Our session at Windreach Farms with Arthur Kottas was informative, educational and delightful. Kottas is charming. He has a sense of humour and a passion for helping horses.
We hadn’t taken the boys on a trailer ride for eighteen months. Mike Charters ships our guys and he allowed plenty of time to get the boys on the trailer. Turned out each horse was totally fine with loading and match me step for step up the ramp and into the large box stalls.
At the beginning of our lesson Kottas had Bill and me longe the horses then he worked in-hand with Zeloso developing the piaffe. He finished the session with Zelador and his piaffe.
Some of the points Kottas made:
-your horses are sensitive. This is good.
-you only work in the long-reins when the horse is totally schooled.
-if the horse doesn’t do what you want, then it is your fault, not the horse’s. You need to present things clearly and the horses will do them.
-the horse should stand quietly until you ask it to do something. (He said this when Zeloso was fidgeting at the end of our session while Kottas was discussing things with Bill and me. We finally figured out what was probably causing the unasked for movement. A HUGE raccoon was about ten feet behind Zeloso, sauntering along, then climbing over the half door and exiting the arena. Most likely Zeloso was keen to introduce himself to the critter.)
-you start training the piaffe by asking the horse to raise one hind foot, then the other.
-your body position is extremely important, just as important as when you ride