Tuesday, November 18, 2008

18th November, 2008 It Takes two

I have just spent two days running a Handling the New Forest Foal course. Aud has three beautiful and well grown foals with completely different characters. Here is Magnum with Jenny being taught to give to pressure.

E-mails and NFED threads from Aud:
Many thanks to all of the members of the NFED. As a result on your many posts singing Sarah Weston's praises I contacted her, and asked her to come and discuss helping me to teach my foals to trust human handling. Sarah went one better, and ran a course here at my home today and will be here again tomorrow. It was just amazing and really emotional. Rowan proved to be quite a challenge, and has made huge progress, hopefully he will be showing off his new halter bravery by tomorrow night. He went from an "oh my god, don't come near me" to "scratch me cos I love it" boy under Sarah's training and guidance. It was wonderful to watch him allow several total strangers work with him quite happily. Dunnock went from quivering with horror and offering a rear foot to "easy, peasy, lemon squeazy", scratch me if you will. Magnum, who started out having been handled a little already, took to it like a duck to water and was sporting his headcollar like an old pro. Every one fell for him, but then he is just plain gorgeouliscious and he knows it!!!!! So thank you one and all for bringing this amazing lady into our lives, and roll on tomorrow - all very exciting!!!!
ASH (NFED 17.11.08)

My 3 New Forest foals took part in a course run here at my home by Sarah Weston over the past 2 days. It was a busy time, and everone seemed to enjoy taking part. One of my totally unhandled foals - Dunnock went from offering his rear end and foot to one and all on the first day to offering his face straight into the halter on the second. That in itself was amazing to see - however. Imagine the moment when I took a friend to meet them this morning. They were all 3 running loose in a very large field. Magnum, handled in the past, but taught to be scared by his 2 unhandled friends comes straight across the field for a scratch and a cuddle by both of us - he had never seen Ruth before. That was pretty amazing - however - He is closely followed by Dunnock - "my Mummy told me you are going to eat me so stay away" foal - comes straight up to me sticks his face in my jumper, has a big scratch ALL OVER and a cuddle, is very relaxed and seems to want to stay with us! I was GOBSMACKED!!!!!!! Had I not had company there could easily have been tears too, but I swallowed hard and pretended to be a grown up. How does that lady do it?????? Sarah - thank you so much. Rowan has come on in leaps and bounds, but he still has a way to go. I am going to get them in right now and try and practice my new skills. What a buzz!!!!! NFED 18.11.08

I have had the boys in for a couple of hours and in that time Magnum has been leading round the yard – no issues. Dunnock, headcollar on with a couple of clicks, lead rope, no problems, and ended up being led up to the garden, round the drive and back. He met Granny through the window, watched the farrier working on Victor and calmly walked back down to his friends. Big click, a little more work and back in with Magnum. Rowan has begun to find the clicker a bit of a game, and will cross the stable to come and touch me/halter. I got him as far as willingly choosing to put his nose in the noseband hole about 20 times, and left it there.

Hi Sarah.
I definitely made progress with little Rowan today. I did the stick, duster, hand bit for a while and got a little further up his neck. Then I went and leant on the stable wall by the door to see whether he wanted to work. He came straight over and did touch/click/treat for a while, followed by nose in the hole, click/treat. By the time we stopped he had the head collar noseband all the way up his nose, click and treat while he still had the band up his nose.
He seemed to be really into it, but we stopped at that as the light was fading.
The other boys had 10 minutes each of halter on/off and leading, but I put most of the time into little Rowan. I am really looking forward to seeing whether I can move on a bit further tomorrow, but I will run it at his pace so as not to scare him. He is such a dear little man, and so pretty. He was really chilled out today, he frightened himself at one point and went and buried his head in the hay net till he felt better. Bless!!
ASH 22.11.08

E-mails from participants:
Thanks for really good day yesterday. I made everyone at work very envious when I told them. I thought the foals were gorgeous, and its made me think about reminding R of some of the work you did -on a dry day! I hope you had an equally enthralled group today. It is fascinating watching and listening to you.
CC 18.11.08

Many many thanks for today Rob and I didnt stop talking about you all the way home .We enjoyed and learnt so much from you. LA 18.11.08

Just to say a big thankyou for a lovely day yesterday!!! I'm soooo tired now It was great to see how you work with the ponies and use what, to me, seems a very logical approach to taming any animal - what on earth do people do to tame their horses normally? JMcS 19.11.08 (my sister-in-law!!)