So far we have worked with Benny on his specific fear of donkeys so it was good today to work on a more general approach to accustoming him to new and novel items. Benny is confident until he is not confident and then he tends to react quite strongly so incremental work like this highlights the point just before he would lose his nerve and enables us to show him that we can be trusted to make sure he is comfortable before moving on.
Setting a pattern really helps and means that Benny went from a little concern with the feather duster to absolutely no concern for the carriers bags.
He was blasé about the umbrella until it was half up but allowing him to 'chase' it and raising it just a little at a time persuaded him that he was in charge of it...
...and therefore didn't need to worry about it when it was following him.
The tarpaulin was no challenge at all other than it was covering his precious grass!
But he could always try to eat the scarecrow instead.
Lunch and a trip to Waterlooville where we met eight year old gypsy cob, Splash. Yet again a five year old horse in an eight year old suit in terms of her education and experience.
Since buying her just a few weeks ago her owners were worried about her tendency to push her way through people.
We established a few clear boundaries and worked on I walk, you walk, I stop, you stop. Given that this involves no pulling or pushing from me it is little wonder that she didn't feel the need to pull or push either.
Right turns are critical. When I want to turn right I just turn right and the horse should simply move out of my way. Splash was perfect at this.
"The session on Saturday was amazing and Tim and I learnt so much, I can't thank you and Julie enough." LR