Wednesday, April 29, 2009

29th April, 2009 The apprentices

I told you I was tired! Here I seem to have my eyes closed while I work with Zuleeka. Having been rained off all day Monday, it was back to work on Tuesday, long reining Zuleeka first and then working with both starters. Fern is now being ridden off her bit at walk, trot and canter and going off on her own with Sheila on board (Julie is off on her Stage I Five Day Course at Hartsop). Rosie has now been ridden out on the Forest twice and today went unclipped for the first time.

Thanks for the lesson, it has had another huge impact on us - we did long reining in the field, as before with you, no problems, so I just went further into the corners, and when we got to the exit into the other field she napped, just a small one, so we did that in circles, until it was no bother both ways, amazing. (LB, owner of Zuleeka).

I had a very early start this morning with a loading horse first and then a lightly handled Andulusian cross youngster. The loading horse has had a nasty incident inside a lorry and has previously lain down on the ramp - she was loading in and out of a trailer with soft pressure and release by 10 o'clock this morning and enjoying some food when she was in there. The Spanish cross filly accepted her headcollar and then I taught her to follow a pressure by using a towel around her neck rather than direct from her head - she had previously reacted badly to pressure on the headcollar. I finished that session by asking her to move towards me using both the towel pressure and a slight pressure on her headcollar; by that time she had got the hang of it and didn't object to the pressure on her nose.

Monday, April 27, 2009

27th April, 2009 Things I wish I didn't hear

I suppose it comes with the territory but I think I hear more about abuse of horses doing this job than when I had my head neatly buried in the sand. Okay we would get the odd RSPCA case when I worked for the Courts Service but now I hear about something awful nearly every day.

The little chap above has been sold SEVEN times since he went through Beaulieu Road Sales last year through no fault of his own. He's actually a personable little thing. There is much coo-ing over the new foals that are beginning to arrive on the Forest at the moment but the same people are prepared to put them at risk of being bought by anyone, anyone at all, when they put them through the sales. It is bad enough having to sell a horse to someone you think you know or have thoroughly vetted only to find they are not the person you thought they were or they have sold your horse on within days, but you have no control whatsoever if they go throught the sales yard.

He has now fallen on his feet at a place which also has a group of the French rescue horses that people have brought over and then haven't got a clue how to handle. Most of them turn out to be pregnant and semi-feral. It's awful when horses have to be rescued from their rescuers.

At my loading course at the weekend, I heard first hand about a horse that had been loaded to go to his first show. The owner hadn't practised at all. The transporter pulled the horse into the horse box with an electric winch attached to the horse's headcollar whilst the owner was encouraged to hit and kick it. This winch is designed to pull carcasses and inanimate objects into a truck, not to forcibly drag a live horse. I have reported this to World Horse Welfare this morning and hope that they will investigate. I shall say no more on it for now.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

26th April, 2009 Re-loaded

Needless to say, I am absolutely exhausted now after another day's course. Somewhat bigger horse loaded better today and had the partition and all the bars put in place. She's very quick to back out though so more work needed. Audrey's ponies all loaded like professionals so we were very pleased with them. We all had to go out on tour when Audrey's husbands horse cast a shoe and needed to be loaded to come home. Anton Phillips came today from the Animal Rescue Team - like me, he's a short wheel base so we got towered over by these tall horses.

"Hi Sarah, thanks for a great day. You certainly taught this old dog a few new tricks." Anton P.

"Just to say, I thought the clinic was really good, very informative and good at reinforcing what to do! Audrey's ponies are lovely and were very pleasurable to work with!" Vicki F.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

25th April, 2009 Loaded

Day one of my loading course is over and seems to have gone really well. We have loaded five of Audrey's ponies for the first time since they arrived with her (having been bundled on to a trailer loose) 6 months or 18 months ago depending on whether they are yearlings or two year olds. Of course Magnum, Rowan and Dunnock were beautifully behaved and were soon standing with all the bars and the ramp done up without a murmur. I had fun this afternoon with a somewhat bigger horse that just said no until we enclosed her with panels and persuaded her to go forward. By the end of her session she was flowing on and off nicely and should be able to work with the partition and bars next time. I was particularly pleased to see Buster Brown, one of the Animal rescue Specialists from the Hampshire Fire Service who worked with two of the ponies. Tomorrow, Anton is attending. Pictures to follow.

