Tuesday, January 17, 2017

17th January, 2017 Writer's Block

The book is going well and on days when I don't have a horse to go and see I am quite happy scribbling away, albeit on the typewriter. I'm up to 43,000 words and with my Mum editing hopefully they'll all be in the right order with the appropriate number of commas. She, and Tracey to whom I have read excerpts, both seem to be enjoying it, so I am hoping it will please my 'target audience', those people who enjoy my blog.

Yesterday I was interrupted, something that I am encouraging, by two owners ringing to ask for advice about their horses, one of which is a Dartmoor pony and the other an Irish Draft Cross. At different ends of the spectrum size-wise, I found myself suggesting clicker to both of them and wonder if my half of the conversation sounded like Morse Code (Horse Code says Tracey) as I clicked and t'locked down the phone at them.

The first, was born on Dartmoor and trained throughout using No Fear, No Force techniques. Along with the pony's friend, another Dartmoor Pony, both were being backed and everything was going extremely well until the vet botched an injection when sedating to have her teeth done. Four attempts later and the pony was really stressed. Something in that process has triggered memories of being captured and restrained and now she is afraid of the head-collar. I have referred her owner to page 55 of my book and suggested that she go back to some of her earlier work in order to get the pony back on track. Hopefully clicker, along with a soft scarf, will make the difference in this instance and also be useful once established for when the vet comes back.

The Irish horse has an intermittent but potentially dangerous problem when mounted. He has had every physical check you could think of including a complete x-ray of his withers and spine and an assessment by a Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapist. He has had a saddle tailor made. The lady is having some success with hand treats as the horse is mounted by a little jockey and I have suggested that be formalised, as it were, by the discipline of clicker where the behaviour that is wanted can be clearly marked by a click, and patience taught through the use of an intermittent treat.

I am 'open' again for advice this afternoon and on Friday. All I would like in return is a donation via Paypal to one of the charities that I am supporting: British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association, HorseWorld, Shy Lowen and The Stars Appeal (Salisbury District Hospital).