Spirit – May/June 2019

Wed 1st

Today was riding session 7 of 7 from our video lesson 6. It was SO worth taking the time to set this 2nd lot of basic techniques down with Spirit. He started off bracy and very stiff on his right, a bit unbalanced and not sure about going forward but he is now getting lighter and lighter every time we ride, his right side is starting to yield nicely as long as I take the time to help him not brace, he’s moving into the open/direct rein from my focus/energy/seat/leg aids and is starting to be softer with the dhq/indirect reins too now. His back up is so light and we have started to think about transitioning up into trot. I’m so pleased with his progress and it’s helping to teach me all over again the understanding of where lightness and connection with riding comes from ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

< Spirit doing well with his Liberty Ground Tying exercise.

 

Riding coming along well and another video lesson coming soon >

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 5th

Lovely online session with Spirit today in the newly set up agility area. I used a 22′ line and he did reply well on this length of rope, his circles were nicer in trot and also some nice canter on both reins which was great to see. He also did some good 1/2 circlesย  over poles, between tight squeezes of a barrel and the fence in trot and over a jump. He also did some nice sidepassing along a fenceline ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 6th

Continuing our NH journey Spirit is doing well with all the ground work and getting used to bitless riding now quite well, he’s certainly turning from my focus/outside leg and weight aids with more clarity now.

 

Tue 14th

Today Spirit and I did some long reining in some bitless bridles. I wanted to see how well he went in them and to see if he’d long rein ok. He did really well ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longreining in bitless bridles:

1) Transcend
2) Light Rider
3) Dr Cooks

 

 

 

Long reined really nicely, rode for a short time trying out the Transcend which has no moving parts and is an easy Sidecue type of bitless bridle ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Wed 15th

Another good play session with some Agility obstacles then riding in slightly bigger, different arena space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slowly getting more ‘engagement and first time for some canter circles.

Trying out the Transcend Double Bitless Bridle with Spirit, mostly using the Sidecue, upper reins today.

Then someย  more riding with just the rope halter/reins that he’s used to. To ride in a ‘bitless bridle’ needs great lightness of communication through good cues. The ones I use are ‘focus/breathing/seat weight/leg aids’ and he’s getting there but not enough connection to change from rope halter…yet ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Tue 21st

 

Doing so well with placing his feet on things like pedestals, tarps, mats and hula hoops. I extended that with asking for individual feet over and back with a pole ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really listening to my energy/breathing cues to draw and drive over the pole today.

 

 

 

 

Connecting but not bonding as I would like, I feel I’m training someone else’s horse and with that in mind and that he wants to GO and I want to HALT often I have put him up for sale to a genuine home so that I can help him find his forever home with someone that wants to ride him as fast as he wants to go and give him a job to do which he deserves.ย 

I am very sadย  but know this is the best thing for him.

 

 

RIding going better today.

 

 

 

 

Weds 22nd

After really thinking things through and searching my heart I have decided that Spirit should go to a home where he will be ridden out and used more. He really is a lovely boy but our ‘vibes’ don’t match and I realised that what I actually need is an easy-peasy no worries kinda horse that can plod out with Stormy and Mark on a happy hack as I’ve not done that for years and miss it a lot. So, with that decision made I have been searching for a lovely new owner for Spirit to take him further in his education and give him some fun things to do ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today a really nice lady called Gracey came to see/ride Spirit with a view to buying him. All went very well so am waiting to hear if she wants to take him on and work him on her farm and to do some XC and flat hunting with him in the Borders here in Scotland. If she does take him we will hopefully keep in touch and I’ll be able to go and see him when I visit the area when I travel with my teaching clinics. Very excited for Spirit, she looks a much nicer height and weight for him too ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit and Gracey

She easily rode bitless but also took on my instruction as to how I’ve been riding him really well.

 

Spirit did someย  niceย  trotting around the arenas, 20m circles and a lovely back up too.

 

 

 

Thurs 23rd

Today Gracey put a deposit on Spirit and he should be moving on 14th June. I am sad and will miss him but know in my heart that this is the right thing for HIM ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Tues 28th

Even though Spirit is in the process of moving homes I am continuing his ground work because it is good for him mentally, emotionally and physically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trot poles . Narrow gap . Back through gap . Trot over tarpaulin .ย Engaged circling . Jump .

 

 

Friday 14th June

Today wee Spirit went off to his new home with Gracey near Kelso in the Scottish Borders. I teach very close to where he is going so hopefully I’ll see him soon and every time I teach I will make some time to go and see how he’s getting along ๐Ÿ˜‰

We took Stormy to lead and escort Spirit to the road where we met up with the Gillies lorry. Both horses did very well, calm, listening and leading well. Here’s some pics of the walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

Spirit – April 2019

April already and Spirit has been with us for 10 weeks now. His mane and tail are growing out and getting longer and he has really settled into our herd beautifully. His training has been coming along and he remembers it all when I’m often away teaching for me to come back and get back into it all without a hiccup which is great news.

 

Fri 5th

Local Equine Osteo ‘Emily Cuthill’ came by to give Spirit a check over today. I wanted to make sure he was ready to be ridden more and giving him a therapy session really helped. He was pretty good but some mild stiffness in his shoulders, sacrum, sacralilliac and diaphragm was worked on and sorted so that I have no worries about getting on with the ridden work now.ย 

 

Sat 7th

Today I decided to put the techniques Spirit and I have already learned to a purpose with some ‘game challenges’ with Mark and Stormy. It’s a lot of fun and helps us start to have longer conversations around the obstacles we use.ย 

Its lovely having Stormy showing Spirit how to do things, it was like he was showing off how clever he is… It also gives Spirit confidence to try everything.ย 

 

 

 

We also practised squaring up and siding to the mounting block which went very well ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 12th

Was away for a week teaching and was worried that Spirit and my relationship was going to suffer but as often happens the break was ok, he had time to rest and think and came into today’s session happy, relaxed and ready to play ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided to do some Agility tasks to again put the games to a real purpose and Spirit did SO well with them all… It was alot of fun and he’s really impressed me with his curiosity, calmness, willingness and connection. Here’s some pics from the session….