Buster also gave me the pictures from the course that we helped with a few weeks ago (the one where Rachel almost got arrested). I have updated the blog from that day so that you can see her in action. We have been asked back although this time I have asked to attend the lectures on sedation as this is now of particular interest to me.

Friday, April 24, 2009

24th April, 2009 The horse with no name

Hi Sarah,I came to your demo at the Caspian Stud last weekend (my name's Sam, I won your book in the raffle and I was with Carol).I really enjoyed the demo, and implemented some of your work with my part bred welsh yearling filly, who's been getting rather 'in your face' lately!It REALLY came in to it's own today though - I heard of a little colt who was going to end up at market (and probably in a tin) and being a soft touch, I said I'd take him. Went to fetch him today. When we got to the field, I asked the owner if he'd worn a headcollar, and he said yes, as he stuck his fingers up the poor foal's nostrils and grabbed his top lip, and went to force the headcollar on him. He was rather affronted at this, as up until then he'd been standing quietly next to me having a scratch. I tactfully (unusual for me) suggested that I put his headcollar on, as he'd have to get used to me. Using your 'advance and retreat' and putting the headcollar on backwards first, I had it on him in about 10 minutes, leading quietly within another 10, and he walked happily into the trailer with me too. I'd dread to think how his (now ex) owner was going to load him! So, here he is (nameless as yet) with my youngest, and he says 'thank you'

Isn't this wonderful news?

(Update 26th April: I desperately need to trim his front feet - they don't look too bad in the pic above they look like pretty poor close up. Problem is, I don't think he's ever had his legs touched. On Friday, if I went near his legs, he'd run backwards and kick out. Looking for the quickest but least stressful way of getting him used to having his feet handled, I again fell back on some advice from Sarah. At the demo, she said that those foals that were worked until they had a headcollar on (with rest breaks) did better than those that had done a little each day. This is how I've been teaching my yearling - only 10 minutes or so each day. But I decided to have a go with Sarah's method, see if I could get quicker results.Well, on Saturday, with several sessions of about 20 minutes at a time, he let me touch his feet, this morning he let me pick his feet up, and this afternoon, he held them up long enough for me to pick them out! He didn't seem to mind the extra work, as long as I was careful not to stress him, he was more than happy to be obliging for a reward of some scratches.Thankfully the feet themselves aren't distorted, they're simply overgrown so once I can teach him to hold his feet up for just a little longer, I can get my nippers in there and I'm sure he'll be much more comfortable.I'm so chuffed!)

Fern went out for a ride with me on Petra this evening and once again she was perfect. Rosie was also sat on and seemed very relaxed She will go out on her first ride on the Forest on Monday. Sheila will be on board as Julie is off on her 5 day foundation course with IH.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

23rd April, 2009 Lily revisited

It was good to go back and see Lily today, one of the stars of my book. It has been a few months since I last worked with her and she was recently upset in the middle of the night by a neighbour lamping in the field next door. It seems to have made no difference and I was soon back to stroking her and put her headcollar on relatively easily. We ended the session with her leading lightly around the stable. I also put a headcollar on her "wild" Mum.

Rosie was long reined with her saddle on today and Fern was short-reined off her bit.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

22nd April, 2009 Glorious days

The week started well with a visit to a 20 year old New Forest pony that is a bit of a restoration project. Good groundwork made a huge difference to his confidence in very little time and brought down his owner's heart-rate too. Once he has had a full m.o.t. by Kate, we'll know how to take him forward. This morning I went to see a horse I first saw four years ago, this time to load him into his new horsebox. Once again, good groundwork, just asking him to come forward and to back up nicely, started the session on the right note and he was soon loading with out any problems at all.

"Thanks for the notes, Sarah. I thought that was a very successful morning." S.P.

Rosie and Fern are still doing well. Rosie did some pole work yesterday over poles raised at alternate ends. This asks her to pick up her hindlegs and is great exercise for her. Fern had her first canter today out in the Forest where she is happy to work independently and she is responding well to the very gentle aids.

