December 18, 2017

Once Upon A Time…

What’s the most important thing to teach your horse? In my humble opinion it is to stop when asked. The all important Whoa. Or Ho. Or Stop. Or you can even say Snicklefritz if you want, as long as your horse knows that means they have to stop moving. As in stop moving their feet/legs/ neck/ body/ all of the above. It’s the first thing I teach all my riding students. I always teach stop before I even teach them the go cues. I want all my horses to stop when asked without question. I want all my students to know how to stop a horse and that they have the right to stop that horse any time they feel they need to.

Why is stop so important? Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time in the far away land of Yorba Linda, there was a smart, beautiful, young horse named KT. KT was a very special horse therefore; she had two very important people in her life to attend to her every need; a Kind and Loving Owner and a very Talented Rider. Now, being so young, KT hadn’t been to lots of shows, but she still thought they were fun. Horse shows were something her Kind, Loving Owner and her Talented Rider liked to do. Because KT worked really hard at the shows, sometimes her back got sore. But KT’s Kind and Loving Owner was very attentive to KT, so she had the Talented Rider dismount between classes so KT wouldn’t get sore. One day while KT was between classes, her Talented Rider had dismounted and they were both standing in a group of other horses and riders. While they were all standing there enjoying a much needed break, KT felt a trickle of sweat run down her side causing an itch, so she reached her head around to scratch it. It was just than that the Wicked Stirrup Iron saw it’s chance and grabbed KT by the lower jaw and refused to let go!

Now KT wasn’t the type of horse to panic, but the Wicked Stirrup Iron was cackling, “Now I have you! You’ll be mine forever! HaHaHaHa!” as it held fast to KT.

In typical young horse fashion, KT tried to run away from the Wicked Stirrup Iron. When KT tried to run, all the other horses that were standing nearby ran away too. But KT’s Talented Rider had a good hold on the reins and KT, being the good horse that she is, didn’t go far. She just spun in circles trying to get away from the Wicked Stirrup Iron that had a hold of her.

Meanwhile, KT’s Kind and Loving Owner was watching some other horses and riders in the nearby Warm-Up-Arena-Land. As soon as she realized that KT was in trouble, she raced to her rescue. “The Wicked Stirrup Iron has my horse! I must save her!” she said as she ran.

 Of course, the Kind and Loving Owner had to fight her way through all the other panicked horses and riders who were running away from KT and the Wicked Stirrup Iron. After what seemed like ages, the Kind and Loving Owner was still far away, but was close enough to KT to yell out – “KT Whoa!”

Now KT, being the smart, young horse that she was, knew what “Whoa!” meant and coming from her owner she knew she would be soon be saved from the Wicked Stirrup Iron. So KT planted her feet and waited for her Kind and Loving Owner to rescue her. All the other horses stayed far away while the Talented Rider and Kind, Loving Owner removed the saddle and released KT from the Wicked Stirrup Iron’s clutches. Then KT was carefully checked from the bottom of her shiny hooves to the well clipped tips of her beautiful ears. Other than a few minor bruises in her mouth, KT was declared fine and dandy and was able to finish the show. Many more awards and blue ribbons were won because the Kind and Loving Owner and the Talented Rider had saved the day! And because the smart and beautiful KT knew how to Whoa.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End

So what is the moral of the story? If you are a horse, always, always listen to your Kind and Loving Owner and your Talented Rider because they will, for all time, do everything in their power to keep you safe. If you are a Kind and Loving Owner, always teach your horse to Whoa, because you never know when you will need it to save the day.

PS- This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. If you want to learn how to teach your smart, beautiful horse the all important Whoa or how to become a Kind and Loving Owner call Cheryl today.

Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also an AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article are restricted. For more interesting articles by Cheryl go to



  1. Japan Navy Girl says:

    You always find the most creative ways to make an ordinary story interesting!!

  2. Great “fairy tale.” It makes me think of a lot of Kind and Wonderful Owners who miss out on the benefits of ground work, nowadays. It is sort of a sad state of affairs to see how little attention is paid to ground work and basics. I really seems as though the world has decided it just wants to get on and go skipping ahead to all the good stuff, without first laying a good foundation! Lets hope that trend is changing….

Speak Your Mind


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.