Wednesday, October 15, 2014

15th October, 2015 That Don't Impress Me Much

Play the Music!

A gorgeous day in Normandy for a rendezvous with Joyce and her three horses, Oeffir, Izmir and Happy Heather. You'll recall that Happy Heather is one of several Exmoor ponies that lived out on a conservation project in Holland and were diverted from slaughter when they were no longer needed. Despite her narrow escape (of which she knows nothing of course) and a magnificent lifestyle, Happy Heather may have been mis-named as she spends a lot of time with her ears back looking decidedly grumpy.

Heather's 'Happy' face...

and her ogre impression. David's doing a good job of having his ears back too.

Get off! She's particularly fussy about her right hand side. 
 We suspect that most of her ambivalence about being touched is because she has sweet itch but some of it is just plain instinct. The Boett rug has really helped to calm the sweet itch and her coat is beautiful.

Joyce shows me how far Heather has come. She backs up really softly...

...and she will lunge anti-clockwise. However she won't readily lunge clockwise, exposing her right hand side to the handler. I suspect this is more instinct than any physical problem. She blocks Joyce going to her right hand side. 

I thought we could try long reining her which would allow her to go in straight lines as well as circles and eventually go out to migrate around the lanes and tracks which she loves.

She doesn't look all that impressed with all of the kit

...and neither is Oeffir. 

Off we go with dual controls...

...we can even trot (still not impressed!)

but it might be alright.

Heather is frightened of nothing...

...and if she can chase it and kill it, she's very happy.

I think she learned this from the cat who loves chasing the long reins. 
Then it was time to get Joyce up to speed so I borrowed Izmir to be her teacher. Izmir is in his late teens and has never been long reined but he is a amenable soul.

It's fine. You're fine.

You've got it.

Joyce takes up the reins

and Izmir happily obliges.