Tuesday, June 7, 2016

7th June, 2016 Thunder Bolts and Lightning

The weather forecast for where we were due to go to today was pretty dire and so we were postponed; no point trying to start an Exmoor Pony with rods of lightning threatening to interrupt you! Meanwhile we had just five drops of rain in the Forest and so enjoyed a very nice ride out, a play with Henry, and more work with Crazy.

Théoden looks more like a Quarter Horse at this time of year, possibly a pregnant one but a Quarter Horse all the same. Still, he was very obliging about keeping Henry company while I worked with her.

Today Henry let me brush her all over, stroke her all over, pick up her back feet for 20 seconds and ask her to pick up (but not hold) her front right leg. The front left leg is still private and any attempt to go below the knee is met with a fairly forthright snapping of her teeth!

Henry has taught me even more about patience than I knew before which is handy because I am needing it when working with Crazy. Although he is accepting the bit into his mouth, he doesn't really like it all, even though it is leather rather than metal, and he is richly rewarded whenever it goes into his mouth. He engages throughout the process (he could just go back into his box) but is very adept at flipping the bit out of place when it is dangling just below his lips. Any attempt to hold his nose/head, albeit very gently, results in him throwing his head around. I'm going to need to come up with something that enables him to actually like and trust the bit (honey doesn't cut it with him). He has had his teeth checked very recently and they were fine.

No doubt people will argue with me about whether he needs to have a bit at all. I know there are a lot of happy bitless horses. In his case his owner and his trainer would like him to wear a bit and I am trying to find the gentlest way to ask him to accept one and wear one.