Thursday, February 6, 2014

6th February, 2014 In Which Piglet Holds Out His Hand...and I Take It

Today we went off to meet a lovely lady, an eventer,  with masses of horse experience and loads of love to give to the horses and ponies that she owns. When she took on a semi-feral pony just over a year ago, she thought she might as well take on two. One of those ponies she describes as an angel and he is a testament to all of the things that she has done right. The other, despite her very best efforts, and the same kind and knowledgeable treatment is still very worried about life finding it hard to relax. Whether because of nature or nurture, or a combination of both, this pony's path has separated from his friend. It may be that because of his temperament he was closer to the brink when originally handled. Accordingly it is harder for him to let go of his wild instincts which he feels have kept him safe up until now.

I was asked whether I could assess the situation and whether I had any techniques up my sleeve which might help him. The only thing I could add was clickered rewards which I hoped would give him something external to think about. I was heartened to find that he was willing to try and was soon accepting touch, a head-collar and my presence on both sides of his body just a little more readily and towards the end of the session he began to move his feet towards me in order to offer to engage with me. His whole expression was much softer already.

I think there is great hope and we are looking forward to having him in a few weeks time to do some regular and consistent work with him.

"Thanks for this and for coming to see Piglet. He's been a lot calmer since your session and isn't bolting to the other side of the stable when Mum goes in now!" DB