 

 

 

Foot in hoop

Trotting circles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk calmly over tarp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start of jumping

 

 

 

 

 

 

Touch cone from a distance and then flapping flag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pedestals ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 13th

Mark just put together a fabulous ‘scratching post’ for the herd with a very long post in the ground and some great long brush heads on the sides and top…..today I spent some time familiarising the herd to this new fun piece of equipment and am hoping to see them using it soon ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

Familiarisation with Stormy and the scratching post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tara and the scratching post, she likes a rump scratch so hoping she finds this useful ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit was the most curious about the scratch post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 14thย 

Today Mark and I went out to play with Storm and Spirit together in the Agility area. Working on our connection and putting our techniques to a purpose more and more it was a lot of fun. Stormy first worked with Mark online and then with me at liberty but he was constantly there whilst I was playing with Spirit which was lovely.

Spirit did well with:
1) Learn to take some trot energy and put in a jump with a half circle then take that jump half circle and make it a circle and then after that we tried our 2nd circle/jump/change of direction to go back to a circle and do the jump the other way ๐Ÿ™‚ impressed with his understanding of my body language and cues so quickly now.

2) Put just ONE foot on the medium sized tyre pedestal….he got this cue straight away.

3) Weaving through cones and understanding my body cues again so quickly….upright and towards him means forehand move/go away and slumped a bit and turn away means draw towards on the side/forehand towards ๐Ÿ™‚

4) Following behind me slowly through the labyrinth obstacle…he didn’t touch the poles once.

5) Trotting over the trot poles, firstly using a circle game which helped him get into gait easier and then with the half circle game which required him to go up into trot straight away to be able to trot the poles. He did the poles very nicely without touching them and also was stretching nicely with his legs and raising his withers and back more than before. Osteo did a good job ๐Ÿ˜‰

6) Going through the shelter/tunnel at liberty a few times without rushing it, facing it afterwards and also transitioning in it ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 18th

Lovely weather today so out with the horses and Mark for some fun and filming next lesson with Spirit. We had a nice online training session first which had us practising some techniques and starting new ones. Here’s some pics…

 

 

Placing a foot on something has been learned well as now I can ask him to put his foot in/on most things.

 

Am slowly asking him to think about bringing 3-4 feet onto the big pedestal, he doesn’t understand this cue yet so I helped him learn it by placing a hind foot up on the ped with my hands ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

More circling, this time we’ve got it to 4 laps in trot on both sides and am slowly bringing in a change of direction (COD) to build for our fig 8’s.

 

I put this drain pipe up inside the tyres today to make it a slightly higher jump. He walked over it several times and then when we matched our energy he jumped it nicely ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

First time with focus/sidepassing, using the big deer fence along the field boundary helped a lot.

 

 

 

After a nice play which helped us connect through relaxation and the techniques for each game/task I saddled him and took him to a roundpen for some ridden work. We have started his bitless journey with a halt/lateral flexion (LF) and now I want to expand on that with some disengagement to lateral flexion (DHQ – LF) and some forehand move (FH) to DHQ and LF….this all builds to where I can move all four of his feet in all four directions (forward/back/left/right). He did SO well today, all the basics went well, we moved his forehand with our outside leg and direct rein, we moved his hindquarters with an inside leg and an indirect rein and his LF was light and easy, he’s stopping on a big breath out beautifully in walk and we also added his backup which was a bit sticky at first but his second time was so nice.

 

Mounting from the off side today…his idea.
Standing still whilst mounting and waiting to be asked to move off all in place nicely.

 

 

Walking is better this time after having the equine osteo out, no swishing of his tail and very positive walking off. Working on DHQ and FH moves with COD’s and circles using both forehand and hindquarter moves.

Standing still for dismounting too is fab ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Sun 21st

More practise sessions while the weather is being kind to us.

Familiarisation: the flag is a hard one, he is a bit worried by it by his sides and behind hips but okay at the front or standing on it so more work to be done with flapping things, tarps etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circles: He is doing very well with the amount of circuits he does, up to 4 in walk/trot now and I’m just starting to ask for a draw to finish as well as the disengage, the draw is to set up the Change of Direction (Cod) for more games later on such as fig 8’s. What I need to address soon is his high head/hollow back with the circles, I will first try the game on a longer, 22′, length rope and in our next lesson session I will be asking for leg yields off a circle which I hope will help him get his balance dynamics better for arcing the circles ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding: Did very well with squaring up and sidling to the mounting block today and a nice ride. We’re doing more bitless techniques (LF, DHQ, FH, BKup) but his right side is stiffer so we need lots of short sessions to try to unbrace his neck/mind with the DHQ (disengage hindquarters) but as he’s never done anything like this before it will take time and patience to help him get it.

I also put the sidling to the mounting block to a different use today to help him understand this more, I sat on the mounting block and he had to sidle over, both sides,ย  to help me take his saddle off. Always love putting a purpose to the games I teach to help them become more understandable ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 23rd

A bit windy today but out for a bitless riding practise session (this was 3 of 7 since videoing Lesson 6). Some things are moving on nicely, finding lightness with our forehand move (direct rein) and back up but a bit of brace with the hindquarter move (disengage/indirect rein) so we tried using a bitless bridle today as the reins work from the sides rather than underneath as with the rope halter but although regular moves still nice and light the DHQ is still stiff SO back to working slowly through it with the rope halter makes more sense and I know given the time he needs to understand it he will get it okay.

Pics of the four bridles I tried on him today…

 

The Transcend Double bitless bridle. Reins are just on the ‘sidecue’ part of it and the ‘curb’ is free at the moment in this pic,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dr Cook’s bitless bridle (or cross under as some call it). Have used this one regularly with last horse Sollyย  as it hugged him and made him feel safe, but it will be up to Spirit which one he prefers using.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Karen Rohlf Bitless Halter. A lovely bridle that was used by our old horse Holly, she loved this one as it allowed her face to be freer than the others and she stopped on a big breath out, we’ll see how well Spirit goes along as this and/or the Transcend will be the first ones I try as they are the least intrusive and rely on a good relationship connection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light Rider Bitless bridle from Cynthia Cooper in Australia. Nice that all these bridles fit him nicely, once we have a focus/seat/leg connection I will try each bridle out to see which he prefers ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here he is set up to do a bit of riding today. Karen Rohlf bitless halter with reins and rope halter with reins over the top so I can use/try both individually ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Riding with one set of reins and the other set knotted and secured to the saddle with a leather, poppered, strap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thus 25th

Good session with ground work today, started working on circling COD (change of direction) to get more communication with his direction and my body language ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Riding session 4 of 7 (from video lesson 6).
LF going well, finding some lightness but he’s still stiff to the right so just taking it slowly until he ‘gets it’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 28th

Session 5 of 7 (from video lesson 6).

