Chancer is also making haste slowly up at Ian Vandenberghe's yard in Oxfordshire where he is being ridden by Ian's extremely capable rider, Jake. At nine, Chancer was too young to be claiming his pension and I felt that some physical work would do him good. Furthermore having a stable in the winter was likely to benefit him too because despite my best efforts he does lose weight in early Spring. I decided to look for a loan home for him and wanted to give him the best chance of success with a few weeks of more intensive training. Intensive only in the sense that it will be on consecutive days. He seems to be doing really well so far with walk, trot and canter re-established and riding out on the roads (and even cantering on the verges). I have a very promising potential loaner looking at him and she rode him this morning too. We will always provide a safety net for Chancer no matter what the circumstances as I feel morally and emotionally responsible for him for his lifetime.
On the way back from Ian's I went to work with Denys who I haven't seen for about four months. His owner got an extraordinary amount from our very first one hour session all that time ago and it was great to see how well they were getting on. Denys' previous life has included some eventing and show jumping and he has clearly had a hard time at one stage judging by the pin-firing scars on his leg and his reaction to anything that moves like a whip. At seventeen it is not too late to show him that he needn't be afraid of new things and to prove to him that no-one is going to hurt him. Here I am working with the umbrella. He was particularly frightened of the clicking noise it made as it was put up and so there needs to be a lot of repetition until he realises that it is nothing significant.
|I always advise people to wear a hat when handling an umbrella - they can be very unpredictable!|