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.