Riding coming along now, we’re finding lightness now with the LF and DHQ on both sides now, allowing him the time to figure things out has really helped him learn and become confident with all the ridden changes. He is turning with the open/direct rein almost from my weight/outside leg aid and I’m only using a light rein if needed. The DHQ is light as long as I take the time to put my weight on the inside and inside leg on before the rein and we had our first trot today, just a few strides but a nice start to transitions. I will work on lowering his head/relaxation with our ground work more to help him do that when ridden ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 29th

 

 

I moved our Agility area from the corner of the field into the middle of the track today, mainly because the old agility area where the scratching post and shelter are has now become Tara’s paddock as she is getting older and needed separating from Spirit who was pushing her around a bit and she was tired and too old for that SO I moved some obstacles into an area where we can play with the boys without disturbing Tara. Spirit watched me doing it all but was still a bit ‘shocked’ to see the obstacles in that area so we went and played with them all to familiarise him to them again in the new environment ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

I then took him into the new 20×40 area I’ve sectioned off for an arena and played/rode him. This ridden session is #6 of 7 from the video lesson #6.

With our ground work I’m looking to help him lower his head/relax when in trot. He’s started to do it when going over poles and when he blows out and lowers his head I dhq/halt him and reward/praise to help him realise this is what I’m looking for. Pic on left shows him lowering his head over the pole, pic on right he has just blown out and lowered his head ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Ground tying is coming along nicely now too ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tried a Light Rider rope halter/bridle with rein rings on the side to see if side rings made communication easier at this stage, it didn’t and he’s becoming light from the regular horsemanship rope halter so I’ll stick with that for now. We have plenty of time to see what suits him but for now the basic’s are important to learn for us to connect with our riding ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightness for LF on both the right and the left now ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

 

 

Spirit – March 2019

Tues 5th

The weather has been good/bad and on/off for a few days, we never seem to know what itโ€™s going to do so are relying on the forecasts from The Met Office and The BBC. Beginning of March supposidly coming in like a Lion so decided on the 5th to bring the herd back to the house in case of snow. If too much snow falls we have trouble getting the mile down the track to feed and tend them so safety first, get the horses back to the house and see what happens.

Sweet Spirit has also had a wee bit of a snotty nose so we brought in our vet and heโ€™s taking 5 days of antibiotics (also took bloods and snot swabs to rule out anything nasty). Being at the house we can keep an eye on him and make sure heโ€™s cosy and warm.

Because Tara is old now and she really walks slowly we decided that Mark would ride Stormy (bareback) and pony/lead Spirit from him, they have a similar pace and they have bonded really well. Tara and I walked companionably together at her pace (slow) and just enjoyed the walk rather than her having to try to keep up with the boys. It worked out really well and I was so proud of Stormy for stepping up and doing a great ponying job, heโ€™s only done it once before in the field, and for Spirit for being a good boy being lead when heโ€™s probably never done it before.

ย 

Thurs 7th

Well the weather really isn’t being as bad as any of the forecasts are saying, the house paddocks are getting rather muddy and so we decided today to take them back to the big field. There is more old ‘grazing’ for them, more space, flat space for old Tara and no mud SO Mark takes Storm and Spirit back by riding/leading and Tara and I mosey on back in our own time behind them. Spirit’s ‘cold’ seems to be clearing nicely with the antibioticsย  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Really nice bit of leading and riding from Mark

 

Tara with me, taking our time on our walk together

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ย 

 

Back to feed the herd in the late afternoon and found that Spirit’s been working on some of his own extreme Familiarisation…flapping broken rug, energy, motion and noise…no problem ๐Ÿ˜‰ lol

 

I changedย Spirit’s rug to his best one as I want to keep him cosy until the bad weather has passed, give him a chance to get rid of his ‘cold’ fully and because it was so windy we had to put their hay in their ‘hay bags’ tonight…..so pleased Spirit wasn’t fazed by having to eat out of the flapping heavy duty plastic bag…Familiarisation comes in many forms ๐Ÿ˜‰

The herd from the top track..Spirit, Stormy and Tara…all with their individual hay sacks, happy, warm, contented and well fed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thurs 14th

We’ve hadย  awful weather this week so no play apart from small bits of draw and drive for a treat at feeding time, moving hq’s over to turn, Stick 2 Me walking together to the hay etc. There is always something small we can work on which all helps with our connection.

BUT there was a lull in the bad weather and I took advantage of it by filming Spirit’s update on his Lesson 2, you can see it on his video category, “Spirit – Training Video’s”, scroll down or up aย  bit to find the Categories section in the right panel of this blogย  ย >>>>>>>>>>>>

(here is the page if you can’t find the Categories section:ย https://horsesavvy.co.uk/index.php/category/spirit-training-videos/

Mon 18th

A lovely day day weather wise so out to play with Spirit and we managed to film our Lesson 3, it is in the blog category “Spirit – Training Videos” where there is the collection of all our training sessions.

