LEMONY, 5 year old cob pale skewbald, close to palomino. More news at the end of this article.
All photos Methane Wing unless otherwise stated.
Owner Jackie W.
LATEST NEWS. Jackie West is now riding Lemony. 22nd May 2017
I am now riding Lemony out with Frodo her stable companion and she is proving to be very forward going. Still a bit nervous about things brushing her right side, but so much better and I can rub her side as I ride along now and she does not mind. She did her first real hack yesterday. All is good. She is not nervous of cars buses or dustbin lorries. So we are looking forward to an excellent summer. Jackie is riding Frodo.
26th April 2017
Photos to follow when we have help.
She is backed and ridden away, someone has galloped her on one of the heaths and lost control and she has bolted. Saddle may well have slipped and rider fallen off. The filly is traumatized.
I went to where she is stabled near Banstead on 20th August 2016.
When I arrived and saw the filly I saw she was very jumpy. Strange for a cob to be that nervous. We put the head collar on and then the bridle and I took her out into the field. The weather conditions were bad, intermittent wind and rain.
I first walked with her and stopped and backed up and walked more, round and round and turning and stopping, she began to listen to me. I could feel she was slowly joining up with me.
I tried putting a saddle pad on her but she clearly did not want that. I finally got it on her back and she stood. I could see something was really bothering her to the point of panic. I dispensed with the saddle pad.
I took off the pad and carefully put my roller on, she was on the edge of panic. I was so careful, just managed to get it done up and she planted. I waited. I just kept stroking her and talking very quietly reassuring her. She took a step back. I wanted her to take that first step forwards. I knew it was going to be hard for her. So we waited. I could feel her fear, it was travelling around her like a wave and even trying to enter into my body. I knew she was petrified. I waited. I just patted her and waited. Then I got one half a step and congratulated her. Then I got another then two back. I felt twice that she might have reared and I took the precaution of standing quietly to one side and stroked her gently. I could feel an internal struggle going on. I could feel that she was telling me how scared she was, how she had been terrified by what happened and she did not want to go back there.
I then asked again. Time was passing, but I have no idea how much time. I was just concentrating hard; it did not matter to me. I think I started at about midday and I know that it was 2 pm when I left.
Then I took the roller off and walked some more with her. She was relieved. It was as if she had asked me to remove it and I complied. Then I put the roller back on and she stood very quietly. I then asked her to move, she took a step to the left towards me. The right side is I think where the girl fell off as she kept on swinging her head around to the off side. She took another step and another and another then she suddenly took a step forward, only one step, but it was wonderful. I patted her and told her what a brave girl she was. I then asked again and she came forward. Then we walked together and she was blowing down her nostrils and licking and chewing. Then I unclipped the line, and we walked together around the field. I was in tears by this time. She was offloading a lot of grief on me. She was communicating to me that for the first time she thought she could trust someone, I felt her say that. We walked together and she also communicated to me she was relieved and that she trusted me. Richard and Jackie, who were watching were quite emotional at that moment. I would describe it as a simultaneous communication between all of us. I will ask Jackie if she felt it too. I very carefully took off the roller and clicked on the line and took her back in. Lots of licking and chewing.
Horses are so forgiving. Richard is a retired serviceman and we talked about PTS (post traumatic stress). I found what he said very interesting and helpful. It made me wish I could help service men who have suffered with PTS to readjust by using the example of horses who have had terrible things happen to them. Lemony had serious post traumatic stress, but the difference between her and a soldier with PTS, is that he does not have to go back to a war situation although he may well live with nightmares and black moments and wake up with sweats and also feel panicky in certain situation. I have to get the horse back into the ‘war zone’ of being ridden. That is the difference.
24th August 2016
I started at the same place just walking her and then put the roller on. Much quicker this time and she stood pretty well for me. I got a deep sigh from her. It then took a little while for her to step forward, but she finally did it, again much quicker, about a minute. Then I walked with her and she was fine. I then got Jackie to go to her head. I did the snake test with the lines pulling them round her feet and then we walked her and I threw the line onto her back. She jumped a couple of times. I then attached the lines and we walked together and I gradually go the line along her back and round her quarters by turning straight and being exactly behind her. I then introduced the lines to each of the side of her hind legs. No reaction. So we walked with the long reins and Jackie at her head.
Will go back in a week to continue the work.
31st August, 2016.
I began with walking with her, then put the roller on, she stood quietly. I then asked her to walk, but she was quite rooted. I waited and then asked again. It took a while, but she suddenly moved forward towards me to the left. Then straight. Then we walked together. Then I got Jackie to take over and threw the lines across her and then put them on. She was fine. I then got the long reins on her properly and she went forward. Jackie leading at the bridle. After a while I got Jackie to step away and long reined her by myself. I finished the session with walking and halting, which she did beautifully.
1 hr 20 mins.
Day 4 7th September, 2016
I began the whole process as before, leading Lemony and then putting the roller on but this time I put a numnah on first. This she accepted. I then got Jackie to come in and lead her and then we were soon on our own. She completed walk and trot, but her halts are still very fractious and need a lot of work.
She has certainly grown more confident and is happy to be with me and long rein. I then finished with some join-up free schooled.
