365 Days of Horses | Mocca | Austin, TX

ENCHANTED MOCCASIN | 8 YEAR OLD APPALOOSA GELDING | AUSTIN,TX

Mocca, Enchanted Moccasin, is an Appaloosa Gelding. He comes from a long line of Appaloosa Western Reining Horses. He was bred by Laura Luterbach.

Mocca’s parent were Reining Horses, that were much smaller than him. Around 14.2 hands. Mocha however has grown much bigger, he is 16 hands. Mocha was initially trained for reining, but it became evident at an early age that he did not like it and preferred jumping. His owner Minna has free jumped him over a 4’7″ oxer which he cleared over a foot. Under saddle they have schooled 3’9″ courses. The pair does eventing, and he is showing great talent and fondness in it, especially now that they have a better handle on the Dressage portion and have conquered their water complex fears.

Mocca is very curious and friendly horse. He loves making human, equine and any animal friends. He is very talented jumper, and loves a stadium jump round or cross country course. According to Minna, he also enjoys watching equestrian videos, and was very curious following the Olympic Dressage from iPad while being groomed.

“We do eventing. Mocca has always enjoyed jumping, but had more aversion to dressage and was getting tense and anxious in cross country course. With lots of training I have learned to be a better rider, which has immediately made positive changes in his tension and anxiety- he is very sensitive and responsive horse! I have been really impressed how he can perform 100% right the first time trying something new if I can ride it with a correct form and biomechanics! He is the best teacher to me, because he tells if I am not doing something right. We both have made significant improvements, and I have learned to understand him so much better.”

The pair trains with Lauren Baggett, a USDF Silver Medalist dressage trainer with Eventing and Hunter Jumper Experience. Mocca lives at Austin Equestrian Center.

Minna shares how she found Mocca, “After being over 20 years away from horses and riding, I started riding with Paulina Liszka at Scissortail Equestrian in 2014, and after leasing horses for half a year I was ready for my own horse. Paulina knew Mocca’s breeder/owner Laura Luterbach, and I went to see Mocca in June of 2015, I fell in love the talented, beatutiful and sweet Appaloosa, who was a bit high spirited but always honest and kind. We have since moved to a different barn, continued training, and in less than 2 years we have already met the goals I initially set for us in equestrian sports.”

This amazing horse loves carrots.

The pair was the 2016 Dripping Springs Ranch Park Summer Series combined Champion and Senior Dressage champion, in the field of over 70 riders! They were also featured as an amateur rider spotlight in SouthWest Horse Trader Magazine October 2016 issue.

“I started riding horses when I was 10 years old,and before that I was grooming neighboring farmer’s work horses. I always wanted to do eventing, but did not have opportunity to do that. I had my own horse, an ex harness racer Finnhorse that I teached into jumping but never competed with her. I rode lessons in dressage and jumping, helping friends who needed extra hand with their horses in exchange for riding to get more riding in. Moving to USA and and having kids kept me busy and off from riding, but I always missed it. I am so glad I got back in riding! Horses are amazingly athletic beings, and it is a fantastic feeling to be a team with a horse, which requires skill, sensitivity, athletic training, hard work, understanding and patience.”

Minna’s best kept secret to training is, “If the horse misbehaves, see if you are tense! Also, train and always expect your horse to respect you!”

“Mocca and I have learned a lot together, and it has been at times frustrating one step forward and two steps back process. But then we get these leaps of progress where everything goes smoothly, we progress every lesson and see results in shows. Last summer winning the Dripping Springs Ranch Park Summer Series championship and getting an article featuring us in a magazine was a fantastic, unexpected honor! It showed the progress we have made together as a team, and were getting noticed and recognized!”

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