Spirit is learning veryย well and I’m enjoying being around him and teaching him. We now have seven practise days to do from Lesson 3 but I’m also thinking of doing Lesson 4 as it will be the beginning of his Bitless riding journey which is very exciting… Watch this space ๐Ÿ™‚

Weds 20th

Another nice day and a good training session. I filmed a Training Tip and also Spirit’s Lesson 4 which is the start of his Bitless Riding Journey. Again it is on the right side of this blog, Category are ‘Spirit – Training Videos’ & ‘Training Tip Videos’

Thurs 28th

Today I went out to saddle and ride Spirit to get more of the basic ridden stuff going but instead I ended up putting some agility obstacles out (for Mark to play with the horses whilst I’m away training next week) and low and behold all 3 horses came into the open area to see what I was doing…Stormy also made it quite clear that he wanted to PLAY and play now…here’ s some pics from the afternoon of fun we had ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see Spirit was quite happy to go and look at things, sniff them but found it harder to do stuff with them SO that’s why at the end I put his halter/rope on to help him find that confidence to go onto the pedestal (his 2nd time…see Lesson 5 video), he’s not being bad but almost respecting that he doesn’t do something he thinks he shouldn’t (unlike Stormy who pushes, pulls, rubs on and bites everything going. lol). Giving him the confidence to play online will help with playing at liberty and also his basic bravery when I ask him to do something with/for me which will create a stronger bond of trust between us.ย 

The end of the month: We have been practising our lessons regularly and things are really starting to come together. He learns well and is curious and happy to learn but I have to give him a lot of time before it settles into his every day routine and taking that time is well worth it so that he gains techniques, confidence with them and in himself and also it deepens our connection.

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

Spirit – February 2019

 

February has been very cold up here with lots of rain and wind so not much playing going on but when I can I’ve been doing little bits of practise with Spirit in the field at liberty, things like asking for backup before putting his feedย  bowl down, moving his hq’s around when he’s eating his hay, drawing him to me to get his apple treat and following me with transitions going to new hay piles. He’s slowly understanding things which is lovely to see.

When we finally get some sunny days they are glorious and the horses take time out to rest together.

 

 

Spirit almost hidden sleeping behind Stormy

 

 

 

 

Another afternoon the boys sleep standing up really close together

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit is always the first to look up with his cheeky face

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday 10th

Today was a really lovely sunny day so I took Spirit for a little walk to catch up on some practise on the games we already know. He’s getting easier to connect with but it’s not a deep connection yet. Here’s how the games are going:

Familiarisation: very good with stick/string, rope over his back and today I took the rope around his rump and he did a ‘simple spin’ very nicely.

Feel: Moving his forehand and hindquarters over is getting lighter now and he is starting to step under himself more thereby stretching and flexing his pelvis and hips more. Backing him up off the halter is light and he understands the verbal cue much more now too. Right at the end of the session I tried out some sidepass off a hand cue at the girth and he took a second but got it pretty well on both sides.

Focus: Moving his forehand and hindquarters is very easy now, he will even change sides with the cue of my stick/string moving the energy by his shoulder when he’s behind me, he’s not worried by the stick/string and understands to move over in a calm manner……I think Stormy’s been teachingย  him well ๐Ÿ™‚ He is understanding more about giving me a half circle which is further away from my feet and waiting and going through gateways is really lovely now.

I’ve also asked him again about crossing the small stream on our walks out. Today he figured out that he could do a small jump across a narrow section (the stream is lower than ground level and almost invisible to see in some places), he has not figured out how to step down into the stream to cross it at the place I walk but that will come when he has confidence in me more, jumping it is always an easier choice as it keeps his feet safe.

 

 

He lowers his head to see if the stream is safe to cross….easier to jump than to walk down into it and up the other side at the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit looks on the other side of the gap too, this is where he did a wee jump over it and then back again so successful river crossing today

 

 

 

 

To help with me asking Spirit to move into and over things we have a bit of fun with an icy puddle….back feet into it no problem

 

 

 

 

 

 

And front feet into it too after a small conversation about it

 

 

 

 

 

 

It always helps when there is grass to graze for a reward ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Monday 11th

Another good day weather wise so out with Spirit after doing horsey chores. We walked further away from the paddocks and other horses today and we also spent quite a long time at the stream where eventually Spirit managed to not only jump a narrow bit with more confidence but also bravely went down into the stream and jumped out which is a big improvement of his confidence in me today. Hopefully over the next few days he will be able to just follow me down and out of the stream and then go into it on his own with a half circle game like I use for going through gateways. For today I’m very pleased with our progress to connect and communicate.

 

 

Testing the ground for going into the stream rather than jumping it

 

 

 

 

I spent a lot of time just standing and talking to him, walking in and out of the stream the way I wanted him to do it so he could see it was safe and then gently asking him to try walking into/out of it which he eventually did a couple of time but need it done more calmly next time.
We stopped on a good note and played games going back to the field

 

 

 

 

Spirit is really good at waiting for me to open both the paddock gates now on a voice cue before he moves through them on my request with a half circle squeeze and dhq’s halt to face me while I close theย gates safely behind us ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 13th

Well today was a bit hard….we had some sheep wandering around the track but the horses could only see the slightest part of their backs passing their top field AND WIND!!! Spirit was paying more attention to what Stormy was doing than with me so a trying training session.

I had taken him out of the field and did a nice bit of walking to the furthest gateway, around on the long grassy bit and wanted to ask him to try the stream again…so far so good, nice bit of walk out and new bit walkedย ย BUT Stormy decided this was the point the sheep were worrying and was moving Tara about…Spirit spotted it immediately and his head went right up (and that’s a long way up with a Friesian!!) and he got a ewe neck and was SOLID…I tried asking for his head down, for him to acknowledge me and release some tension but he was like a rock….eyes and all SO I asked him to take one step back, crossed the stream and then asked him to gently jump it so that we could go back to where he needed to be…by Stormy and Tara. PHEW…he pushed on me a LOT…not dangerous per se but enough to make me have to connect with his inside shoulder to ask it to move out of my space. The closer we got to S&T the more he realised he was being asked something by me!

Once back in the field I decided to keep working on some relaxation and concentration on me and what I was asking from him. Still a bit high headed and pushing a LOT into my space I stuck with it until he was softer and paying attention to ME. phew, worn out from the concentration myself! lol

I first started asking him to do a nice half circle over a pole, it brought up his pushy shoulder more so we worked on that a bit more, asking him to keep his neck more to the inside and not allowing him to take his head away thereby pushing his shoulder into me. I then asked him to take that half circle into a full circle keeping an eye on what his ‘shape’ was doing, was his head inside, was his shoulder away, was he far enough away from me, was he relaxing or tensing up, was his head high or getting lower?

I then asked him to concentrate on walking over the pole with just his front feet and backing off (draw & drive) which he did nicely so I could tell he was listening to me more.

