Thursday, October 18, 2007

18th October, 2007 Sunshine after the rain

At the other end of the day I have some really exciting news. For a long time now I have wanted to be able to recommend a riding instructor in the New Forest whose methods and ideals are sympathetic, complementary, and compatible with mine. Someone who doesn't recommend shortening the reins, putting on a flash noseband, kicking the horse or hitting it hard. I can now highly recommend Amanda Barton who has been working with Mark Rashid and his methods (both riding and teaching) for some time now. She is enthusiastic, articulate, cheerful and really earnest about the work she does with horses and riders. Amanda also co-ordinates clinics for Mark Rashid, Kathleen Lindley, Perry Wood and is just about to run some of her own too. Her website is week there have been two themes - foal handling and loading. Faced with a raw horse, it's easy to be suprised at their sheer energy and athleticism. Foals are born with all their faculties and designed to escape danger from the outset. It can be disconcerting when they decide to test their power and limbs out on us but it is their job! "I wonder what would happen if I wafted my front legs in the air like this??!!"One week to go before Exmoor and a sudden cancellation means that I have no official work. In order to avoid becoming a full time painter and decorator, I am going off to handle some yearlings and two year olds for a local commoner. I am not going to name any names but let's just say that I shall be flying in the face of centuries of tradition and if I can convince this one, I just might get the gig with a few others. When halter broken ponies fetch £100 more than untouched ones it's what Rick Manley calls a "no-brainer". Sheila, Julie, Natalie from the Dartmoor Pony Training Centre and little Frances will all be down at Exmoor for the first weekend - we are going to do some plotting for the future. I wanted to call the business Three Wishes but they others thought it might get changes to the Three Witches; hence the plotting.