I've often found that Exmoor Ponies are one person ponies and therefore if I am going to inveigle my way into Ivy's life, and become her temporary Auntie, I need to start at a much lower level than her owner has reached. Luckily she followed Jack up the field this morning and into the barn so that I could work with her in a safe environment.
She was quite worried when she first came in, and well-versed in 'stranger danger' but the feather duster, at its longest extension, enable me to start touching her and to show her that I might just be useful. With itchy ponies a cool hand, gently rubbing with fingers held together, often meets with approval. I also introduced the three click clickered rewards system which started to make an impression especially when she was offered one of Henry's ginger biscuits. Things to note: she was more worried about her right than her left - although happy to turn that way towards me by the end of the session; and she appears to be sore behind her ears but she has never been tied up or pulled back on the lead rein as one might summise.
It was all halters and a mock showing class in the rain this afternoon. Zoe and Zelda are now trotting with ease but slightly surprised by the dazzling white of the show halter and wary of the chain underneath. Wendy's hoping to get discreet covers for these to minimise their effect on the lower jaw and the tooth bumps that are part and parcel of being a two year old pony.
I am even more certain of the existence of the Horse God as of yesterday when Tracey's torn rotator cuff in need of surgery turned into a ganglion which, putting it explicitly, exploded, giving her 90% less pain and 85% more movement in an instant. Here we are, putting it to the test and we might be able to go night clubbing this weekend.