Saturday, May 20, 2006

May, 2006 (3)

Halfway through the month I went to a talk by Patrick Kempe at the Wessex Classical Riding Group. His talk was excellent - he described the horse festival in Portugal and how he came to buy his fabulous Lusitano horse, Tetua. Tetua graces the cover of Margrit Coates' book Horses Talking. Patrick is also a healer and has his own website. By coincidence I am phoned the next day by a lady who has imported an Andulucian stallion and is worried about the future. I urge her to ring Patrick because he has having so much fun with his horse - which show jumps, does Iberian horse classes, picks up litter on the Forest and plays football. I am feeling a little sad myself because Olly and the lovely Hackney horse are due to go home and I have become very fond of them.
Two new New Forest ponies, Jamie and Oliver (formerly Graham!) have arrived for some handling before they get turned out in the field next door. They belong to my neighbour who very kindly gives me access to her outdoor school. Jamie is bright chestnut and arrived in a delapidated trailer. The other, a rose grey, was bred by the same people as my Forest pony, Nell. Both are friendly and need to be get use to being touched, having a headcollar on and being led.

This week I went to Patrick Kempe's to experience healing for the first time. Patrick tells me that his horse is a healer too and I spent a long time with my hands on this beautiful horse. I wish I could say that everything became clear after that but I did feel I got something positive out of it and felt quite serene on the way home.
The following day I went down to The Donkey Sanctuary for a Donkey Behaviour Course only to find that the course was being presented by Ben Hart. What a bonus. It was good to be made aware of the significant differences in the natural herd behaviour of donkeys and the way that they react to fear and pain. Ben uses a lot of positive reinforcement with the donkeys and it was a great opportunity to watch clicker training in action. He worked with a mule called Mrs Knox although he calls her Martha (pronounced Marfa) because when asked she says "I'm arfa donkey and I'm arfa an 'orse".
I do despair of the New Forest Commoners sometimes. There is a pony walking around this village at the moment who likes like a skeleton. I mean condition score 1. Visitors are shocked by her appearance and it will be giving the New forest commoners as a whole a very bad reputation. She has a colt foal at foot which is doing really well and she is now about 30 and probably won't carry another foal. She is absolutely valueless to the Commoner who owns her. I have offered to buy her and her foal but the Commoner said that he didn't like the fact that I had said that she was thin and would rather take her off the Forest himself and send her to Beaulieu Road Sales..... which means for meat. So she has to suffer for his pride. If I contact the RSPCA or ILPH they won't be able to do anything until she is at death's door and anyway he would probably just take her off and have her killed.