Just wanted to update you on how Bailey is going.....................and he's going BRILLIANTLY! I think the key phrase for us at the moment is "Consistent NOT Persistence". In other words, I have to be totally consistent with the rules, to stop his persistence in his behaviour. I took him out for a 50 min walk around the lanes today and he was excellent! Lovely manners - and he only tried to pass me once when a lady who was gardening in her garden suddenly stood up and 'appeared' from behind the hedge! I think this was more of a spook than trying to barge in front! We had two tractors and trailers pass us, a motorbike, and a Gales Ales shire horse and cart off to a wedding!!! All of which he took in his stride! Oh, and he had his saddle on which as usual he was fine about. Thanks for all your help, we're on the right track and it’s looking good! Nikki 23.8.08
Had to email you as soon as I got home, because I'm bursting to tell you …Graylie had his headcollar on today like a normal pony! Nose into the noseband, and then fastened up in the normal way. First time ever! Not only does he now not fly into a tizz when he feels pressure on the headcollar (there were a couple of "lively moments" with this in the beginning) but he steps forward on a pressure cue -- and back! He is getting a bit pushy now, but much less twitchy -- this has always been a delicate balance with him, but I think maybe he needs to feel confident enough to lean into us calmly, before we start teaching him that we really don't want him being quite so cuddly.
After his "work" he and I stood together watching some jumping lessons in the school. I could feel his breath against my skin, and every so often he'd give me a little nudge, and I'd give him a scratch in return. He's getting more and more of the vibe of a normal pony.
Joe is running at <50% energy level since the last time you saw him. Carol is leading him around the yard and he acts like a pussy cat now.
Well today I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah and I can confirm she is a very, very nice person who is very realistic and down to earth. We did ground work but it was marvelous and real progress was made, he even carried on being good after she'd gone! I won't go into detail but basically I am confident that I can carry on what she taught me and we can get through our issues that make hacking such an ordeal. Really impressed and really tired - we walked miles!!So thank you Sarah, it was so lovely to work with you and to read your report so I can remember the visit in great detail! I would recommend her to anyone having any kind of issue with their horse as it now all makes sense and I feel confident that I can deal with it and start enjoying my horse again! Thanks again, it was really fab!
Bigsox CP 13.9.08 on NFED
I have stuck with the circling technique and this week walked up to the woods where we went to the entrance and all the way around the tracks and back home with only a handful of circles required - it was lovely!
Hi Sarah, Thank-you so much for your advice. Each day little by little he is getting better.
Claire (Nr Amesbury) following e-mail advice 16.9.08
M-horse is being an absolute star at the moment. Hacking out is so good. When we first moved to Tollard Royal I was relying on other people on the yard to hack with. Now everyone wants to hack with us because she is so reliable and doesn’t react if other horses are being troublesome or scared. I took her out of the yard to the right for the first time on her own on Friday – she didn’t put a foot wrong – even going past her mates in the field. Thank you.
I know you would have loved to see how she worked. I can so see the difference between long reining and lunging. Her whole outline was much better, and she worked beautifully.
Kate Boe came out to see her on Saturday morning. She then worked on her for well over an hour - an experience which Knickers thoroughly enjoyed.
You asked for feedback - well, I thought it all went very well - a 3 ring circus with you as the ringmaster! It was very informal but well organised and there was a very positive atmosphere generated by so many people who cared about the ponies gathered all in one place.
I was tired last night - you must have been exhausted! How do you work with a horse and talk to the public and answer questions at the same time? I think the 'audience' got a good deal having a running commentary and demo of 2 different approaches to handling untouched horses. You say you talk too much but I think you give a wealth of information for those that listen. If you can begin to modify the perceptions/attitudes/behaviour of people a little in such a short time you have achieved a lot.
DJ re: Dartmoor Pony Training Centre demo (28.9.08)
Rode Weedy and did as instructed although she picked it up so fast that by the end of the ride I only had to stop moving with her rhythm and start to say 'A . .' and she stopped dead square. I couldn't believe it worked like a dream and she was thrilled to get food whilst out on a ride. So thank you for the advice I now feel I can get her back to me instantly and her attention is more on me. Also it’s so positive - we resolved this issue with her enjoying it rather than be battling with her and enforcing my will of her. So again, big thank you.
CB following e-mail advice 29.9.08
I have not got round to thanking you yet, I think you have done so so well with B-pony.
We are doing all the stuff we practiced at yours. All is going well, he was a bit funny with the cream on the ears but we got over it. He is brilliant with the stick, carrier bag, we have now starting with the fly spray just rubbing it on him with me making noises, he has been really good! THANK YOU..........
Georgie has been absolutely amazing over the last couple of weeks and all the groundwork has definitely paid off. Well back to Georgie being AMAZING........ I have been long-reining her round the gorgeous tracks on the farm and in the school since we moved in and yesterday she was backed for the first time........ I have been working her quietly in a bridle and saddle on the ground for the last few weeks and she has been an angel. She didn’t put a hoof wrong and within a coupe of minutes was being ridden quietly round the school without anyone beside her. All the groundwork has worked a treat and the exposure to all the different situations and things around the farm and at shows. She is such an intelligent pony and seems to really be enjoying the work she is doing.
Update from HB 3.10.08