Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Petra Perkins goes to Hartsop Farm, Witney, Oxfordshire to be started. I visit her every weekend and watch her progress and begin to think that maybe I could do this....?

Went to see a Parelli demonstration at Kingston Maurwood - I am struck by how robotic the horses appear to be. Later go and see Monty Roberts at the hand Equestrian Centre. Why are all these demos held in the freezing cold???

In July, marry David and then go off and watch Kneehigh Theatre at Maumsbury Rings.

I attended the Stage I Foundation Course in Witney, Oxfordshire at Ian Vandenburghe's yard. I had a wonderful week and yet I was emotionally and physically exhausted by the end of it. I learned how to Join-Up properly and to work a horse in long-lines in the round pen aswell as having my riding technique checked out by Nicole Golding (co-author of Whispering Back). The biggest eye opener was the lecture on saddle fitting - how will I ever trust a saddle maker or a saddle fitter ever again? Ignorance was bliss. Kelly Marks is an excellent teacher. It felt like coming home.

I was given regular work to do at a local New Forest stud and riding school. These wonderful people actually allowed me to work on lots of quirky problems and to try joining up with several of their horses and ponies. It was a fantastic opportunity to try out my new skills.

A work collague asks me to help load her reluctant cob. He loads easily using the Dually (Monty Roberts' Training Halter) and a long rope. She is very pleased with the results.

Attended the Kelly Marks' Demo at HMS Dryad. It was a great demo involving a starter, a non-loader and a lovely bucking horse called Maisie. Kelly is brilliant at explaining what she is doing and what she is seeing. It was an evening tinged with sadness because my Dad left to travel around Spain.

Went to the betting shop in Fordingbridge to watch a horse race at Sandown. GC bolts at the start of the race and runs out of steam half way round the course. The following weekend I go and see him on his home gallops. His trainer rides him with very long reins and doesn't fight him. The horse is calm and happy. I suggest that the next time he races that they find a jockey brave enough to let him have more rein. I don't think the horse can breathe properly or see the hurdles with his head held so tightly. (This horse came 4th, 3rd and 4th on his next three outings).

Horse Psychology weekend course. Learned loads from this and it confirmed my views on many things. David says I think like a horse anyway and loves telling everyone that I shy when things happen suddenly. Can't wait to start my project.