Saturday, January 9, 2016

9th January, 2016 Going Down a Storm

Time for our second Handling the Warmblood Foal Course at Little Minterne Stud.

With Tracey and Julie as additional tutors I really did have my dream team.

 The great thing about working with foals is that so much can change in just a couple of weeks. Sometimes they have forgotten everything you have taught them (rarely) and sometimes they have learned things through latent learning, or just plain osmosis, in the intervening period. For Archie putting his headcollar on this morning was a cinch and he helped me out with my introductory demo.

Tommy, who I am sure won't mind me saying is 12 years old is a serious and studious student and a pleasure to work with. His love and empathy for horses is evident whenever he is with these young horses.

All of today's students are previous clients of mine including Jackie and Amanda. However that isn't a requirement for attendance on the course.

Holly, who like Archie is part way through weaning, was soon being led around her stable with Mum parked next door. Once again we start with the scarf because it is soft and elastic and creates a soft and elastic foal.

Showing Amanda how to touch and move away with the nose band so that it is more acceptable...

...and can be done up more easily.

Archie now has his head collar put on in the normal way, i.e. up his nose.

After a little while everyone swapped horses so that they could get the feel for another one.

Tommy took Archie out of his stable for a walk around the yard.

The afternoon crew were brought in from the fields. Despite the weather, all of the mares and foals are thriving outdoors with their rugs on, just coming in for a break from  the rain from time to time.

The foals having a chat with Sassie, another Warmblood that normally lives in a separate field to them. Most horsey people recognise this baby greeting where foals snap their mouths together to show that they are submissive to the older horse. It usually keeps them safe from aggression.

Amanda got on famously with Savannah and had her headcollar on in no time at all.

Meanwhile Tommy worked with Theo who is now 8 months old.

Foot handling for Bella. She's now holding her feet up for a few seconds at a time and needs to learn to balance by spreading her back legs a little more.

Theo was inclined to kick when he felt a hand go down his back leg so I taught Tommy how to use the feather duster to desensitize them.

 This had the right effect.

Tommy quietly took himself off to work with Holly again and, having put the head collar on...

...began to teach her to lead from the headcollar.

The next course is full but I have agreed to organise another one to take place on SATURDAY 6th FEBRUARY, 2016. For details please contact me at