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!