Saturday, September 17, 2016

17th September, 2016 Threeloaders

There are some very sensible heads in this little group, all working beautifully with their own horses.
Today turned into a bit of a loading clinic with three different horses to work with and Izzie and Gigi both coming over to our other clients', Richard, Jan and Anne, to observe their sessions. Gigi's pony is now loading and travelling after just two sessions giving hope to Izzie who is just at the beginning with her ex-racehorse, Cody.

Cody is such a pretty little horse and so bright but she's alright until she is not alright and had an absolute fit about an insect just before I arrived to work with her. Nevertheless she worked very quietly and sensibly throughout today's session, consolidation of Monday's, and should be ready for the partitions once Izzie has had time for a lot more practice. That running foot at the back is starting to look more like a resting foot.

"Very impressed with little Cody today. Went in and out of the trailer 3 times with absolutely no problems and with a bit of an audience. And stayed in there for a little while to eat a couple of treats." IH 18.9.16
Over at Stonehenge Archie has really benefitted from some brilliant practice, with Richard and Jan working so carefully together. The panels are no longer required and he now accepts the back bar and ramp, being tied up and Richard leaving the trailer. Today we extended the time for which he could do this. We also discussed how he seems to be very tense about anything coming up behind him in the trailer and how the best solution would be to put the extended ramp up behind him. We were all concerned about how he might react to that in the first place and so it was put up very quietly indeed. Not a murmur from Archie in the trailer which is fantastic news.

Finally Bond, who before I met him, had run out of the front of a trailer, took us all by surprise by loading himself while we were discussing our plans. Accordingly we felt we could progress to putting the partitions back in and ended the session with the back bar in place. We decided that he should wear a sweat rug so that he wouldn't jump if he touched the cold plastic on the partitions.

They say that practice makes perfect, and there is scientific research that shows that habituation through practice can really help horses to load and travel well. The owners of these horses have taken an inch by inch approach, using techniques I have shown them, and equipment that I have loaned them, and the results are clear to see. Richard gives me a daily account of what they have done, and it is always amusing. On one occasion he said that they missed a practice session because Jan was at an art class. I replied that I expected a painting of their progress the next day, and of course it was a masterpiece. It's absolutely no good a trainer being able to load a horse, the owner has to be able to do it too.

"We all enjoyed being able to show what we had achieved with Archie and Bond. Although I didn’t get much chance to chat to you I would like to express my thanks to you for all the help you have provided to us and our horses. As you probably guessed I was a bit unsure of how Archie was going to work as with the cooler temperatures over the last few days he has been on his toes. Fun to ride but not necessarily helpful to get his brain engaged on work! It all turned out very well and your advice on what to do next was crucial in us moving forward. Thanks again. We have a lot to practise over the next few weeks." RJ

It has been great today to work with various versions of my Bar Buffer which is going into full production next week. These can be made for any type of bar, single and double.