The Heart of A Rescue: Part 5

Christina Mitchell, Business Manager • cbmitchell16@ehc.edu

The first year with Koko had been pleasant but not without its share of difficulty. For starters, we had to work on correcting his horrendous ground manners. When I got him, he would practically walk all over you when you were leading him, if you could even catch him that is.

When we finally got to working on his under saddle manners I thought we had made it through the worst but, boy, was I wrong. Under saddle he had to be completely re-trained, if you can even call what he had previously training. But such are the trials of taking in rescue horses.

Koko eventually accepted all the training I needed to put on him and even started to trust me more. However he always was more fond of my mother. Koko and I were getting along well until I decided to try something new with his training: jumping.

Now it wasn’t that this darling little pony didn’t like jumping, because he did. No, this was something else entirely. He was beginning to not like his rider so much anymore because he had to work.

It wasn’t too long before I figured out his amazing ability to fake a limp to avoid work. After I got that trick sorted out, Koko and I were more or less at war. Koko loved being ridden by beginners because he could just plod along and do whatever he pleased as long as he didn’t unseat his rider. With me that was not the case.

Koko is a very smart pony and I was always proud of the fact that he learned so quickly. That fact wasn’t so fun anymore after he figured out the right way to buck and turn to get me off. It was even less fun when he learned how to aim where he put me.

Now this did not happen extremely often because by this point it was pretty much just my mother who rode him. As a beginner, he loved her and was nearly bombproof with never a hoof out of line, which is exactly what you want in a beginner pony.

I was more interested in returning to riding Ruben at this point, who had so patiently watched me and Koko wage war over the year and a half that I had been training him. At this point I realized I had made a mistake in turning away from Ruben and I toyed with the idea of selling Koko, but that would come later because I did not want Ruben to be alone.

Koko would spend another year and a half with me before I would eventually sell him after taking in another rescue, Orion. I will always appreciate how much Koko taught me about training, and no, it definitely is not as easy as it would seem.

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