Monday, April 20, 2009

20th April, 2009 Caspian Horse Society Part II

Yesterday's report was somewhat succinct! I came home really tired and spaced out with adrenalin having talked almost all day. It's a good job I am not paid by the word.
Save for Basil, who is effectively untouched, the central theme really came down to basic ground rules and leadership - especially in an exciting environment with lots of people and ponies around. Once that was established with each pony, they calmed down beautifully and stood quietly while I talked about their other issues and demonstrated how I would approach them. They included desensitisation, leg handling, how to put the first headcollar on an untouched foal, and key concepts and ideas such as pressure and release, the into pressure reponse, use of body language and avoiding volence.
Piper would have been pleased that the audience included veterinary students and that I could explain how attitude and approach can make all the difference even when you are in a hurry; how the horse assesses whether you are for or are against them from the moment you arrive.
So who did we see? Fleur, the owner of the stud and also a veterinary student and her colleagues Dale and Holly, who did such an amazing job of setting the day up. Angela Leadbetter too, who had come all the way down from Lancashire, promoted the whole event. Carol, who has an Exmoor pony called Scrumpy and her friend Sam (who won my book in the raffle!). Linda and Rob who bought Wellow Leaf and Lesley (who trained him in the first place at one of my courses) with her two daughters Sharon and Tamsin. Then there was Alice, who owns Orca and another nice horse now. Orca is doing well. "Brumby" from the New Forest Equine Directory. There was a lovely lady called Tess who owns an Arab and a motorbike and arrived in her lovely motorbike trousers complete with Kevlar - that's a thought when going in with a kicker! Julie was my comfort blanket throughout the day - unfailingly calm and brilliant with the horses. It was a great day but boy am I tired this morning too.
"Thanks Sarah for a lovely day, skilled and witty as ever!! (and how clever of you to arrange no rain), I hope someone puts up some photos of Basil somewhere, completely untouched 10 year old stallion, he was divine." Carol
"Thankyou so much for such an interesting day, the hours just fly by watching you work .You never cease to amaze me the way you can deal with different problems on horses you have never met before. We both had a brilliant day." Linda

"We all thought that the day went really well! The weather was on our side and it was great to have a good variety of horses and techniques to see. The day raised just over £400 for the Society which is fantastic and we were all stunned by Basil's progress. Dale especially has been inspired to keep working with him and gain his trust. I think we all learnt a lot from your demonstrations and I shall certainly be continuing your techniques on Troy and Khandandokht. It was particularly interesting to hear your views on handling and working with stallions as this is often a subject ignored by other trainers." Holly
The book is quietly going off to the printers this morning and they have said that they will move heaven and earth to have it ready for the Horseworld demo on 10th May. It had it's final proof read on Saturday night accompanied by a glass of wine so don't be suprised if it comes out as No Frost, No Freer- A Guide to Handling the Semi-Feral Vole.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

19th April, 2009 Working weekend finale

The demonstration at the Caspian Horse Society was extremely interesting. I worked first of all with Hendon Basil, top, before Julie and then Dale worked with him. He is ten years old and hasn't allowed anyone to handle him since he was two. He made good progress. I also worked with Troy (bottom), another stallion, demonstrating desensitisation techniques as well as a colt and two mares. These are delightful and intelligent horses albeit, small but perfectly formed. It was great to find five trainee vets in the audience as well as people from the IHDG, NFED and officianados of the Caspian Horse.

18th April, 2009 Week-end

Chancer had some ghostly friends when I arrived this morning. No wonder we've got no grass! There were 30 of them in total.
Rosie had her massage and Fern was ridden by her owner for a little while.

Friday, April 17, 2009

17th April, 2009 Working weekend

I don't know whether I mentioned that Fern was hit by a car shortly before she came in to me - in fact, her owner was hit too as they were going out for a walk. Although Linda was severely bruised, Fern was checked by the vet and found to be fine. Accordingly, Linda wanted me to make sure that she was fine psychologically too. This morning we asked her to closely follow the hayman's car and trailer across the field at walk and then trot. She didn't seem to mind even when it bounced it's way through the gateway. Fern then went out for a short ride.
Rosie and I went out for a long walk and played I-spy. She was fine with all of the traffic we met and happy to approach a stationary CSG Wasteman lorry (and lick it) a caravan, a motorhome, the library lorry and finally to chase a big green John Deere tractor down the track. She thought that was marvellous. She's still not convinced about the cows though. Tomorrow she's having a luxury massage with the lovely Kate, McTimoney-Corley practitioner.
Neal (Rosie's "Dad") sent me a picture he has drawn of her - not bad for a graphic designer eh?

