Sunday, May 30, 2010

30th May, 2010 DO look down

Our next few sessions with Flicka will all be about encouraging her to think forwards and down. Rather than schooling her in endless circles with gadgets to force it to happen, we want her to find that softness naturally.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

29th May, 2010 Brandee and Andy

Another visit to Brandee today to work on catching her before the farrier arrived to tidy up her feet. I had been told that she was good for the farrier but actually it became clear that it has been quite a struggle up to now and that she has had to be tied up to have it done. Andy, the farrier, is very quiet and gentle with her and today we were able to do it with me just holding her on the end of a looped lead rein giving her the odd click and treat. Afterwards I took her headcollar off and put it on a couple of times to make sure that she was still willing to let me and then her owner did some touch and move away work, managing to touch her for the very first time while she was loose.

Friday, May 28, 2010

28th May, 2010 High-Jacked!!!

Stallion watching is pretty irresistable at the moment. First thing this morning, High-Jack was hanging out around the water trough with his mares but by this evening he had been stolen by two mares that appear to be..........mine!!! They have taken him off to Howen Bottom. I have checked their passports really carefully and even though Blue is the same colour as High-Jack, none of them are closely related.
More pictures available at:
Beware! these include everything that a stallion does......

28th May, 2010 Hannah's visit

Hannah and I had a great day today. We started off by watching the stallion and mares before taking Jack out for a walk and then working with the starters; Flicka thinks that the L-shaped poles are an excellent way of training humans! We finished off by taking Theoden out long reining.

The top picture was taken with Hannah's clever phone.....and the following video too....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

27th May, 2010 L.O.L.A. Lola

This morning it was off to see Lola. I initially met her well over a year ago when she was refusing to load in to a trailer. Since that visit she has been loading regularly and going off to all sorts of events albeit that she always needed a quarter rope around her hindquarters. Her owner has now bought a rather nice lorry and was dismayed to find that although Lola would load, she appeared to be frightened of staying in it.
Here's a record of what we did today and how it went:

With the panels in place in a wide L-shape, I started to work on loading Lola taking a fairly standard approach. Although she was initially reluctant, she soon began to offer to move forward step by step, sniffing the ramp and putting her front feet on it. In a little time she consented to putting her back feet on and then loaded fully. We spent the rest of the session changing things one by one - moving her around; pausing in the corner and at the top of the ramp; encouraging her to unload slowly and with her head low; removing the panels and then introducing the back doors and partition. Throughout the session, both Lola and her owner remained calm and quiet - even when the back ramp went up. Overall a copybook session. Interestingly we didn't have to use a quarter rope once.
E-mail received 30.5.10: "Good day today, loaded her straight on lorry, drove for 10 minutes to plain then went for ride. Came back to lorry, she walked straight on and we drove home.
How fab is that? Did not even need Dually or lunge line, just normal head collar."MH

27th May, 2010 Georgie's blog

I think it would be great if there was a blog for the ponies and horses I meet. Here's one for Georgie, Hannah's pony. I haven't seen her for a while but Hannah is coming over on Friday for a Recommended Associate Training Day where we will get to talk and talk about horses and she can watch and participate in the training.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

26th May, 2010 The dark end of the street

Oke Dene President is living within yards of High-Jack and has a small group of mares of his own. They have to cross the road and into High-Jack's magnetic field in order to get water.

26th May, 2010 The bright side of the road

Lovelyhill High-Jack is now camped out at Janesmoor Pond with an impressive band of 40 mares with more turning up to take a drink and to take a look at him every minute. I spent an hour watching him this evening. He's very gentle with the mares and they are falling over themselves to let him cover them.

26th May, 2010 Flicka and Chancer

Flicka went out for her first ride with another horse today and we all felt vaguely ridiculous with Jenny's long legs on Flicka and my short legs on Chancer. Nevertheless, Chancer is such a calm horse and so fond of Flicka, he was the obvious choice. Both of them were great and Flicka got a well deserved hug from Jenny.

26th May, 2010 Ludo

Ludo was a sweetheart again today and very happy to let Jenny sit on him and ride him around the round pen both on and off the lead rein. We have started to teach him the signals for go and for whoa and he learns very quickly. Here he is, discussing his day with Flicka.

26th May, 2010 Running....

Flicka is now getting the hang of trot inspired by me running at her side. She was also ridden by her owner for the first time.

The bottom picture is of Oke Dene President again who seems to have become rather battered and bruised over the last week. He had a nice harem of mares yesterday all vying for his attention.

Monday, May 24, 2010

24th May, 2010 New week, familiar faces

Maverick has fully recovered from his operation and so it was good to go and work with him with no pressure whatsoever to take him anywhere or achieve anything in particular. He is a genuinely good sort and very pleasant to be around. He was very curious about the umbrella and really wanted to follow it around.
It has been nine months since Ludo was long reined (and even then only once at a walk) yet he was fine straight away with it and we worked at walk and trot in the round pen and then out into the big paddock. I also short reined Flicka on the Forest and she now has her reins on her bit.
"Just had to say what a lovely morning I had with you and Maverick. It's not until you have gone and I get home that it all sinks in. It was so nice to do stuff without any pressure.
I think my best bit was the umberella. I have been intrigued by it for ages, not knowing quite what you used it for. I looked up Michael Peace's book and saw that the front cover has him holding an umberella while sat on a horse. I thought to myself, Maverick will be able to do that :-) " Nicki
25.5.10 "Well the walk went really well. We went out for about 20 mins, somewhere where he had never been before. Yet again as light as a feather to lead and walked at my shoulder all the way round. We met a man with 2 dogs, not bothered. Went under a canopy of trees where it was darker, not bothered. Tried to chase a car, couldn't be bothered and followed a lady with a pram and 3 dogs, so not bothered :-) It was so enjoyable, I can't wait to go out again." Nicki
30.5.1o "I have taken Maverick out for a walk every day this week (except yesterday). Today we managed to go out for 45 mins. He has been such a good boy. He has taken it all in his stride and is very forward going and enthusiastic. A real pleasure to take out. :-)" Nicki

Sunday, May 23, 2010

23rd May, 2010 Jack attack

Jenny has loaned me some proper jump wings and poles so while David had got the camera with him we took some photos of Jack jumping them. Although he does occasionally whizz around the outside, Jack is pretty keen to jump anything that you ask him to. I'm looking forward to taking him over to Kate's in a few months time to go over a full course on a rubber surface.
My next step in training him will be to get him used to long reins - could be fun!

23rd May, 2010 Tourists

A much needed day off and, as soon as the Motogp had finished, David and I went out with the camera.

Back at the fields, Flicka was ridden out independently for the first time in the Forest. She also had her first ridden trot today. Theoden and Petra were keen to see her come back safely. Ludo had the second of his confidence walks and tackled the ditch stream by walking through it rather than jumping it as most horses do. He has a great attitude and is good company.