Kim, Gypsy Cob (Gypsy Vanner)
I acquired Kim as a 7-year-old in 2012 when I lived in Austria. She was very skeptical, spooked and bolted easily, and did not want to stand still for mounting as she was afraid of being ridden. I was drawn to her sensitivity and sweet nature. After several months of groundwork and bonding, I re-started Kim with a helper from the ground successfully.
I started trimming Kim’s feet myself in late 2013.
We started our Straightness Training journey together at the beginning of 2014.
In 2015 we graduated Grade 1 in the Evaluation Program.
In 2016 I moved to the USA, and Kim was shipped over to Ohio. The transport went well and she settled in quickly. We graduated Grade 2 and I was invited to join the ST Instructor Program.
Kim is currently helping me to move towards reaching Grade 3, we are making slow but steady progress. She has had some minor health issues that require me figuring out how to help her, and we are working on improving.
She is not an outwardly affectionate horse, although she is much warmer towards humans than when I first met her. She shows that she cares through loyalty, trust, and willingness to fulfill my requests. She loves food, so using positive reinforcement has helped me gain her trust, along with consistency and predictability. With the help of Straightness Training, her crookedness has improved, her strength and suppleness increased and she has become a very quick learner mentally. I have found that phasing out the use of treats has engaged her more in her work by raising her mental state above searching for rewards.
Kim is rather serious, but also very sincere; it took me three years to find a spot that she likes being scratched on, and some days she doesn’t even like to admit those.
Andero, Peruvian Paso
Andero is my husband Steve’s horse and was born in 2000. Steve brought him to Ohio in 2006 after he had lost his previous horse. Andy had some basic training, but Steve has barely been riding him over the last few years.
I started working with Andero in 2016 after moving to the USA. As a Peruvian Paso is highly spirited with a “natural arrogance” that is desired in this breed, it has been a challenge to gain his trust and get him to breathe and relax. He initially did not like learning new exercises, but he has learned to trust me and has become more open-minded and a quick learner.
We are working through the Grade 2 exercises, which is a great and fascinating challenge, as this includes trot in the Longeing and Riding Pillars, and Andy doesn’t have any natural trot.
Andero makes me laugh, he has a good sense of humor and likes being scratched. He has zero tolerance for being treated harshly or unfairly, so if I make any smallest mistake at all he is be sure to let me know immediately.