|Lucy, long reining|
|A small reaction Lucy style|
|Calm, calm, calm|
On one of the hottest days that I can remember in England and on such a date, Julie and I went to work with Bertie a pony that has intermittent problems with loading. There really was no obvious reason why he was refusing to load, no obvious trigger points or worries, but he had certainly perfected the art of planting and refusing to move at all. He apparently travels perfectly once loaded and arrives calm and happy. He unloads steadily. The only suggestions I was able to make was that the front bar could be padded and needed to be midway between the two settings available now. The trailer is a 510 and the top setting presses against his oesophagus during braking and the bottom setting is low enough for him to think about breaching it if he wanted to. In an ideal world it needs to be somewhere between the two. I also suggested that he have his back and poll checked as part of an regular MOT since he is only four and will be changing shape as he matures and starts to work in earnest.
Normal gentle pressure and release had little effect and he wasn't all that bothered about food so we put the panels in place so that we could get him flowing on and off the trailer again, practising his 'yes' and his 'maybe' rather than his 'no'. By the end of the session we were able to take all of the panels away save for one on the right hand side where he was inclined to practice his default position of turning sideways off the ramp. I have left the panels with the clients so that they can practice for the next few days without engaging with his 'no' and then gradually take them all away again.
Email received 2nd October, 2011:
"We had our first practice session this morning and all went really well, we even managed it with NO panels at the end. When we got to the last panel I moved it half way up the trailer and then 3/4s and then away completely and that seemed to work a treat, so lets hope all this good work continues.I thought what we might do is continue like this for a few more nights and then perhaps take him for a short drive then bring him back and unload and reload. E is absolutely over the moon with his progress, as you can see she loves him very much, and this was his little problem spot.Once again thank you for your help." SH
Email received: 2nd October, 2011:
"Just to say a massive thank you for the photos, I was so pleased with Lucy today. When I went to bring her into bed a couple of hours later she was still as cool as a cucumber!"JC