The obstacle wasn’t the task really, the object was to use the games to help him learn to relax in a stressed situation, to listen to me, to trust me and to know what my ‘ground rules’ are.

My basic ground rules are:
1) Don’t run me over (don’t push into my space from the front or side)
2) Listen when I ask (so at least try if you can for me)
3) Keep an eye on me (keep your shoulder out of my space and circle with an arc in your body around me)
4) Learn to relax and listen when I’m talking to you (concentrate and connect)
5) Learn to trust me (this will take time and for me to keep working at his friendship/trust)ย 

Once he did the pole nicely I let him off and walked down the track moving the sheep out of the way, back to their field (there’s a hole in the stone wall!!). I then went back and caught Spirit and walked him up/down the track as far as he could go, when he stopped with head up I backed him up and approached a bit or turned his hq’s and walked back to the paddock gate, rested then re-approached. We got quite far and I praised him for his effort and popped him back in the field. I then took Tara out and showed the boys how it’s done, calmly, quietly and without hesitation, she and I went past the paddock and had some peaceful grazing, much to the boys annoyance! LOL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 16th

Really loving how the herd is coming together more and more

 

Tuesday 19th –ย Lesson 2 / day 2 of 7

Good session today, Spirit did all the new things we started on the weekend really nicely.

Familiarisation w/flag: not bad at allย 
Half circle over flag: not bad
Lateral Flexion: very good
Circles x 1 in walk: fair
Sidepass with the Feel game: bit sticky
Draw & Drive: getting so much better (and did them through gateway too which was a bit sticky but then he got itย ย )
Half circle through stream: fabulous
Walk out with transitions: pretty darn good (including walk through stream again, moving forehand and hindquarters with the focus game and also a wee jump over the stream too)

Spirit: Connection feels bit better, he’s trusting me moreย 
Me: Happy Bunnyย ย 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 20th

Out for a walk in a slightly different area today, played some games along the way for good measure but mostly just hanging out together while walking out. We also did had some play over a pole asking for halt near it, over it, two feet over it and halt and then backing up off it ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 21st

2nd hoof trim today, it’s been a month already and although during Winter Spirit could go longer between trims I wanted to get him used to me doing it even more so monthly is good. He was very good at putting his foot on the hoof stand, standing still for me and just munching on his hay and we used some of his new games to move him about and reposition him regularly which was great. It’s good to show your horse that the games have a purpose ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Friday 22ndย 

Lovely little ‘tete a tete’ with Spirit this afternoon. I was busily poo picking the paddocks when he came over to be with me and asked me to rub his head, not once but he did it twice. Found out he LOVES his ears being scratched – inside and outย 

 

 

Sunday 24th –ย Lesson 2 / day 3 of 7

Have taken Spirit out for walks but this is the third proper session we’ve had of lesson 2 and it went really well. Added Familiarisation of the saddle into the mix too and he did all the games but just a little bit better.

Familiarisation: Flag – getting better, not too worried but not fully relaxed with it’s motion. Also familiarisation with the saddle AND asking him to stand still at a man made mounting block (big stone) .

Feel: Moving hq’s and fh full 360* nicely, stretching his hq’s more now. Sidepassing well both ways.

Focus: Half circles everywhere…even through the stream now. Circling 3-4 circles in walk now, having to pivot with him at moment as he tends to push his shoulder into my circle so once that is nicer I’ll ask him to do the circles on his own more and more…he did some nice trot circles too although I didn’t really ask him for those.

Draw and Drive is very good now, mostly on a very light phase and going back the full 12′ from me now….will start using the 22′ for more soon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

Spirit – January 2019

After Spirit’s first week with is he has settled in okay and I’ve started some basic horsemanship training with him. I’ve done his 1st lesson / sessions 1 & 2 already. very basic stuff but the foundation for everything that’s to come.

I find that horses learn lessons that are repeated consistently from 3-7 times so after Spirit’s firstย  and second sessions a few days ago we are now going through sessions 3-7 of the same games but slowly adding a few techniques that are useful in day to day handling. Today was his 3rd session.

To see his first lesson to go the right hand of the page and check out the Category ‘Spirit – Lesson Videos’

 

Spirit’s 1st lessons / 3rd session:ย 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping to basic’s as in his 1st video (see ‘Spirit – Training Videos’ on right hand Categories), to make sure the techniques sink in…today I took him out of the field and away from the other two so first thing we had to do was find relaxation in a new place before play…didn’t take long, he started looking to me whilst keeping an ear out to the herd..

His Familiarisation is good, moving energy and noise with the stick and string and took it in his stride nicely.

Feel games okay, hq’s easierย so repeated moving his forehand to reinforce the right move, he was drifting forward, probably because of wanting to go back to herd. His backup though is getting better.

Another snippet of a technique I’ve put in more now is S2M (Stick 2 Me) transitions. We did some of this on the way to the field when he first came but now I want him to really listen and understand the cues. Upward cues are breath in, body stance upright/forward and voice cue ‘walk on’. Downward cues (stop for now) are big breath out, bod stance relaxed and voice cue whoa, if he doesn’t get it or is not listening I gently take the lead rope and pulse a back cue on it, release and repeat and if he takes quite a time to stop I ask the halt then back up to reinforce the halt.

I have also slowly started the rope ‘wiggle’ as this is an important cue to use if I need to stop him quickly. If I didn’t familiarise him to this technique he might get worried when I do use it so it’s good to put this into play now.

Lastly I put into the routine going through gateways safely, another good technique. It’s a half circle with me standing outside the field, or just inside and asking Spirit to walk through the gateway and then disengage his hindquarters (DHQ) to turn and face me whilst I close the gate safely. I use this for gateways, trailer loading, teaching to jump and going into stables and will remind Spirit that he’s to stay connected to me until I take his halter off and put his treat/reward on the floor before walking off.



Jumping the burn back to the herd today ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

1st lessons / 4th Session:

working on basic’s still but have been asking for more steps on our Feel games, more energy on our Familiarisation and started a couple of Focus games (move hq’s and 1/2 circle through gateways) and also working out of the field so in a different area away from other two so that he starts connecting with me through the games in different places. I believe he’s a LBint (Left Brained Introvert) horse with medium spirit, curiosity and learning speed SO he seems happy to learn and that helps to give him new challenges in his new home now so that we don’t get into too many habits or given learned behaviours.

