Since so many people ask me what I’ve been up to with my own horses, I thought I’d start blogging about it. Feel free to ask any questions or comment! This month includes de-spooking, liberty lunging, long-lining, agility, colours, spanish walk and I got to wear my sparkly pants!!
Although I started riding India last month, that’s been on hold as she needs a dentist and I haven’t wanted to put a bit in her mouth. I think she had a loose tooth as she’s only been chewing on one side of her mouth and she’s also started quidding a little. Of course, the dentist was ill when he was booked to come and his next free slot wasn’t until next week, so for the past month we’ve been working on a whole variety of things that haven’t involved a bit. I have begun to teach her the spanish walk, which she’s doing great with and I’ve also been long lining her from her headcollar regularly. This is great preparation for riding as they learn to go forwards in front of you as well as respond to pressure on the reins before having to manage the rider as well. I’ve also been pony-ing her out loads with Toby to see the world. We passed a building site and some horse-eating geese the other day, but she stayed calm and focussed despite being anxious, which is great!
With Toby, I’ve been focussing on liberty lunging, and we’re getting some really nice trot collection and extension coming on. We need to work on increasing the size of the circle, something Toby’s reluctant to do as it means leaving me and doing more work. Talking of more work, I’m trying to hack him out as much as poss as well interval training around the fields, in an attempt to ward off the ever-expanding stomach of his since we’ve had this last flush of grass. Not an easy task! Oh, he’s also learning his primary colours at the mo. He’s pretty solid on “blue”, we’ve just started on “yellow”, but it’s his current favourite game! He’s also great at tricks and gave me an excuse to get my sparkly pants out!
Murphy has been learning bending at liberty, horsey agility style. I assume you’ve seen the latest horse agility craze? I think it’s a great idea and loads of fun! If you haven’t, check out this video. Anyway, Murphy gets taught anything I need to learn and a client recently asked how to teach bending to her horse so Murphy was my guinea pig. He’s doing really well in walk, next step is to see if we can get it in trot.
Khalil, our flighty rescued arab, is currently on an intensive de-spook program, so learning about umbrellas, tarpaulin and hose pipes. He’s such a lovely horse and he always tries so hard, so he’s doing really well with it.
On top of training my own horses, I’m also working lots and my clients are teaching their horses some pretty cool things too, such as in-hand work, football, loading, hula hoop, leading nicely, lateral work and pricked ears on command. I’ll try and get a video of some of that up soon, too, so keep an eye out (especially if you might star in it!).