Monday, July 25, 2016

25th July, 2016 Taxi for Zeegees

Fritham Zoe and Fritham Zelda went home this morning. We'd asked Caroline of Southern Equine Transport to bring her neat lorry up to the fields so that the ponies could practice loading into it in advance of going to the Breed Show which is at the end of August, on the understanding that if they were happy and we were happy, she would take them home in it. Needless to say both ponies were soon loading and unloading very easily and so we loaded them together, closed the full height position, and off they went.

Caroline's new lorry has a full bulkhead at the front and back so there is no breast partition that a horse could attempt to jump.

The ponies have gone back to Minstead having exceeded everyone's expectations in such a short period of time. With just 20 hours training each under their belts they are pretty well established in a variety of activities and just need consolidation and consistency to maintain it.

In their time with me we have covered: Standing still nicely without barging; standing in a showing position; walking on the lead rein, stopping on the lead rein; trotting on the lead rein; acceptance of fly creams and spray; acceptance of water for being bathed; foot handling; tying up; acceptance of strange and novel objects that they might encounter at a show/out and about; walking through all kinds of terrain; acceptance of noise; being separated from each other; working alone away from other horses; working with other horses around them doing their own thing; being handled by strangers; loading; and a little introduction to traffic. 

With both my Amazing Assistant and my Fabulous Intern away this week, I am being helped by Jemima, a 13 year old student who already knows that she wants to be a vet. Not only was she privileged to be allowed to touch Henrietta (not something Henrietta grants to everyone) but we have already discussed white line disease, thrush, worms, pasture management, and windgalls, and of course, how many chromosomes does a mule have?

These days students have to be pretty exceptional to succeed in the equine industry, and more particularly for a veterinary career. Jemima has already proved to be sensible and personable, and more than able to hold a serious conversation in a world of adults. She's also a talented rider competing in eventing with her Irish Sports Horse with a dash of Connemara, Diamond Buttons. She has come to me to learn about the techniques I use especially where they might be relevant to veterinary work. We have talked about the use of clicker, the need to act like friend not foe, and health and safety issues.