My Great Grandad, Nathaniel Cooper, used to tell us to take our horse's hat off when it was time to turn them out. Today Lovely Lottie had her hat on as well as her scarf. Jackie and I were met with a very different pony to the one that Alison and I worked with yesterday. Somewhere, overnight, something shifted in her mind so that she was happy to have her head touched from the outset today. All the barriers were down and it was wonderful to see her saying, "Oh yes, I get that" and "Yes, that's fine, you go ahead." It is so much nicer to work with a pony's consent like this and I am so glad that Alison and I took the time to prove to her that we weren't going to force anything and just handled those areas that she was consenting to yesterday.
This is the first time that Jackie has worked with a wild pony and it was incredible to see how she dropped her energy as soon as I asked her to this morning. From fast and excited, telling me all about how Charley has been getting on and her ridden lessons with Amanda Barton, she went into quiet mode, working peacefully and empathetically with Lottie. Holding these courses has meant that Lottie's owner has had an additional five hours training for Lottie which she hasn't had to pay for.
Lottie was very relaxed by the time we had put the head collar on for the sixth time in succession.