Wednesday, March 31, 2010

31st March, 2010 The honeymoon continues

Petra and Theoden share a feed - there was another one in a seperate food bowl only feet away!

31st March, 2010 Taking the rough with the smooth

Apart from gale force winds and mud so thick you have to walk like a penguin, everything went smoothly with the vet this morning. Chancer, Blue and Theoden all had their teeth done. Theoden hasn't has his touched since 2008 and it was no surprise to find that he had massive hooks on his upper molars resulting in some very nasty ulceration of his cheeks. Hopefully he will be much more smiley from now on. I was just praising Amy for her efficiency when we got her landrover stuck in the mud and eventually had to ask Guy to come up to assist us in getting it out. As I am probably too embarassed to face him again I may have to find another farrier but she may find it harder to find another husband!
It was good to see the Forestry Commission are attacking some of the gorse again this year. The ponies will have more grass available to them. I'm amazed at how many people park on the grass outside my forest gate even though there is a whacking great car park on the opposite side of the road. I want to go up and say, "Please don't park on my ponies' dinner!" It's been a very hard winter for the wild ponies, especially those that have received no supplemental feeding, and many of them are now too triangular in shape. There's hardly any grass yet and many are surviving on gorse. It's would be no better to insist that the commoners take them home to their holdings when I doubt any of them have any grass there either and hay is running out fast. I hope spring arrives soon.
I put on my second clean pair of trousers of the day and my cleanest walking boots to go and see a little Arabian horse this afternoon. I love these gifted children. This one hasn't had much handling at all but on the other hand he hasn't been got at either. He is a little wary of humans but even when there was a horse being schooled next door and his mate had wandered out of sight, all he did was grow very tall indeed. He was so light to move around and wanted to co-operate; he was like a mirror. Once he knows he can trust people it should all get a lot easier for him. I got his owner working on a slow seductive touch in a massagey sort of way so that he can start to see the value of touch. It's the ears that do it - absolutely exquisite.
"Thanks so much for coming today. It really is amazing how quickly horses can start to learn things. I though S-Arab did wonderfully well. Thanks for all the info you sent. I shall read and inwardly digest - it is all so interesting." SH

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

30th March, 2010 Joiner, builder, plumber needed

Sometimes we have to dismantle a problem until we find the likely cause. Let's say, for example, that we have a wobbly chair. We could shave a bit off one of the legs until it is even or even shore it up with a little wedge but it might be a good idea to look underneath. Here we might find that it is standing on a rotten floor board. We could rip that up and replace it with a new one but we might need to ask why it went rotten in the first place. That might reveal a bit of damp or a definite drip. We could switch the water off at the stopcock but that might be inconvenient when we want a shower. So in the end we discover that we need to do some soldering on a pipe or replace a perished o ring ... and so it goes on. Everyone has had Saturdays like that! Quite often helping horses is just like this and it's not just a case of dealing with the most obvious behaviour - quite often it is a symptom of an underlying problem or gap in the horse's education.

Monday, March 29, 2010

29th March, 2010 Looking ahead

Tickets for this demo are now available from the IH office. Jim the Firemen (Animal Rescue Team) and some of his colleagues will be there with a stand along with his vital acting team.
Also for people on the Isle of Wight....

Bembridge PO35 5RG, UNITED KINGDOM. Phone: 07043508103

Saturday, March 27, 2010

27th March, 2010 It's my party........

This morning I had my last session with Davy before he is due to go home. We wanted to work on setting up the most subtle way of asking him to move his shoulder away from his handler so that he is less intimidating when he is frightened. He is pretty immune to body language, noise or even the twirling rope and so we worked on asking him to move away from direct pressure on his shoulder. By setting this up when his adrenalin is low I hope that it will become more instinctive to him when he is worried and his into-pressure response more likely to come to the fore.
"A huge thank you for the last two weeks I really learnt alot and really enjoyed the time spent with you and your horses. It is now time for me to practice with Davey and hopefully I will be able to report that all is going well !!! The whole experience was wonderful and I have taken away with me a whole new way of thinking." DB
This afternoon it was off to Bramshaw to work with Kate and Rachel and their horses Bentley and Remy. It was officially a birthday present for Rachel. Bentley is a Welsh Cob and Remy is a VERY tall Gelderlander. Both were great fun to work with and engaged throughout the whole session. Remy coped with his two main bugbears, umbrellas and a golf trolley - essential when he lives next to a golf course!