 

 

FEEL: moving hq’s

 

 

 

FAMILIARISATION: energy and motion throwing rope over Spirit’s back

 

 

 

 

FEEL: bringing his forehand towards me, I pivot and turn with him and then forehand away from the left side

 

 

 

 

FAMILIARISATION: waiting while gates are opened until asked to move through

FOCUS: then asking Spirit to do a 1/2 circle through gates and around me to then dhq’s, turn and face and stand again while I close gates safely. This move is a great one for safety, going into gates, stables and later on trailer loading.

 

 

 

Spirit yawning a lot after his learning session…..to me this shows he’s taking his lessons in and relaxing after thinking hard

 

 

 

 

 

AND just like kids in school it’s great that after a lesson they get to blow off steam with a little play ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Back to being a herd…

When the herd came out of the big field back to the home paddocks we just put the boys together and allowed Tara to rest in the garden for a few days. This allowed the boys to bond in the much smaller space for a few days and now Tara is now back in with them and all is great.

 

1st lessons / 5th Session:

Going very well, softness and lightness coming along and understanding is much better today after a couple of rainy days off.

 

 

Getting used to going to new places to play some games

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backing up on the track

 

 

 

 

 

Familiarisation of our hoof stand and I trimmed his front feet today too ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backing up away from a gateway. He is so good at not pushing or shoving through gateways, previous owner did a good job of not teaching bad behaviours ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

1/2 circle (squeeze) through 2 gateways with me standing still in one place as he comes towards me through first gate and then past me using some focus/driving game through the second gateway

 

 

After going through the gates I ask him for a focus DHQ’s (disengage hindquarters) so that he stands facing me at the end of the move

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and while standing facing me I can safely go and close the gates he’s gone through

 

 

 

 

Take him away from the other horses to again DHQ’s and then let him off in a safe place ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Having a sweet moment when the halter is off

 

 

 

 

 

He turned his head towards me and we had a ‘moment of connection’ ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

1st lessons / 6th Session:

I think I will go to his 2nd set of lessons tomorrow or the next day as the basic’s are all going well and we used a lot of the ‘games’ while trimming his feet and saddling him today.

Familiarisation:ย 
walking through garden to the track (first time).
back feet trimmed (first time with us and our hoof stand).
saddling (with us and my saddle).

Feel and Focus games:
draw to me to be haltered.
moving his hq’s and/or forehand over to get ready for trimming.
backing him up by touching his nose/chest or wiggling lead rope to get him out of my space.
1/2 circle through every gateway (4).
leading on left and right with nose at elbow.

All the games went very well, he is getting lighter and even when slightly distracted it’s not hard to regain his attention ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Spirit and me…no sitting on him today as the ground is rock hard and slippery but saddling was no problem

 

 

 

 

Definitely like him in Burgundy

 

 

 

 

 

Mark and Spirit…I may try a normal saddle cloth next time rather than my 1″ memory foam one, keeping an open mind as to what he would prefer

 

 

 

 

1st lessons / 7th Session:

Today’s was the last of the first lesson sessions and everything is going according to plan. Lightness is slowly coming, connection is getting better, walking to new places is good, understanding of the games is going well and Spirit is starting to look to me more, ask questions and use his brain to think through things. Next play time will be time to start our 2nd lessons and I’m really enjoying teaching and helping Spirit learn more ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Draw/Drive: backing up getting much lighter now and he understand that a rope wiggle means stop and back up

 

 

 

Standing away from me is big for him, he follows very well but I’ve been teaching him to follow my ‘energy’ not my actions so that he can distinguish between me walking back to make space and me walking back to draw him to me

 

 

 

Walking out to different place is going well and using my FOCUS games of moving hindquarters and forehand are going well and using them for a purpose more now so that things make sense to Spirit more

 

 

 

 

TONS of walk/halt/backup transitions from Spirit’s head area are working really well, he stops on a voice cue/breath out which is great

 

 

 

 

Walking back home with that connection I look for is a great feeling ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

He pushed me to get back into the field today so we worked on the Focus 1/2 circle game and stayed at this gateway for a bit to finish on a better note….dhq (disengaging hindquarters) here which is a good focus game and he’s learning it nicely

 

 

 

DHQ’s well….his inside ear locked onto me and what I’m asking of him…fab

 

 

 

 

Nice half circle through the gateway….quiet, calm, no pushing or rushing ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit – January ’19 (First week)

WEEK 1 (17/1/19)
SO…this is SPIRIT, he arrived at 12.30 today on a Gillies big lorry.

His details are:
Free Spirit
Clydesdale x Friesian x Hanovarian x Cob
16 hh at moment (but very bum high so expecting 16.2-16.3 hh when 8yrs old)
5yrs old (born 2/6/2013)
Barefoot

Apart from his breeder he has had one lovely caring home before me and sold only due to the young lady being at University and working hard with her job and recently finding out she’s going to have a baby this year ๐Ÿ™‚

I will be taking him slowly and at his own pace through my HorseSavvy Horsemanship training, working through some fun Agility and teaching him to be ridden bitless so that we can have a long, fun relationship together.ย  This is the beginning of our journey together and I hope you enjoy reading about our adventuresย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 1:
Here are some pics of him arriving, the walk to his new home/field and having his first dinner with us.

 

 

Just off Gillies lorry

 

 

 

 

 

Very calm walk to the field

 

 

 

 

In own paddock for first night or two to help him settle and not be bossed around by Stormy

 

 

 

 

Rugged for the cold night and some dinner with plenty of hay and fresh water

 

 

 

 

 

He is veryย  calm and happy to just looking at our two older horses Stormy and Tara. We had them separated by two electric fences over night. This is to help Spirit get his bearings, feel safe and to settle in calmly but also to allow our two to get used to him in their field. it worked out very nicely, all calm within an hour or so, Stormy pacing a bit and pooing his territory but Spirit just keeping his head down and eating his hay. They all ate their dinners calmly and we left them for the night.

