Wednesday, October 29, 2008

29th October, 2008 So far, so good....

Cello is a personable little chap. He has his headcollar on and leads nicely. Last week he had his feet trimmed for the first time and then had his tetanus jab. Didn't seem to mind.

So far, this week is going well. We found a solution for our intermittent non-loader on Monday who would move her front feet all day long for pressure and release but steadfastly refused to move her back ones. With a gentle figure of eight rope around her hind quarters she was happy to oblige and we could then work on asking everyone around her to breathe, smile and lower their adrenalin levels. She actually travels like an angel so there was just something about going on that made her hesitate.

E-mail received "Tried loading L for the first time today since last Monday and she went in like a dream, so Bill took us off to Salisbury plain for a lovely ride."
MH 4.11.08

and then:
"Just wanted to let you know about L on Saturday. We went hunting and it was the first test of loading her to come home. I have taken her out a few times since you came and she has been brill going out but have always riden home. On Saturday there was lots of distractions but with the lunge line round her bum she just shot in straight away as usual. I was so relieved you cant imagine - cant believe how much stress we have suffered over the past 2 years and now a miracle has happened!!"
NH 25.11.08

The Andulusian colt I have been working with was a fantastic example of latent learning - he remembered everything he was taught 11 days ago and made good progress again today. Tomorrow our farrier phobic horse is having his back shoes on - I suspect that he will wave to John when he arrives as he anticipates yet another session of trickle fed pony nuts. Back at the yard, Buster is long reining out on the Forest with a very cheerful expression on his face and we have made a little progress with our other visitor who can now commit himself to halting. In the meantime, the deer are in full rut and seemingly oblivious to us working and the pigs come to make a daily sweep of the acorns.

Latest reviews:

Thank you so much for coming out today it was wonderful to meet you! I was so so proud of C-horse, I knew she was clever but she just proved exactly how clever today! I cannot begin to say how I felt watching her learning new things and relaxing. You will definitely be highly recommended by me to anyone I come across with horse issues!! It’s so great to finally meet someone who doesn't go in dominating and terrifying the living daylights out of a horse. Your work is fantastic and I really appreciate you taking time to come and meet us and help me with her.
KE 6.10.08

C-horse was an absolute star this morning for the chiropractor!! She was a bit nervous to start with and pulled some lovely faces but she soon worked out that it was for her own good and settled. You were right her poll was out as was her back in various places and her pelvis was out too! Everything is now back where it should be and so things can only get better from here on. I can't believe that she actually stood there and let her put everything back she never moved away once just stood there and she even allowed her to put the massage machine on her and loved it! Also last night when I groomed her she allowed me to do her girth and chest area without any face pulling at all how remarkable is that! I don't know how to thank you enough!
KE 11.10.08

Just thought I would let you know that when the ponies had their feet trimmed on Tuesday, the trimmer left client sheets written up for all of them and on Gingernut's she had written 'lovely feet and beautiful manners' - I beamed with pride at the 'beautiful manners' part. Not bad for a little chap who was so wild and wooly last summer that he had nervous fits and would throw himself on the ground rather than be touched by human hand! So thanks for being a good teacher and enabling me, in turn, to be a good teacher/leader for my gorgeous little red head.
CH 10.10.08

Hi Sarah,
I attended the foal demo today and I would just like to say thank you. This came just at the right time for me as I have just bought a 5 month old foal who was born on the forest and has had no handling. She has been pretty difficult and I was beginning to lose faith that I could ever just be able to touch her. You showed me it is possible, after the demo I went to feed my foal, made a Monty hand and am now able to touch her with the hand.
JH 11.10.08

Just to let you know, today I have touched my foal all over which this time yesterday I had no chance of doing.
JH 12.10.08

Thank you so much for a great day! I learnt loads and it was great to meet members of The Herd, as well as meet the cutest foal around!
KB 14.10.08

Thanks for a lovely afternoon, I really enjoyed it and I am sure Jos did too! it was lovely to know that I am doing lots right already and to have such clear guidance on what I need to work on and how. Thank you for sending me the report so quickly and for the lovely things you said about Jos - as well it was good to read it while everything was so fresh in my mind, I could relax (and therefore sleep well) knowing you had described the exercises we did so I can remember how to do them and practice with Jos.
CJ 15.10.08

