Thirteen year old Selle Francais cross Moomin is really a three year old horse in a thirteen year old suit. He has never been ridden and although he was weaned, he has never lived without his mother in the herd. Very sadly she had to be put to sleep a couple of weeks ago and this has added to his insecurity. Watching him with his owner, it was clear that he was in control of the situation but really didn't want to be. Just a change in leading position made the world of difference and within minutes he was matching me stride for stride, whether fast or slow. Without any pressure on the rope he would stop when I stopped and even correct himself by taking a step back if he had overtaken me!
Right turns were very easy. He readily yielded out of my way.
We worked on simply standing still and how we can reward him simply for being charming. No need for him to nudge for attention.
Interestingly he is very wary of anyone going beyond his shoulders. I decided to see whether he would accept the feather duster on his body. He wasn't too convinced...
...and expressed his displeasure but without aiming at the feather duster or me.
I got a lttle way under and over his neck...
...amd along his back. More work to do.
The great thing about having a second horse to work with is that you can have immediate revision and at the same time you can work on reading an individual horse. This is 16 year old Warmblood cross Chance.
Thank you so much for today. It was lovely to meet you and see how they both responded to someone else. We've all had a lot to take on board and, despite his tantrum, there are many positives to be taken from Moo's session." JP
" Thank you so much for the information sheets, they make for interesting reading and have given me a lot to think about with my handling of all the horses. I did a 30 min session with Moo yesterday and baring a little stroppiness at around the 20 min mark when he tried to pull to the gate, he was much calmer than on Thursday. He didn't even react when our neighbour appeared at the bottom of the school walking her 3 dogs. I was very pleased with him and he walked through the gate when we'd finished a lot more sure of himself and felt he was more confident in me. Chance was much the same and I made a real point of doing the standing/backing up/turning exercises progressively closer to her spooky corner and we finished our session with a lovely big sigh from her while she was stood with her bum towards that corner. It maybe a tiny step and I know we've got a long way to go, but it was so nice to see her fully relax like that. Thank you again. I feel like I've now got something to work towards having been to hell and back recently." JP