 

DAY 2:

Everything going really well, Spirit has such a lovely nature and Storm and Tara very calm so we opened up our big horses field to allow Storm and Spirit to touch noses over just one fence (made sure electric off so they don’t get zapped whilst being nice to each other). It went so well. Calm and Spirit giving calming/baby signals to Stormy (lowering of head, licking/chewing, following and mirroring him and turning head away). After a while they stopped parallel to each other so I put hay in front of both of them and they happily munched away at the hay. Tara stayed at the breakfast station eating hay, she will visit Spirit in her own time and when she knows the boys are friends and isn’t in the way of male bonding…wise girl ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Standing about 16 hh at moment, very bottom high which means his withers are playing catch up, he will fully mature around 8yrs old

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying a wither scratch

 

 

 

 

 

Stormy goes to meet Spirit when we let him out to say hello, keeping one fence between them allows Spirit to move away if he feels he needs to but also allows them to smell each other and get used to one another

 

 

 

 

Nose to nose…this is how horses greet and meet each other ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

After parallel following and mirroring each other they stand for a while next to each other SO I give them both some hay and they’re happy to eat next to each other with the fence between them

 

 

AFTERNOON:ย 

 

Go down to see Spirit for a while before dinner and he looked happy to see me and even started walking towards me when I called his name, what a nice boy he is

 

 


 

Wanted to measure his height SO started off some Horsemanship Familiarisation, first with the tape measure. He wasn’t sure at first but quickly realised it was okay, this is a great way to build trust and get our connection

 

 

 

I then put the tape opened up a bit on the floor and after sniffing it when I bent to touch it he quietly and easily walked over it. This is teaching me a lot about his responses and reactions to things so we can start having more ‘conversations’ about things, energy, motion, noise etc.

 

 

 

 

Here I ask him to touch the ‘spirit level’ that I use with the tape measure to measure his height

 

 

 

 

Fed, watered, plenty of hay for the night and rugged so nice and snuggly

as going to be a bitterly cold night tonight.ย  Nitey nite Spirit, sleep tight ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

DAY 3:ย 

Today we put Spirit in with Stormy and it was such a calm, happy event it was really a non-event ๐Ÿ˜‰ We kept Tara separate for now to help the boys bond, she’ll be in with them tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Stormy following Spirit (or is he moving him on? ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit checking out the fab views. He can see horses across the glen, sheep in the field below, cars on the road, houses, lights, noises and smells…big views

 

 

 

 

 

Storm and Spirit eating hay peacefully near each other ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Storm and Spirit, a view I will never tire of

 

 

 

 

 

A little bit of ‘liberty play’:

 

Familiarisation: getting Spirit used to being touched with the training arm/stick and string

 

 

 

 

 

Touching with hands is very important, Spirit likes being touched and around humans which is super

 

 

 

Hanging out together

 

 

 

 

Familiarisation of energy: this is a hard one at liberty but I wanted to see how my energy/skipping about affected him, he wasn’t overly worried but will get this better once I start working on line

 

 

 

DAY 4:

Today after breakfast I let the boys and Tara out together, opened up all the fences so they can meet each other properly and have enough space to get out of each others way if necessary. Spirit and Tara exchanged breath, which is how horses meet each other, and Stormy and Tara taught him some of the ‘house rules’ that horses do to make sure everyone knows their place in the herd. Spirit is so non-confrontational and has such good social skills that all went really well. He also was confident enough in himself to check out the whole bottom area of the field, poo piles, hay piles, put his nose onto the cones and into the tyre stacks. Loving his confidence, calmness and the every now and then he looked to me for a ‘good boy’ too.

 

 

Spirit and Tara ‘nose to nose’ greeting

 

 

 

 

 

So photogenic against the beautiful Perthshire hills

 

 

 

 

 

The BOYS ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit checking Tara out more, Tara lets him know where her personal space ‘bubble’ is and he stays on the edge of that out of respect ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

I hang out with the herd for a bit…I call this Undemanding Time where we all just hang out together

 

 

 

Afternoon:

We did our first little Play Session today. Haltered him in a rope halter and 12′ line and did some Familiarisation with my hands and then the very basic set of Feel games which involved moving his feet in all 4 directions. I was just asking for lightness and one step on each game which will develop the basic Foundation of Horsemanship moves for later on. If I get these done nicely and with lightness then our journey towards refinement will be easier ๐Ÿ™‚

I have set up another Category to see all Spirits Horsemanship Video’s so check it out on the right hand side of the page: ‘Spirit – Traning Videos’.

 

Day 5:

Today the barrel of water in the field was empty so I decided to walk Spirit to where there is more water just in case he didn’t know. We have a trough near the bottom of the field and a small stream running at the top of the big hill.

I haltered Spirit in a ‘normal’ headcollar and rope’ as this is what he’s used to and I want to change things slowly for him so that there isn’t too much to think about at any one time, they also have breaking points in them in case of emergencies which my rope halters/lead ropes don’t have and until I am certain of his nature and we have a good connection I won’t risk him getting into a panic and getting into trouble. I use my horsemanship equipment in a safe environment first (round pen/arena) and once I know we’re okay then I’ll use it all the time, best to be safe than sorry ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

We walk together nicely, we have walk on/halt (breath out) going nicely enough but when I get too far from the herd (Stormy & Tara) he tries to get in front of me with a little bit more energy than normal. I see this sign as the ‘baby stop’ signal that foals use to stop their momma’s when they need feeding, are weary or are worried by something. Taking this signal seriously helps me to adjust where we go SO instead of just going where I want to go I change direction back where we came from so that Spirit can feel more at ease. This ‘approach & retreat’ technique helps me see where his ‘thresholds’ are (threshold today was going away from the herd into new territory) and stops me pushing him over the edge of that to where he could panic or loose his confidence in me as a leader. Another technique I use when he’s a bit worried is to just stand, back him up a step or two with my hand on his chest and wait until relaxation kicks in.