Sarah explained everything in a way that I could really understand and she would demonstrate what she meant with my horse, let me re iterate it back to her and then I would have a go......................................... She was happy to answer all my questions and adapt her explanation if I needed her to............................................
She quickly built a good rapport with my horse and worked causing no confusion or anxiety in him, she treated him with understanding and respect and I really feel that he enjoyed the experience. I certainly did!...........................
Evaluation form CJ 15.10.08

I have a horse called Zee, an abuse victim, who is very spooky and wary of people – particularly people he doesn't know. He gets worried, panics, spooks, bolts. He can't take any pressure or restriction. This makes it hard, risky or impossible to do any of the usual or necessary things (e.g. vets and foot trimmers). I also am not convinced the horse is as happy as he would be if he became less scared of the things in his life. Whilst it is understandable, it has been an ongoing problem that I have tried many approaches to solving. I asked Sarah to come out to give me some new ideas, which she did. She introduced both Zee and I to clicker training, which along with a calm energy seems to be a learning environment Zee responds well too.

I saw instant results from the method Sarah used and taught. Zee also relaxed over the course of the session and indicated that he was happy with the approach.
Happy horse + Happy human = Good result

CW 16.10.08

This is the second year Sarah has come down to our open days to show different ways of working with unhandled ponies. She has been on both occasions an absolute pleasure to have around and we are extremely grateful for everything she has done for our organization. It is wonderful to have someone around who obviously shares such a passion for working with wild ponies. Sarah came down this year with four other helpers, 2 of whom also worked with some of the ponies we had at the event. Both were fantastic to work with and had a real passion and gift for working with our Dartmoors. Sarah is a real credit to your organization and is totally committed to making the world a better place for horses and ponies, especially unhandled ones. We hope that she will come again next year and hope to be able to run a course for people wanting to buy a wild pony and find out more about training them.

I couldn’t recommend anyone more than Sarah for working with nervous, unhandled or traumatized ponies and horses.

NT Dartmoor Pony Training Centre 16.10.08

Thank you very much for a smashing day. Gracie has lead in and out perfectly since our meeting. I feel I have really benefited, and hopefully in turn so will Gracie.
JS 18.10.08

Yesterday Pip and I led Baby up and down the pound without a stop, so we all felt very pleased with ourselves. Thank you very much indeed for last Monday. It was a wonderful help and Pip and I and I’m sure baby all enjoyed it hugely.
DE 18.10.08

I really enjoyed the day and I am sure it will have helped my riding and also O-horse’s development. We all want to do the best for our horses and the more input the better.LC 20.8.08

I would just like to thank you so much for a really enjoyable and informative day on Sunday and your lovely comments on your blog.
AG 20.10.08

D-horse’s general attitude is much improved. She settles perfectly well in the school, in the stable and out and if she looks as if she might get out of line it is straight forward to correct her. She therefore seems much happier.
CC 20.10.08

Honey is brilliant by the way. She is super friendly and trustworthy, I almost forgot she was "off the forest" today…..(and later)…. Just been doing some leading work with the Honey Monster. Best hundred quid I've ever spent !!
AS 23.10.08

Hi sarah, thanks for the notes, she let me rub her down her neck yesterday and today she let me put the head collar on and groom her all down the back, and front legs, she was chewing and licking her lips the whole time, She’s really starting to trust me.
LW 25.10.08 (who worked from my notes on how to handle a semi-feral pony with a mare and foal she had bought from the sales three day’s before).

WOW What a great success!!!! Her visit has given both T-horse and I sooooo much confidence!!! Onward and upwards from here I reckon, thank you so much Sarah
K.C. 26.10.08

Is it normal to feel like bursting into tears when you touch a new wild foal for the first time !?!
Sticky hand, duster and real hands on first foaly today. He was going to sleep, bless him ! Very happy,
AS 28.10.08

Freddie has had halter on and off three times...yay !
AS 29.10.08