17th April, 2009 Onwards and Upwards

With Aquilino now coming up to be caught in the 10 acre field, I have a very happy client over at Rake. Fern had her first trot under saddle yesterday and you've guessed it, couldn't have cared less. Little Rosie, who has always been a bit precious about her feet, is now wading through mud and attacking hills with gusto. She loves her clickered stretches too.

Percy is struggling to be touched and yesterday kicked out again with real intent. He did however, take food from Amanda's hand for the first time yesterday, so there is hope that we might be able to clicker train him. Otherwise, it's into a smaller pen where we can pad the sides and then touch him with the long hand on the stick through the bars. We can't afford to get kicked by a pony who uses such might and such accuracy with his back legs.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

15th April, 2009 Are you for or against me?

One thing I've really learned from Piper and Percy and indeed many of the horses that I meet, is that the first question is, are you for or against me? Piper knew the vet was against. When I walk towards a horse the first thing I want to say to them is that I am for them and by using appropriate language I can usually get that across. With ones that you can touch, a touch and a move away tells them everything; that you as a potential predator, mean them no harm. Touch and then move away - every time you meet a horse, no matter what you are there for.

Petra continues to be a darling to ride now that she has her clickered stops. Jenny has been experimenting with her pony Joe. So that we can ride together, she has chosen a different word cue for his halt so that we can't halt each other's horses! This is what she wrote to me yesterday: Thank you sooo much for showing me the clicker stopping method, all be it I have chosen a rather unusual "neenaaw!" as my stop word, however, let little William ride Joe today, totally off the lead rein, and showed him how to use the stop command. Worked wonders, not only did it make Joe listen to every command William gave him - it gave me the peace of mind that William could stop Joe at any time without resorting to hauling on Joe's mouth, so as a sometimes anxious/safety conscious parent - I actually relaxed and allowed them to just enjoy the ride without the constant "if you do this......." (nagging!). They walked, trotted and had a canter without any interference from me = a first! William told me it was the best ride he has ever had on Joe & I think Joe might feel the same, so well done & thank you.

Fern was ridden in a saddle for the first time today. Couldn't have cared less. Rosie has started her hill climbing!

Monday, April 13, 2009

13th April, 2009 Polar opposites

Today I went to see Sandy, a Quarter Horse youngster for the second time. He must be the most laid back horse I have ever met. He is pretty desensitised to everything including body language. I also started work with Amanda on Percy who is really frightened of people and notices everything. It takes me back to the early Piper days when I wondered what on earth I had taken on. This boy is three years old and simply doesn't want to be touched at all . I dread to think how that headcollar got on him.
Fern had a saddle on for the first time today and went out long-reining on the Forest. Rosie learned how to do clicker stretches and finished off with pole work.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

11th April, 2009 Lost count of the days...

Rosie and Fern have come to the end of the second week of their training. Both have been ridden three times now. Fern went out for a ride on the lead rein on the Forest this morning and was absolutely fine. We will look at fitting a saddle for her on Monday and then ride her in that on Tuesday. Rosie is just pulling a little face as she is mounted and then she relaxes and stretches out her neck so we are going to get her back checked again as a precaution before we take her ridden work any further. In the meantime we will introduce her to clickered stretches, pole work and long reining up and down hills all in the hope of building up her back muscles.

We have a new arrival, Percy, who is going to have some handling work. He appears to be either a Fell or a Dales cross and he's a nice looking pony. Sadly he has decided that people can't be trusted and won't allow them to catch him. I'm going to assist his owner in building up his trust and persuading him that it's okay to be caught. Fortunately he likes food so we have the option of clicker training or using the touch and move away technique that we use for the foals or a combination of both.

I rode Chancer for a short while in the round pen today. It's a long time since I have been on a horse that is so tall. He's so laid back and feels great. We've still got a long way to go with his fittening work but there's no great rush.

11th April, 2009 Piper's Legacy

In the end, it wasn't my decision to have Piper darted that led to his death although it did mean that I changed vets. The combination of drugs that he was given when he was intravenously sedated and then re-sedated meant that he couldn't be given the antidote injection which would have brought him round more quickly and cleanly. Instead he had a prolonged struggle during his recovery where he was thrashing around, trying desperately to get up. At times his back legs would work and his fronts wouldn't and he would crash back down. He most probably hit his head. Once he was up, he staggered around for an age too. If he did have a pre-existing weakness that led to an aneurism, then this was precipitated by the stress of the whole procedure starting with the arrival of the vet. My mistake was to trust anyone other than Chris or Nenad from The Barn around my pony and not to send the vet home when I thought he was in the wrong frame of mind.

