Gentle soul Reno, a Criollo horse, needed some practice loading into his new trailer. This horse originally came all the way from Uruguay by boat, a journey which took five weeks. Little wonder that he needs a little persuasion to load but with Reno 'Less is Always Best' and the most gentle ask and clickered rewards soon had him loading nicely.
Then it was a case of proving that he has nothing to worry about at his hindquarters. Putting a hand on his bottom and giving him a lovely rub and talking to him in a very relaxed tone helped.
Then a mock back bar in the form of a foam swimming woggle...
...and finishing with the real thing fastened into place. We have a second session in just over a week but this was a really positive start.
Second session of the day was with Spirit, a two year old filly. Her owner has been told that she shouldn't be doing too much with her and should just let her be a horse. Whilst I agree that time with other horses is very important, the most important things is that any time spent with humans should be structured. Only ask your young horse to do things that are possible and then make sure that they understand what they are being asked to do.
First of all we worked on asking her to lead nicely. No pressure at all.
Then we went into the school and did some very basic groundwork.
She found the L-shaped poles an interesting challenge. Being moved about within a set of poles without touching them means they have to trust their handler to do most of the steering.
Spirit occasionally bites but is pretty immune to ANY body language!
To finish we moved on to preparation for long reining. One exercise involves taking the rein over her head - good practice for later when she will be asked to have the reins to her bridle put over her ears.
She accepted all of the kit easily. Note the breast girth to prevent the surcingle from slipping back and eliminating the need to tighten the girth too much.
Setting off with Tracey on dual controls.
"Thank you so much for today, I really enjoyed it. I now have a much clearer picture on what to work on.I think Spirit & I are going to have fun with it, in a good way :-)" LEMeanwhile back at the 'ranch' David was meeting a very big lorry and helping it through a very small gate.
It was carrying an exciting quantity of wood and heralds the start of building work on the new barn. We won't know ourselves once it is built - somewhere dry to store hay, stand the horses for the farrier, and to sit down at lunchtimes.
David was very happy to be tractor driver for the day.
Hoping it all goes as smoothly as this: How to put up a barn