27th March, 2010 Overseas Trip

I had a wonderful trip over to the Isle of Wight yesterday where I was working with delightful sisters, Kate and Andrea and their horse and pony, Willow and Magnus. We were working on confidence issues and separation anxiety starting off with good old groundwork. Kate in particular has had a couple of nasty accidents which she describes in amazingly vivid detail . We talked about the techniques that I have learned via Amanda Barton whereby these images can be reduced from a glorious, cinematic, technicolor video to a small black and white still. Hopefully, once she is ready to ride again, she can have a lesson or two with Amanda. Magnus has a stunning array of showing and dressage rosettes and just needs to widen his horizons so that he can be hacked out quietly.
"Just a little email to thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to come over to the island and help the four of us.

We had an absolutely fantastic day and learnt so much about your methods, ourselves and Willow and Magnus. Your calming influence worked wonders! With no clear professional back up, I think both Kate and I had begun to question our own abilities to the point of even narrowing our comfort zones. It's all too easy to bumble along in your own little bubble becoming more and more overly protective and not looking to new horizons and most of all FUN! Thank you for putting confidence, new methods and most of all fun back into our horsey lives. We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful area, be around two wonderful animals daily, and now have renewed enthusiasm for the future........minus our various selection of bogeymen! (Who now live in the "bucket" you left by the gate)." A
"Willow and I have been using the techniques you taught us on a daily basis. Even in the gale force winds the other day she walked quietly by my side out to the field." K
Bembridge PO35 5RG, UNITED KINGDOM. Phone: 07043508103

Thursday, March 25, 2010

25th March, 2010 It's shoe time!

Guy the farrier came to put fronts on Chancer and Petra. His little dog, Oliver, is endlessly entertaining. He keeps fetching sticks for Chancer to throw and can't understand why he doesn't co-operate.
Dawn and I took Davy out for another long walk today on an entirely new route to see how he would respond. He was great for most of the walk and took it in his stride. It was good to see him making his own way through mud and water rather than seeing Dawn as an exit route every time. On the way home he did get distracted when we went on to more open land where there were lots of wild ponies and some people. It is going to be a case of expanding his comfort zones bit by bit so that eventually he is able to be ridden in all sorts of environments too.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

24th March, 2010 Dainty Davy?

This morning Dawn and I went to see a beautiful Trakhener cross for a loading session. It was a great opportunity for her to see another type of horse altogether and perhaps to celebrate the fact that Davy loads and travels well! The Trakhener horse, a grandson of Fleetwater Opposition, was very light to work with, amenable and polite. Nevertheless he was really frightened of the trailer. I was so impressed that he was always willing to try and was soon walking on and off even though he found it very difficult to actually stay on the trailer. The art is notice even the slightest try and to make absolutely sure that he gets a release from the mental pressure of being on there by allowing him to go off again. In this way he doesn't feel compelled to find his own release by rushing off. We were all nearly in tears when he began to pause in three distinct places of his own accord - once sideways on to the ramp (it's a rear facing trailer); once with his head over the front bar and once at the top of the ramp. On each occasion he could be rewarded with a lovely rub and a "goooood booooy". No point whatsoever in us slamming the doors shut or closing the ramp; lots more practice needed first.

Back at the fields, we took Davy out for another long walk, extending his comfort zone much further than we have before. Apart from a handful occasions when he pressed into Dawn with his shoulder, he was much calmer today and seemed very relaxed. He coped with the muddy going and waded through streams and ponds quite happily.

Finally I had a real struggle with Theoden today with the umbrella and the tarpaulin. I couldn't get him to leave them alone!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

23rd March, 2010 Davy's Diary

It was a relief this morning to find that all the horses were okay and that Theoden and Petra are happily playing Mr and Mrs. "No, no, after you...." they seem to say at feedtime.

Davy and I did an action replay of yesterday with him showing a significant improvement. Not only did he wade around the pond with no hesitation but he also walked through mud in a careful and considered way. There were a couple of shoulder moments but he is backing up much more lightly and taking his shoulder away when I ask him to. It is a bit like being followed by a double-decker bus sometimes!

