Wednesday, August 31, 2016

31st August, 2016 Donkey Work

Jemima had already encountered seven donkeys before she arrived at mine this morning...

Under careful supervision she did a grand job of training Ivy, putting her head-collar on and doing some more leading work.

Some more work then on Ivy's right hand side, gently reminding her that she does in fact know how to pick her feet up although you can see she would rather hide the right hind, and then doing some important leading work round to the right. We are seeing much more of her head now and she is coming up to people a lot more readily...

 ...even in the field. The rug is now sporting push in clips instead of Velcro which means that we can get on with important work rather than being side-tracked by something likely to make her worse not better. It's easy to think that a pony that hears Velcro being torn apart once a day will eventually become desensitised to it. The risk is that it amounts to daily sensitisation instead, and becomes something they dread.

Since our last visit Kym has started to back Elmo helped by a very sensible friend. Keeping sessions short and sweet she has already reached a point where Elmo stands nicely next to the mounting block and she can use the stirrup to mount.

She has worked on small circles, straight lines and figures of eight...all on the lead rein so far.

Towards the end of our session today we ventured off the lead rein and did just a small amount unclipped.

Even this low key, quiet level of work can be very tiring, mentally and physically, for a young horse and Elmo yawned a lot at the end. This can help a horse to release any stress that has built up and is a useful reminder that sessions need to be kept short and sweet.

Elmo has leg mites and needs to have his legs clipped. Kym asked me how I would introduce clippers given that the only time he had his legs clipped before he got to her he was sedated and being gelded! I have loaned her my massager which I often used with clipping horses. As you can see, he doesn't appear to be in the least bit perturbed and it is switched on...

...even when it was taken down his sensitive legs.