 

Pic above shows Spirit smelling a poo pile. From this pile he gets a LOT of information about the herd, we’ve recently put some fresh poo onto the piles around the field to help settle him in. The info is important, they often poo when on a new trail so that they can find their way back, others can follow, others know the status of the horse and what emotions they had at the time, whether in season etc SO poo piles are like postcards of knowledge and I’ve noticed this week that he has pooped in all the new places he’s visited around the 10 acres of field, this helps him return to them knowing he’s already been there and helps him map out the field in his mind ๐Ÿ™‚

I didn’t get to show him the water sources but it did give me an insight into how he will learn and it was lovely to see Stormy come over to see where he was going and that helped Spirit go further on which is great to see as that means the boys are bonding.

 


After our little walking in-hand session the herd eat hay companionably.
Lovely to see them closer each day.

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon:ย 

We had serious weather warnings for snow/ice/wind today, supposedly coming in tonight so we decided to not chance the horses being too far away down the road and bring them back to the home paddocks. Our two know these paddocks well but it will be Spirits first time here and on top of only just arriving it will be a challenge to bring them up and to settle them into a new place again. Easy travel options is for me to take normal two, Stormy & Tara, together in front to show the way and for Mark to walk Spirit up behind, this also emulates the herd dynamics where Spirit is following Stormy around and Stormy knows he can stop Spirit by stopping and waiting himself.

Fab, it worked well and Spirit was happy to follow us up a new track to our house. The paddocks are a fraction of the size of the big field so we knew there were going to be some shenanegans getting the herd settled again SO the first thing I do is walk Spirit around two of the three sections of his new home, this way at least he will know where the fences are, where the stream is for water (and to know where it needs jumping into paddock 3). Stormy whinneyed for him as we went over a hill so again when Spirit’s energy came up and he walked in front of me to stop me I turned and walked back to where the other two were.

We let them off and Stormy ran around a bit showing Spirit his territory, Spirit following but also being moved about a bit. One of the things Stormy will do (and was doing in the big field) was shielding Tara from the newcomer SO we decided to once again let the boys bond and settle by taking Tara out of the equation and putting her in our large back garden. She is very happy there, knowing the boys are about but knowing she’s not getting in the way or being pushed ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Taking Tara out in-hand allows the boys to follow at their own pace and without me being in the middle of any territory chasing. Notice how Stormy will follow Tara, he’s also blocking Spirit from being near her, and how Spirit is happy to follow on behind. The natural order of things in the herd is the best way to take it, knowing that Storm will follow Tara and that Spirit being the new boy will follow Storm makes going up the big field hill easier for me.

 

 

It’s nice to know that Spirit is non-confrontational as I know he won’t try to shimmy in on me and Tara’s space and Stormy has him under his control…here Storm shows that the order is in place by stopping on the hill and waiting, testing his herd place by stopping Spirit in his tracks behind him.

We were concentrating on leading the horses so didn’t get any on the track this time.

 

 

 

Once in the home paddocks Stormy stands at the water barrel and so clever Spirit walks down a hillock and finds his own natural wee stream to drink.

 

 

 

 

Stormy makes sure Spirit is still listening to his requests….This is MY corner, move away and he does. There is quite some running around with Stormy making sure Spirit moves, follows and stops with him.

 

 

 

 

Spirit following, Stormy showing him the paddocks but makes sure he’s behind him.

 

 

 

 

Storm racing up the fence line, Spirit jumping the burn/stream. Now Spirit knows where the water source is ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

The boys stop and realise Tara is still close by but out of reach of being pushed around.

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Spirit, lovely paces this boy has ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Spirit following Stormy…bonding going on now, quieter and less running around.

 

 

 

 

 

The boys got so sweaty running around, mostly on neck and chest area’s which to me says not so much physical but emotional SO rugs and neck covers on tonight to allow them to warm up and dry off.

 

 

 

DAY 6: (Wed 23rd Jan ’19)

First 24hrs in home paddocks for the boys and Tara in our garden. All seems to be going well, the boys were quite close on the hill this morning. Spirit is quite hungry for his food so we’ve upped the amount and giving them all plenty of hay. We are also rugging Spirit at night as he has very little muscle mass so want him to make the most of the food we give him by allowing him the comfort of staying warm with a rug (for now).

 

 

The boys rugged and together ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Stormy has realised that Spirit is listening to him a lot and shows some refinement in asking him to move hay piles this morning….

 

 

Storm on his pile, Spirit on his…

 

 

 

 

 

…Storm decides he wants Spirit’s pile of hay so wanders over calmly with head lowered and ears pinned, Spirit politely listens, lowers his own head and moves his forehand away….

 

 

 

 

 

…Stormy keeps his left ear on Spirit as he moves away, notice how Spirit knows where Storm’s personal space ‘bubble’ is and keeps on the edge of that, moving in would mean Stormy would push him out again, the language of Equus is not that hard but thereย  are rules and Spirit is learning Storm’s rules….

 

 

 

…horses happy eating at changed piles of hay. Lovely to see such a peaceful exchange, shows me they are bonding and settling. Knowing how Spirit moves from ‘pressure’ from Stormy is helping me to know how to ask him when I train him ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

After breakfast this morning the boys move off, I wonder why as they jump the stream and then realise it’s because Tara has moved in the garden.

 

Stormy, who is confident in himself and his environment just walks over the stream…..

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit is confident in himself and getting used to the environment jumps the stream with ease, nice to know there’s a jump in him

 

 

 

 

 

Tara has moved along the garden fence line and the boys want to be close to her…at least this way Tara isn’t in the way of things, she’s quite old now and doesn’t move quickly so don’t want her pushed about.

 

 

 

 

This is the closest the boys have been without being pushy, they share some grass and water together.

 

 

 

 

After poo picking I see that they have all found their places. Tara laying down as close to the fence line as she can (she doesn’t often lay down so this is wonderful to see), Spirit is being look out and taking care of Tara while she sleeps and Stormy is on the hill keeping an eye on things and allowing Spirit to be near Tara…..a huge change in dynamics and allows Storm to rest too…lets hope it applies when we put Tara back in the paddocks with them later on this week hopefully ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Beautiful and so peaceful ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7:

Lovely seeing the boys together every morning, one reason we love having them at home for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hungry Spirit has eaten his breakfast and tucks into his hay so I decide to have some ‘Undemanding Time’ with him for a while. I put my hand up and wait to see if he wants to touch me which he does really gently, then I just sit with him When he touches my nose I breath into his nostrils the way another horse would do.

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy