Wednesday, July 27, 2016

27th July, 2016 Alphabet Ailments

The great thing about Kym is that she contacts me as the first resort and as soon as she is having problems. A great and kind trainer in her own right, and very clever with clicker training, she can spot when she needs help and does not keep practising the 'no'.

Elmo has been very upset about having a bit put in his mouth, running backwards and rubbing his head against the nearest wall. His teeth have recently been checked very carefully under sedation by the vet, however, as a three year old, he is undergoing significant changes in his mouth both to incisors and molars which will be losing their caps. His wolf teeth have been removed previously.

I showed Kym the technique I used to get Crazy used to the bit and to reduce his fear of it. Once again we used the leather bit which has been infused with a peppermint based solution. Within three repetitions he was accepting the bit easily and no longer fighting with it once it was in. In fact he was reluctant to let it go again.

Leaving the bit in place but with the lead rein (and later long reins) connected to the head collar, we worked on asking him to accept having his legs washed. Like a lot of cobs Elmo suffers from feather mites and between injections from the vet he has to have his legs washed and shampooed.

Rather than force him to accept hosed water straight away, we started with a house plant watering can, pouring water down his leg all the time he was moving, and then rubbing the sensation away when he was committed to standing still.

Once again this worked extraordinarily quickly and we though we would see what would happen if we repeated it with a slow trickle of water from the hose...

Sometimes it is a matter of building the central strands and allowing the horse to make the connecting threads...

...Elmo was happy to stand and eat while we hosed his legs.

With the time left in this hour of training we took Elmo long reining along the lane...

...and Kym was kind enough to let Jemima long rein him back down the track.

As a reward for helping with two days' worth of poo-picking during which we played Alphabet Ailments covering Angular Limb Deformity, Bot flies, Colic and everything we could think of through to L, we went out riding with Jemima riding Petra. There is a 62 year age gap between her and Pat who rides Petra on a Monday!

This is Jemima on her sparkly and aptly named Diamond Buttons competing at Moreton in the dressage where she won in the Prelim.