Thursday, February 28, 2008

28th February, 2008

We have had a bit of a hiccough with W; He bucked Julie off for a second time. By complete coincidence, a woman who had him on loan last year contacted me and then told me that in fact she had tried to break him in and he had thrown her off four times. He had actually give me a clue - when I stood on the mounting block on the right hand side he didn't move a muscle but when I stood on his left he gently moved his back away. I did wonder then whether someone had had a go - however he had clearly given us the benefit of the doubt because we were much further down the road before he said no. As a precaution we have had his back checked and his feet x-rayed which showed that he had no permanent damage from a bout of laminitis. We are now back on track and he will be ridden out on a lead rein with another horse next week. Poor Julie is allowed no ego! I do feel for his owners as it inevitable costs more to train a remedial starter than a plain starter because you have to undo what has been done before.

X and her companion C, were due to go home this weekend but are now staying another three weeks while their owners concludes the purchase of a field. Julie is delighted to be able to ride X for longer. This morning we rode on the Forest track adjacent to the A31 with lorries thundering by but at a safe distance and on the other side of a fence. X didn't bat an eyelid. She is bitless and barefoot.

Yesterday I went to see yet another wild Exmoor foal. Although he had a headcollar on he was now saying no to being approached so I set his owner up to seduce him and persuade him that in fact touch could be very nice. For the avoidance of doubt, wild Exmoor foals are advance class ponies and it takes a great deal of commitment, consistency and a logical and systematic approach to tame them.