Saturday, June 24, 2017

24th June, 2017 The Change Masters

An opportunity to précis my favourite Gervaise Phin story. As a school inspector in farming country in Yorkshire he listened to a lesson where the teacher was explaining how Jesus was a good shepherd and cared about every one of his flock. She asked, "Why was the lost lamb so important to him?" "Ay," said one lad, "that'll be t'tup."

Leo and t'tup
In the month since I last saw Leo, Melissa has been working hard on all angles of his training; there is even a video of him trotting over poles, loose, beside her. However, she tells me that the moment she changes one aspect of what she is doing, particularly raising a pole at one end, not only does Leo become suspicious, but he loses confidence in doing the things he could do before. Horses are very good at seeing when something has changed, we all know the "That wasn't there yesterday!" conversation, but Leo doesn't like it when it is changed back again either.

Both Leo and Melissa have got to become change masters, welcoming and enjoying change. Today we worked on answering his 'maybe' and the edge of 'no', and building up his confidence over the raised poles. Horses are naturally precious about their legs. We helped him a bit by making sure he was turned into the poles at a distance so that he could organise his legs, and by placing Melissa at the higher end of the pole or where there was the most 'stuff' for reassurance.

Leo's response to the bit is becoming softer as he gives to it rather than leaning. He was concentrating so hard.

Melissa is so close to being able to sit on Leo for the first time (he has been ridden previously) and has done some amazing preparation work.

...but not before the wedding and not in those shoes!

She must be torn about which one to choose.