Monday, March 22, 2010

22nd March, 2010 Herd Politics

Theoden has blotted his copybook. He has been bullying poor Chancer and ripped his rug yesterday (picture shows him with a brand new one on that I happened to have in the cupboard!). I think he is partly responsible for Chancer's recent weight loss because he just keeps him on the move so much even when they have got a round bale of hay. Accordingly I decided to separate them last night and this morning re-jigged everyone so that Petra and Theoden went in together and Chancer is just next door until Davy goes when he can go back in with Jack. The idea had been to keep the slimmer ones together and the wider ones together until they were all about the same size! None of them are far off now. Theoden and Petra did have a good set too - it's always worrying putting horses together but two equally strong characters is even more so. It was interesting to see Petra go to the second feed bowl in deference to Theoden when I put them out but then to see her take possession of the water trough. All was peaceful when I left and I am hopeful of a Victoria and Albert type relationship. No such thing as equal opportunities with horses.

Leaving that lot to settle down, I took Jack out in to the inclosure and walked with him loose. If I leave a small pile of food on the floor, I can go a long way before he needs to catch up and then he comes at a smooth canter and looks fantastic. He always pulls up before he gets to me and pauses nicely for his click and treat. He could be a bit daunting otherwise. I'm wondering if there is scope for a game of hide and seek or whether he would just give up and go home if he couldn't see me. Out of sight is out of mind with horses?

Next I took Davy for a walk and worked on asking him not to push into me with his shoulder when he is worried. This is particularly pertinent when he is walking through mud when he would rather walk on top of me than get his feet wet. We spent a happy hour and a bit walking through the thickest gloop we could find and wading around a couple of ponds. I came home soaked to the knees hoping that I have helped him to realise that he isn't going to get stuck or drowned. He went over the wooden bridge nicely and also jumped the streams that I asked him to. By the end there was certainly no more shouldering and much more relaxed feeling horse.

Just an added note about this. It is very easy to set up a horse to shoulder barge. The temptation when they get ahead of you and have too much energy or adrenalin is to allow them to circle around you and let them do that for as long as it takes. However, inadvertently you can teach them to bring their left shoulder in to you and to start to move you in this way. Once they find it works, they can do it over and over again and it reinforces itself. I tend not to circle horses in this way and instead insist that they stop and stand or even back up. I don't let horses overtake me. However, if a horse is shoulder barging then I do circle them but all the time making sure that they move their shoulder away from me - this involves taking control of the circle yourself and making sure that you bring the horse's head towards you and his shoulder away. As soon as the horse moves that left foreleg away, you can stop circling. In Davy's case, body language does absolutely nothing and I have resorted to a twirling rope to keep his shoulder out and thinking about his left leg going through an open door towards or in front/ behind his other foreleg. However, I do avoid hitting him with it. I've never been a fan of twirling ropes but feel I have little choice with a horse that is intent on bulldozering people.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

21st March, 2010 Essex Girls

Davy did get long reined in the inclosure on Friday with some success - he is so strong and he did manage to go to the gate on his own on one occasion but was calm and fine the rest of the time. Davy has learned that when his confidence runs out his strength can be very useful. I didn't feel that he was frightened of being out on his own - his respiration rate was low and he was happily ambling along, just that this pattern on behaviour has really worked for him and been reinforced whenever he goes home. I simply picked up the reins and off we went again for another wander around the woods and hopefully he will have enjoyed himself to some extent. When he's good, he's very very good and it was nice to be able to tell him so.

I have spent the weekend in Essex running a course on problem solving with RA Liz Pitman. I was able to stay at the lovely yard belonging to Jenny and Kate and to stay in the flat in the corner. It felt like being in a Dick Francis novel - fortunately there were no deadly deeds in the middle of the night. The first day was mostly theoretical and then today we did lots of practical work with the coloured cobs, Bubbles, Spider, Digs, Seamus and Harriet and thoroughbred Daizey, not forgetting the lovely black cob, Gloria (top) who has the squarest star I have ever seen. Mabel, the puppy, found it all a little tedious!
"Thank you all for such a lovely weekend!! I learnt lots and loved spending time with like minded people. I'm very proud of the horses and I'm glad the sun shone on Sunday. Think we also might have opened some eyes as to that things don't have to be done as they have always been done!! SO THANK YOU ALL!! "K8
"Wanted to say a big thank you to Liz Pitman , Sarah Weston and Bridget for holding the Equine Problem solving workshop this weekend at W Farm It was very informative and gave me loads to think about as well as improving my confidence . You know I really think I can do this ...... Thanks to everyone on the course for being such fun and encouraging - wish you all well with your horsey hiccups" Arizona
"I have come back uplifted and feeling much more positive about things Sarah's first demo on leading was a light bulb moment. W's leading had progressively got worse and Sarah's work on making sure the horse's attention was always on her even at a stand was that light bulb." Cookie