I don't intend to name and shame. The vet is extremely expereinced and knowledgeable and would never have intended to contribute to the death of my pony. Without being sanctimonious, I want Piper's legacy to be that we should all have the courage to stop experts and professionals when we sense that things are going wrong.

Friday, April 10, 2009

10th April, 2009 Stop the world I want to get off

Unfortunately the world doesn't just stop because I want to get off. It was hard to go back up to the yard and get down to work knowing that Piper wouldn't be there. Julie and I would work with a pony and be quite distracted by that before suddenly coming back to earth and realising that someone was missing. Both Rosie and Fern were great and were ridden for the second time. Chancer went out for a ride in the inclosure and then this afternoon it was off up to Rake to see the Andulusian boys. How can I miss a pony I could hardly touch? But I do.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

9th April, 2009 I hardly know how to tell you.....

Piper died during the night. It looks as if he had a heart attack because there is no sign of him struggling or scrabbling but I have little doubt that it was due to the shock of the veterinary treatment he received on Tuesday. Poor baby, every time he has met men it has been a battle. I am so glad that he had two years of kind treatment with me and indeed that I left him very much to his own devices in this last year. However, I would say to anyone buying a semi-feral foal to make sure that they use gentle methods to tame them as soon as they can so that every veterinary and farriery experience doesn't have to be a trauma which only serves to reinforce their fear. Of course, Piper was never meant to be domesticated - he had lived out as a stallion on Exmoor for 7 years. I really think that I put everything I had into trying to tame him in the first place and if love alone was enough, he would have got there. With hindsight, I wish I hadn't had him sedated in the way that he was on Tuesday - the choice I made was the wrong one. Quite honestly I don't know how I feel at this moment. I am waiting for the vet to ring me at the moment and then I'll need to make arrangements for his poor body to be taken away.

Postscript: I have just spoken to the vet and he suspects that Piper had an aneurism which could have gone at any time that he was placed under stress. I don't know whether that makes me feel better or not.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

8th April, 2009 All the nice people live in Tincleton

Having gone up to the field again to make sure that Piper was okay (and he was), it was off to Tincleton today for a full day's clinic with four horses and four owners. It was great to work with a group of open-minded people and horses all willing to try their best, all helped by a good dose of sunlight.

E-mail received 11.4.09: I just wanted to thank you again for a super day of instruction. All the girls have been talking about it and many are interested in a repeat session with some new horses..... it was good to see how many `professional and very experienced` horse people including ourselves were captivated by your teaching and all credit to you for making it so fascinating. I think we were all enthused and went off with fresh attitudes to work with our horses. (Linda)

Lots of people have been very nice to me about Piper and recognise that I am at least trying to do my best for him. "Please don't beat yourself up about Piper. It must have been awful to watch, but you just don't have too many options. I think in taking on these scarred minds we know from the start that we will have to make compromises and choices that aren't ideal. We can only ever do our best. Luckily for Piper, his mum's best is better than most." I wonder if Piper agrees?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

7th April, 2009 Days 8 and 9 Back to back ponies

After a couple of days off over the weekend, Rosie and Fern have been continuing with their education. Yesterday I tied up a few loose ends - Rosie allowed the massaging machine along her neck when she was loose so should be okay with the clippers next and she also had a little loading practice; Fern did some long reining at trot. Today they were both backed with very little ceremony. Both bareback for now and both fine.
The rest of the day was not so peaceful. Piper is still pretty wild although I can get near to him when I want to and he will have his halter on easily. Once again it was time to have his feet trimmed and I can only thank goodness that it's only an annual event although I am going to have to have a re-think. It may be that a concrete area would provide sufficient friction to enable me to dispense with having him trimmed at all.
I tried to make a rational decision about the approach that should be taken and finally decided against close-up intramuscular sedative (followed by a further intravenous one) on the basis that it would put a vet at less risk if Piper were to be sedated from a distance - I also felt there was less risk of him associating any pain with humans. Accordingly, I arranged for another vet (my own will not stock Immobilon) to come and dart him. A combination of Piper's thick skin and his tendency to face people meant that the dart didn't go in straight away and we were them left with an even riskier situation of a dart hidden in the straw. Eventually he was given a high dose of intravenous sedative which resulted in him lying down but juddering the whole time he was out for the count and then floundering around as he started to wake up. It was all pretty ugly and I am feeling wretched about it. Having stayed with him until he was fully mobile, I have been up to the field in the pitch dark to check him again this evening and he is outwardly fine. I have no doubt that he is physically sore and I wait to see what effect yet another horrid experience has had on his trust in humans. I can only justify my decision on the basis that I was desperate to keep people safe but in the event, I don't think the risk was any less than it would have been. This situation is far from ideal and yet the only other alternative is to have him put down - something I am loathe to do. I took him on, he is my responsibility and for the rest of the year he is fine. Doing more work with him doesn't seem to get me any further either. Ho hum - somebody say something to make me feel better.
Today was the second visit of Tim Mockford, Applied Equine Podiatrist, and he did well to trim Piper's feet at such a strange angle. Chancer and Petra are doing well with their barefeet and seem to be managing all kinds of surface albeit that they haven't had a lot of work.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

