Considering how excited he has been, Victor did amazingly well at his first day at school today. A handful of new experiences for him which he took in his stride. First of all he accepted his headcollar really easily.
Then he was brushed from head to toe and I even washed his tail which was absolutely caked in mud. I often say that if less time was spent brushing horses and more time spent training them there would be less behavioural problems. Of course, it's critical to check a horse over for injuries and grooming is one way of paying attention to detail. In any event it is important to train a horse to accept being brushed all over for those high days and holidays when they do need to be clean!
All through this he was being held on his first lead rein as if tied up, with Tracey acting as an elasticated post, gently teaching him that if he felt pressure on his lead rein he needed to walk forward rather than pull back. He stood nicely for a good three-quarters of an hour, sometimes happily distracted by a mare coming up to the outside fence.
A little leading practice, this time on a proper lead rein. Up until now he has only gone a few strides to the left and right in circles inside a pen. It's amazing what a foundation that proves to be, establishing the principle that he should follow a slight pressure on the lead rein.
He's a friendly soul and loves a cuddle.
Foot handling practice. Holding the front ones up for the first time and you can see how well he has balanced himself.
Finally, a quiet walk around the yard and pound.
Exiled to the far field, my little chestnut friend with 63 chromosomes is working in the area that we call the 'air-lock'. This is a fenced off section around the gate which makes it easier for us to take vehicles in and out (when it's not too muddy!) when the horses are keen to come with us. Henrietta has the advantage of being small enough to get under the gate and so benefits from private dining.