Thursday, March 18, 2010

18th March, 2010 Filling in a gap

Dawn and I decided that it would be better to consolidate and only take a tiny incremental step in Davy's training today by long-reining him in the bigger field over, through and round obstacles. He was fine and later had his legs clipped by Sheila. It was nice to see him standing so quietly to have them done even though he was in a big space and had no food to keep him occupied. Tomorrow definitely long reining on the Forest.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

17th March, 2010 Davy's Daily Diary

Today was a bit of a long reining fest with Davy doing it for the first time (as far as we know although we suspect that he may have been driven) and Tamie coming over to have a lesson on her birthday. With Dawn taking it in turns with her to long rein Thoeoden it was musical ponies. Long reining is fantastic for a horse's confidence and we hope to long rein Davy on the Forest tomorrow.

17th, March, 2010 Food for thought

Last night I went to a talk by the makers of Badminton Horse Feeds which are based in our local area but sell feed internationally. Although they stressed the need for lots of fibre in horses' feeds and the dangers of gastric ulcers, I felt that they skated around the issue of molasses (added sugar) in horse feed. Molasses are used to make sure that the product is sticky enough to go in the bag and to make the feed look and smell nice so that we feel like eating it ourselves. Similarly, cereal makes feed look like muesli. Horses did not evolve to eat these feeds and although they mentioned that large feeds can do damage if they pass through to the hind gut and some horses can be allergic to some cereals (and alfalfa), they didn't seem to accept that sugars and cereals can have a massive impact on a horse's behaviour. Most horses in this country do not do enough work to justify the need for quick release, high energy food and in any event would be best served by oils if stamina is what is required. Cereals began to be used in horse feed for military expediency (easier to carry oats than hay) and because they were cheap. Most horses would do better on a high fibre diet with no added cereals or molasses and if your horse has behavioural problems then removing these two ingredients can make a difference very quickly. I did learn however, that horses that are good doers and basically only receive a thank you feed, are likely to run short of vitamins and minerals at least in the winter and therefore I will be getting a bag of their feed balancer to rectify that. It's called Even Keel. They also do make one mix that doesn't have molasses and cereal in it and is high in oil, so I shall be giving that a try. I want to support a local business and buy it through a local stockist if I can.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

16th March, 2010 Delicious Davy

Davy has been out for two walks and Dawn, his owner has taken him both times. He wasn't bargy at all and also stood well for the chiropractor who was seeing three of them today.

Monday, March 15, 2010

15th March, 2010 Theoden out and about again

Theoden was a joy to take out long reining this afternoon. He is responsive to a little kiss-kiss noise and a raising of the long rein and will stand still easily and commit himself to it. Like Jack, I think he enjoys being out and about after years of not doing very much and only seeing the inside of his own field.

15th March, 2010 Just visiting

Davy has come in today for a couple of weeks so that we can do some concentrated work with him on consecutive days without having to contend with traffic and farm vehicles. Having arrived early he had some time to settle down, with Jack as a mate, before we took him out for a gentle walk in the inclosure in the lovely sunshine (you know, that orange thing in the sky that we haven't seen for a very long time). He grew more and more relaxed and was pleasant to be with having started out being rather bargy. Tomorrow he gets his back checked along with Theoden and Chancer so that we can make sure that he is fine to do ridden work.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

13th March, 2010 Reggie

Reggie is a Forest-bred New Forest Pony who originally came from Jonathan Gerelli, the Head Agister, and was sold through Beaulieu Road Sales. He then went to Sturminster Newton with a collection of foals before being sold to Rachel who has now had him for about a year. Today we worked on desensitisation techniques so that she can get him used to as many things as possible before he is started either later this year or early next. He's four now. There was no need to do any groundwork as he is so light and responsive - a really nice pony and a great relationship between him and Rachel. We worked with three techniques: touch and move away for things with which he can be touched, following for things which he can er....follow, and circling and gentle backing up for things which he can go over, through or round. He did really well and seemed genuinely interested in everything. Very very nice pony and owner too.
In the top picture I am drawing a graph in the sand........