5th April, 2009 Gerd and Svend

The Horse Inside Out Conference at the Unicorn Centre, Stow, this weekend was extremely informative. Dr Gerd Heuschmann (author of Tug of War) and Dr Svend Kold lectured on training the horse from an anatomical perspective. Both highlighted that even Olympic and World Championship Dressage horses in the hands of elite dressage riders and trainers are forced to work in such a way that they are unable to move naturally; the use of hyper-flexion (so-called Rollkur) prevents the horse from using his back and hindquarters correctly. The spectacular, crowd-pleasing 'reach for the stars' movement of the front legs is coupled with the 'playing with cards' hindquarter movement. This style is perpetuated by the judges who reward leg movers rather than back movers and frown on horses that are seen to be chewing. In the same way, more ordinary horses which are behind the vertical or those with a hollowed back are unable to use their poll and back properly. Both advocate a head and neck that are forward and downwards - one after the other. The horse should reach for the contact. Petra and I have now got some homework to do.

I was heartened to hear a complete vindication of my stance on starting horses which I have always felt should not be asked or forced into an outline - young horses do not have the physique to cope with this even if they seem to offer it. Ideally, those muscles and the top line should be developed slowly over two years and should not be forced by heavy hands or gadgets. In the meantime, they recommend getting young horses out and about so that they learn to balance themselves.

Friday, April 3, 2009

3rd April, 2009 Day 5 Fun Day

Rosie and Fern were big brave girls today and went over and round and through a variety of obstacles and met some colourful objects. Fern, the New Forest equivalent of a police horse, was fascinated by everything; Rosie was more wary but prepared to be persuaded. They've now got the weekend off and I am off to the Gerd Heuschmann conference. Should be able to spell it by the time I get back.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

2nd April, 2009 Day four and firemen

This morning I was privileged to be asked to go and observe a course being run by Hampshire Fire and Rescue for other animal rescue teams. It was fascinating to watch how the teams approached the rescue of a 'bull' out of a ditch and horse (plastic in this case) that had fallen through the floor of the trailer. They worked so quietly and methodically. In the afternoon I provided three friends to pretend to be hysterical owners of two horses that had got caught up in a barbed wired fence having been spooked by gunshots. Rachel excelled herself and screamed for so long and so loud that she almost got herself arrested. She calmed down for a little while but delighted everyone when she shouted "Sparkle!!" and ran towards her freshly rescued horse. Fortunately she was intercepted by a fire officer and her plastic horse wasn't caused any extra grief.

This evening both Rosie and Fern went out long reining together, taking it in turns to wear the long reining kit or to be led. They were happy to go off in different directions and away from home and both worked well with David as well as me. Fern didn't bat an eyelid at the red cows with huge horns but Rosie wasn't quite so sure.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

1st April, 2009 Day 3 No fools in our school

Rosie went out long reining in the inclosure today and behaved impeccably whilst Fern learned to trot on the long reins in the round pen before going out in the field to long rein around, through and over various obstacles including a carpet, the barrells and the poles. Her turn to go out tomorrow.
This morning I went out to see Christopher Robin. He's a lovely little chap and very brave to go up and inspect this stationary lorry. He too proved to be an excellent long liner.
E-mail from his owner:
Without your help and guidance I think him and me would have had a very rocky relationship and I may have felt unable to deal with him. It is so nice to see his grumpy side disappearing and the sweet pony coming out!!