude and will sometimes be rude, but we’re working on that. He
will be such a fantastic horse for whoever is lucky enough to buy him.
Written by Sam Rodgers
| Koda has continued to improve and is doing very well with his training. He loves attention and|
his time being groomed every day. He stands nicely and picks up his
feet very well when asked to do so. He has also shown improvement in
his leading and is much more polite and patient when it is his time to
be turned outside with the other horses. He has continued to work in
the round pen with Jose and has been learning very quickly. He has been
introduced to both the blanket as well as the surcingle and did very
well with both!
In the nutrition study, Koda has finished his trial on both the corn as well as the oats. He
very well for each of the behavior tests, however we still need to work
with him to improve his turns on the haunches. The novel stimulus in
the recent behavior tests included a piece of cardboard that Koda was
asked to walk over, which he didn’t seem to mind, as well as clippers
which he also didn’t seem to be concerned about even when Dr. Ralston
clipped his whiskers with them!
With spring quickly approaching and the weather beginning to get warmer, the horses are
to shed out their winter coats. We have started leaving the lights on
in the barn until 9pm in order to help encourage the horses to shed.
Although Koda never really grew a significant winter coat, what very
little extra fuzz he did have is quickly disappearing. I can’t wait to
see how sleek and shiny his coat will become in the next few weeks!
At the preview following the Equine Science Seminar on February 13th, Koda did exceptionally well!
He was very well behaved and was unfazed by the crowd of people. He has
quite a presence and seems to love to show off his good looks for
everyone at the previews! Koda definitely does not fall short on
personality! I can’t wait to see how well he does with the upcoming
previews and Ag Field Day right around the corner!
Writen by Rebekah Verdieck
| Koda is a very intelligent, athletic horse who does really well working
in the roundpen. We have been teaching him vocal commands while lunging
and free-lunging Koda. He understands “walk” and “trot,” and we are
still working on “canter”. He is doing much better with correctly
turning to the inside or to the outside when asked. Since Koda is a
“mouthy” horse, and loves investigating everything with his mouth, Jose
decided to use a key bit (training bit) with him. Koda has been doing
very well with the bit. Jose has also made makeshift girths with his
arms and a lunge line, imitating the tightening that a girth makes.
Koda had no problems with this, and the next step we will be taking in
his training is to get a surcingle on him. We will also be putting him
on crossties and teaching him to stand nicely while being groomed.|
On Monday, January 31st, Dr. Ralston performed the first of the
behaviors tests of the semester. We are studying the effects of corn
versus TMR (Total Mixed Ration) hay cubes on the horses’ behavior.
Koda’s “team” is currently on the TMR cubes. The test included walking
down the barn aisle, halting, standing still for one minute, turning on
the haunches, lifting all four feet, backing up, getting weighed on the
scale, and approaching a student standing on a stool. Koda passed with
flying colors, especially when asked to pick up his feet. He does need
work on turning on his haunches, but that was the first time he was
asked to perform that task.
Though we had been having trouble
getting Koda on the scale before the winter break, Dr. Ralston worked
with him on it, and during the behavior test he walked right on the
scale without hesitation. When he noticed the research student standing
on the stool, however, he did snort a couple times, but let her rub
both sides of his neck. Koda received almost all 5’s (out of 5) on the
tasks he was asked to perform.
With Ag Field Day and the Auction
coming up just around the corner, Rebekah and I will be working with
Jose to get Koda as ready as can be. We will soon be moving the horses
to the Red Barn on College Farm Road, so we will be doing everything we
can to make that go as smoothly as possible. We have been working on
desensitizing Koda to random objects such as bags, umbrellas, and stable
sheets. He is usually more curious than afraid, and I hope he keeps
that curiosity and courage when introduced to the new barn.
Written by Sam Rodgers
has been working every Friday with Jose, who has been working on
getting Koda to give to pressure, as well as working on his turns. Koda
has a hard time turning to the right, which is his weaker side.
However, I have seen Koda improve in a few ways since the first time I
worked with him. He is a little more willing to follow his handler
without protest ot biting. On the morning of November 9th, Dr.
Ralston conducted a preliminary behavior test on the horses as part of
the research on the effect of diet on behavior and trainability. The
behavior test included having the horses walk down the aisle of the
barn, stop and stand for thirty seconds, allow their handlers to touch
their faces and ears, rub the length of their bodies, pick up their
feet, turn them in a full circle in both directions, and walk with
their handlers on their “off-side” (leading on the right). Koda was a
perfect gentleman walking down the aisle; he stood still for thirty
seconds and let me rub his entire body while standing quietly. He only
moved when I ran my hand down his left hind leg. He followed me into
the “weigh room” with only slight hesitation-he had only been to that
side of the barn a few times. He struggled with turning in a circle to
the right, which was expected, but did well turning to the left. He was
not very comfortable with me leading him on the right, but since it was
our first attempt, he did fairly well. We also performed a novel
stimulus test, during which Dr. Ralston took Koda into the round pen
and turned him loose while a student opened an umbrella and hung it on
the closed gate. Koda walked right up to this “scary” object,
investigated it, and started to bite and play with it. He is such a
Written by Sam Rodgers
Koda is a two year old bay gelding
with a big personality. He was born in the summer of 2008, and captured in Callaghan, Nevada
on January 6, 2009. Since his arrival at our facility, he
has progressed tremendously. He allowed his other student, Rebekah and me to
touch him all over his body, and run our hands down all four of his legs within
a week of arriving at the Ryders
Lane barn. He responds to pressure on his halter,
and is currently learning to back on cue. He is definitely strong minded and
strong willed, but he loves attention! He has a little problem with nipping,
but it is mainly because he is bored and wants attention, and that problem is
being addressed. Jose Romero-Bosch, the trainer working with Koda, has helped
Rebekah and me learn how to work better with Koda and give him the firm hand he
needs. Koda loves the roundpen, and every time he is taken out, he runs and
plays with whatever toys he can find. When he is being worked in the roundpen,
he trots out beautifully and responds very well to cues and commands. He is
also learning how to lead outside of the stall, and, although he was a bit
pushy at first, he has gotten much better at leading and learning to respect
personal space. The only thing he is having an issue with is the transition
from the rubber floor to the cement floor on the way from the barn to the
roundpen, but he is beginning to learn that there is nothing to be afraid of.
He still likes to crowd a bit, but he is definitely progressing. Koda was
introduced to the curry brush as well and just loves to be groomed! He is a
very free-spirited, opinionated horse with unbelievable potential.
Written by Rebecca Diaz
Equine Science Center
Page maintained by Lesley Sun.
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