13th March, 2010 Horse Agility

I spent all day Thursday with Vanessa Bee who has started the new horse sport of Horse Agility. if you want to go and have a look. She brought a truck full of obstacles so that we could test them all out and look at them from a health and safety and scoring point of view. I am hoping that this sport will give marks for horsemanship rather than the results of training if it is to be a true test of the relationship between horse and human. I would rather see a horse and human working together than a horse drilled to perform in a certain way. Lots of things to discuss. Petra tackled some of the obstacles and stood, for example, with her feet in a hoop while I stood in another and she also walked through some door strip thingummies (there's probably a proper name for them) before walking through a tunnel covered in a green sheet. It was fun to see how Jack would do - he doesn't understand that he is not supposed to step over the poles in the labyrinth and was gaily marching over them. He had us all in fits when rather than going through the tunnel he would canter round the outside and down to the other end to see if I was there. By halving the length of the tunnel we persuaded that he could in fact walk through nicely although he did have a little surge forward when Vanessa shouted "yipee!" There is a practical application to all of these obstacles and I don't see it as tricks at all.

I have taken my eye off Chancer over the last couple of weeks while I have been organising Tony's funeral and although he has been receiving the same amount of feed throughout, he has suddenly dropped weight; I was mortified. There is still no grass in the field and I think Theoden has been keeping him on the move. He is now on ad lib hay and more feed and I have taken the precaution of getting him some Pink Powders to see if this will help. He already looked better today. Come on spring.......

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

10th March, 2010 Sarcoids

I have just come home from a brilliant talk arranged by The Barn Equine Surgery by Professor Derek Knottenbelt from Liverpool University on the subject of sarcoids. Very simple message, sarcoids are cancerous and need to be looked at by a vet as soon as you suspect your horse has one - before it has a lot more. Given that I have heard of someone using Camp Coffee to treat sarcoids round here, this is vital stuff.

10th March, 2010 I'll be back....

This morning I long reined Theoden for the first time since I got him. He is so immune to body language that I had to use my rattle bottle to ask him to go forwards, after which I was able to put it in my pocket and use the more muted version. This afternoon it was Arnie's turn and same thing, he was more interested in eating the one blade of grass in the school than noting my antics at all. Once again, the rattle bottle got him going forward and after that he took notice of the cue from the long rein. I would very much hope that three times with a rattle bottle would set up the cue in this way so that it can be put away and not used again. I am wary of using it for horses that may eventually be driven but much prefer to have that as my final sanction than a smack from a whip. A horse's disadvantages are also his advantages, so the fact that these two are so unmoved by big body language should mean that they are pretty bomproof when they are out.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

9th March, 2010 Beach Baby

This is Zena, a Welsh pony originally rescued from a stud farm in Wales by the RSPCA before being re-homed. She now lives on a farm overlooking Chesil Beach and will have a grandstand view of the Olympics. In the meantime, she is looking to her owner for entertainment and is busy busy busy all the time. Today we did some basic groundwork and leading and some foot handling too. She is probably one of the most inquisitive ponies I have ever met, into absolutely everything asking what it is and how it works.

"Thank-you for today. I really enjoyed working with you. I think both Zena and I will sleep well tonight. I am looking forward to working with her now that I have a framework to work on." TB

9th March, 2010 An unremarkable funeral?

Yesterday was my step-father Tony's funeral. It went really well and his coffin looked beautiful with the family flowers on it. The service went well, nice things were said and the reception afterwards was really pleasant. Having meticulously arranged everything, I almost blew the whole thing by turning up at the wrong crematorium - how was I to know that there were two in close proximity?! - but a quick dash from one to the other meant that I arrived with two minutes to spare much to the relief of the gathered mourners! It wouldn't have mattered so much but I had my long lost step-sister with me, Tony's only child, who had made the brave decision to come and say farewell to the father she hasn't seen since she was two.

Rest in Peace Tony.

9th March, 2010 No limits?

