Monday, May 4, 2015

4th May, 2015 The Black Beauty Principle

I had an interested audience as I packed my car this morning. No danger of these two wild mares ever wearing that saddle but they seemed very curious about it.

Over at Fritham there a new foal, the first and possibly the only one in this area since there were no stallions turned out in this area last year. Whether one of the stallions travelled further afield or whether she was turned out pregnant we shall see. None of the local mares look pregnant.

Theoden has now graduated to an electric toothbrush and seems to love it. He comes straight over the moment I click and willingly allows me to gently open his mouth. I do have to watch that he doesn't try to eat the toothbrush.

Our first loader of the week was a Welsh Cob cross New Forest mare aged 15. She has suddenly stopped loading after 11 years of trouble free loading many of them in this horsebox and this exact set up. The owner can think of nothing that has changed and nothing that has happened to put her off. Accordingly I asked her to take her lorry to her garage to check that there was nothing hidden mechanically or physically wrong with the horsebox. I work on the Black Beauty principle that if a horse suddenly says 'no' to something then there may well be something wrong just as Black Beauty said he wasn't going over the flooded bridge that he sensed was dangerous. The garage could find nothing wrong.

The horse herself is healthy and the farrier was happy with her gait and the way that she picked her back legs up for him when he saw her last week.

Normally she walks straight on and tucks into her hay and a bit of feed but although she would take feed from my hand I could not persuade her to come forward in exchange for it.

I used pressure and release with the Dually and she just planted even more.

I used a 'butt rope' and she simply went into-pressure with her big Welsh Cob bottom and refused to move her back legs too.

In the light of all that, we set the panels up and in she went.

Once in she was happy to stay there and we also did the partition up with no problems.

One by one we took the panels away and she continued to load time after time, following the bucket which she had ignored before. A good start and much better to be practising her yeses than her nos.

Email 9.5.15: "Hi, Sarah, thanks for all your help last Monday , didn't try Milly in the box till today as it has been so windy here . She loaded well 3 times and was eating her hay straight away , she was relaxed and calm ." AP
Email 17.5.15: " Hi , no problems loading Milly over the last week , Saturday evening loaded Milly and Polo and took them for a short drive , unloaded them and reloaded Milly without any problems . She was calm and ate her hay when travelling . Hope to take her to Riding club event next sunday if all goes well . Thanks again."  AP