Sunday, January 1, 2017

1st January, 2017 Looking Forward

A little while ago I asked people on my Facebook Page Sarah Weston Logical Horsemanship which horse or what event had made them realise they still had a lot to learn about horses? In my case it was Welsh Cob cross Petra Perkins and many of the responses mentioned Welsh Cobs and Exmoor Ponies!

Kayti Harvey, someone who knows stacks about horses, said:
"In a word "Maisie", that mare thinks like a chess player, bounces like a trampolinist and loves with a heart like an ocean. She has few expected or typical behaviours, she does what she wants. Daily she reminds that I cannot fix them all and that not all horses (and people) think and do as we think they will - no matter how enlightened we think we are! And I love her endless because of it."

Who would like a shower?

"Butter wouldn't..."

Debbie, from the Isle of Wight could almost name the date and time:
"September 2012. Dillon arrived. And I thought I knew about horses !! What a learning curve the last 4 years have been but what an amazing journey and the bond now was unimaginable then."

Back on board for the first time
Dillon had to be completely restarted from the ground up, physical issues addressed and tack changed, but it was all worth it.

At the Mark Rashid clinic last year
This, from vet Joy was rather telling, and makes me pleased that at last vets like Gemma Pearson at Edinburgh University are urging vets and veterinary schools to take a more measured approach to horse handling.
"When I realised that 5 years of veterinary training is worthless if you can't get anywhere near the eye/ leg/ sole/ udder/ teeth/ foal/ horse! Followed by a complete re-evaluation of equine handling: everything I was taught about horse behaviour at vet school was wrong. Hopefully the teaching is better now, but I'm not convinced... vets still get injured by horses very very frequently."
I still hear of instances where, for example with New Forest pony Bear, vets are unaware of their energy and body language when approaching a timid horse.

The same can be said of equine colleges where one graduate said:
"After finishing 3 years of equine study.. Straight from inexperienced leaving school to level 2 diploma and nvq and then a level 3 extended diploma.. Realising I was taught to pass not to succeed."
...although I am not sure we would this mean to our work experience students!..
"When I went from riding my own pony club ponies to doing my GCSE work experience on a well known rider's yard and came off the same horse twice on my first morning!! Very soon realized they were a different calibre and knocked me down a peg or two! Employer to their credit had me back on the same horse every single day for the two weeks and I left having learnt more than how to staple papers together!"
These days I hardly dare put them on a horse for fear that they might fall off and sue me.

Friend Gill Dixon who relied on No Fear, No Force to train her Dartmoor Hill Ponies said:
 "When I rescued my wildies, they have taught me more than any other horse before!"

 Perhaps Lesley's approach is the right one:
"Nothing particular just a thirst for knowledge really...I never stop learning."
Lesley owns the wonderful Floyd, who does so well in driving competitions.

I am sure that in 2017 we will all be learning more about our own horses (and mules); hopefully not the hard way!