I found it interesting (and you might!) that on the very week when I have been discussing the limits of clicker training with people who advocate using all the time (or as much as possible) I meet two of the strongest horses I have met. Ben Hart has written an eloquent article on the use of pressure halters in training and he certainly feels that there is no place for them. All of this is helping me to clarify (but hopefully not freeze) the limits of my horsemanship. I will continue to use pressure halters in those circumstances where I feel it is necessary for the safety of the horse, the safety of the people around me or the safety of me! I have always tended to use them in a flat linear way rather than in a jerky motion.I cringe when I hear people say that they yanked on the Dually. There's no need. I have always used body language first (mental pressure) and physical pressure second. The scientific definitions of what constitutes negative reinforcement and punishment, don't measure it in terms of the discomfort it causes. Both negative reinforcement and punishment can be applied without using any physical pressure at all. Alternatively, either could be applied with the use of great physical force.

There have to be situations in which a trainer will walk away and I have always walked away from situations in which I feel compromised - for example, I won't work with horses where I know that they will continue to be hit after I have gone, I won't load horses on a hard surface and I won't work in situations where there is a real risk that the horse or myself might get hurt. However, I won't leave owners in the lurch with horses that have learned to walk all over them and where all that is needed area few well defined rules, consistently applied in order to get them back on track. These days, I am happy to incorporate clicker training into my repertoire if I feel that it will it will be a positive benefit for the horse and their owner.

I am really enjoying testing my own boundaries but sometimes it does give me a headache.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

6th March, 2010 Basil!

Crikey! I was glad I'd got my Dually today as there was no way I could have stopped B-horse from leaving in his ordinary headcollar even when we were just walking around the yard well away from the field with the trailer in it. B-horse is a big black and white show cob in fabulous condition and good in every way except about loading. As far as I could ascertain there have been no significant problems when he has travelled and he is calm when he arrives at his destination. Nothing odd has happened at home either - no change in regime or diet. Today I worked with his owner to ask him to load again so that we could see if there were any particular triggers for any anxiety, but nothing. We left the session having loaded him a good number of times and told him how he is the very best black and white cob in the universe. I have left the owner with a set of groundwork exercises she can use to ask him to move forwards and backwards and to stand still as he needs to in the trailer and we have also used the positive reinforcement of a click and a treat to thank him for moving his back legs - his front legs were happy to move around. This is better than a bucket in the trailer which acts like a magnet, putting his head down on the floor; not a good idea if you want to put up the front bar and avoid the risk of him putting his head underneath it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

4th March, 2010 Hobnobs

Kathryn and Natalie from the Dartmoor Pony Training Centre have been to the House of Lords today to pick up the prize for the best Training Workshop. Here they are pictures with Nick Knowles. I am so pleased for them. There are still places left on this year's extended course which will take place in October.

4th March, 2010 Someone dial(led) 999

This afternoon it was off down to Lyndhurst Fire Station to help with the Animal Rescue Team practical exercise. This time it was Molly's turn to do the screaming. Jim signalled the beginning of the exercise by setting off three fire crackers and then it was Molly's turn to be as loud as she possibly could be. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on which way you think about it, this was all a little too authentic and the police were called by several worried neighbours. Whoops! I expect Jim will have to put the police on notice from now on.

4th March, 2010 Sweet Spot

This darling of a horse is an Appaloosa cross New Forest pony and, by complete coincidence, bred by the same people as Araminta from yesterday. He needed some confidence work and what better than a bit of long reining in around tyres, chickens and a turkey in preparation for going out on the Forest some time soon. He and his owner, Charlie, were absolutely great to work with.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3rd March, 2010 Araminta!

This delightful soul is Araminta, a nine month old New Forest x Cob filly. Her owners have done a fabulous job of halter training her from new and she really wants to be with them. Today we worked on setting up a few boundaries and did a little groundwork. We had a break part way through and she did some wonderful airs above the ground on her own in the school. She has stunning paces.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2nd March, 2010 Out and about

I managed to take Theoden out for a lovely walk yesterday and today I started to suss out what fazes him and what doesn't. He was fine with his feet and being touched by all sorts of articles including a wormer syringe (all good news) but he doesn't like the sound of the buzzy massager. I wonder if it reminds him of insects and of course he has never been clipped. A bit of work to do there.

Jack and I went out for a wander around the woods. To earn bonus treats, I started to handle his front feet. He will now let me hold his front left for about 7 seconds. To infinity and beyond......

2nd March, 2010 Gold

On a happier note, it was my parents-in-laws' Golden Wedding anniversary last week and another fine excuse to all go and eat at our favourite hotel in Bournemouth. So far we have managed to go three times in three months and so need to find an excuse for March.