15th September 2016
Today I took her through the same process of walking and then putting on the roller. Her owner then walked her while I threw the lines. Lemony was fine. I then put the lines on and long reined her. Jackie was able to move away and leave Lemony to me. Lemony long reined at a walk and halt. Then at the trot. She is now much quicker to understand what I am asking her to do. She did walk trot and halt perfectly. What I did notice while trotting on the lines in a circle is that she has been single line lunged. She hangs her head out of the circle typical of the effect of single line lunging. She is also heavy on the bit. I sought to lighten her using half halts and gentle reining techniques. She also turns into the centre when you halt her. This again is typical of the over use of single line lunging. By the end of the session she was halting and standing square, and not turning in. Photographs will follow. I then put my racing saddle on her, it is light and has a half tree so hopefully will not remind her of the accident.
We worked for an hour finishing with schooling from the ground to do turns on the forehand and the quarters and also half passes. I only ever ask for one or two steps, that is all. She is feeling much more supple. She love to work and is obviously pleased to see me. A charming and delightful character. She will make a lovely riding horse once this accident is all behind her.
14th September 2016
I began with the usual format of putting on the head collar and then her bridle, then taking her into the field and putting the roller on. This time I put the numnah on. Jackie then lead her around and I quickly got the lines over her quarters and was soon long reining. I asked Jackie to step away and we were up and running. Lemony does not like to stop, she also tends to turn in to the person, holding the lines which is a typical reaction to single line lunging. I expect my horse to stop and then to wait. I go up to them and congratulate them and then I step back towards the driving position. I got her to walk and trot and she was quite unsure of herself at the trot and is very wooden mouthed. I have to ask in tiny nudges to keep her in the circle and I never pull. She is getting better all the time.
We finished by doing some leg yields and half passes and also turns on the quarters. She was very sticky to begin with and did not understand. But she learns quickly.
It was after a break of 15 days that I got back to her. I tacked up in the stable and put the numnah on. She was fine. Then I led her out and only needed Jackie to lead her for a little and then while Jackie was leading her she went into meltdown. She half reared, bunny hopped and then half reared again. I took no notice, but was very glad she had at last gone through something of a stage of fear. I knew she would and had been waiting for it. She settled down well after that, and did some nice work on the long reins.
I followed the same procedure and tacked her up in the stable. She was fine. I led her out and Jackie helped me for a little while but Lemony was soon going well and I took over. She is working well, walk trot and halt and the halt is improving. She now stands quietly, and today she halted to voice, I did not have to use the lines at all. She schooled well and sensitively and was very good at the halt and now the trot. I was well pleased. She is also learning to half pass and complete turns on the quarters and the forehand. She is slow but is beginning to get it. Emma was watching and said she really has improved a lot. She knew her before.
She hears me and bangs the door impatiently with her foot. She loves to work and she really enjoys our short time together. She has hugely improved. I don’t need Jackie to lead her and we go straight out and work. She is beginning to bend a little, but is still a bit wooden in the mouth. I can get her to halt to perfection. She trots, but we can’t canter because the ground is too slippery. Her turns on the forehand are a delight and getting much better, and her turns on the quarters have really improved. We can now get all the way round without moving her hind feet, except to adjust to match the direction of course.
She is brilliant at the half pass and beginning to be much more flexible. She is calm and quiet and accepting. I am very happy with her progress.
13th October, 2016
I had another session today with Lemony. She is comfortable when to putting the roller on in the stable and has no problem at all. She seems to look forward to seeing me and her owner says she hears my car. She is so sweet natured and so sensitive. I have already fallen in love with her. Her eyelashes are white and chestnut and so very pretty. Today she went straight out and long reined. I still find her a bit wooden on the off side rein as she can hang a bit, but once worked in she starts to become softer on the turn. Her left rein is much softer now. She halted to voice, I did not even touch the reins. She had a little meltdown, but very small, just stopped and jibbed slightly and then got over it very quickly. I was very pleased with her. But her turns on the forehand and on the quarters are exceptional. As for her half passes, she is starting to float off my aids. I am truly impressed. this is session 8 and she is making great progress. Her trot, walk and halt are perfect. I am thinking about introducing the saddle again.
28th October 2016. this is the second time I have put a saddle on Lemony. I used my racing saddle last time and this time I put my small pad saddle on her. I use this one with my Dummy Chocolate Charlie. She was fine with the first saddle and I lent over her. Her long reining is beautiful although she is often a bit wooden in the mouth and one has to just half halt her round the circle until she softens. She get better the longer she works. Her halts are perfect as are her half passes.
We put Chocolate Charlie up next to her and she took a while to get used to him. I found her very nervous at having the leg thrown over her. But we repeated it lots of times, and she improved enormously until she was standing still. If she moved away I moved with her with the dummy, and then once she stands I take the Dummy away. Simple horse training. We finished on that note and will I take the Dummy out next time and repeat the exercise. CB
Then on November the 17th we got Chocolate Charlie up and fixed in the saddle and I long reined them. Lemony was fine with him and did not buck or stop or go into a shake, which she has been known to do. Then I decided it was time for me to get up. On the 22nd I got her to stand near the tub we use as a mounting block, and rolled over the saddle. She put in some tiny bucks and shivered. I could see she was reliving something, so I slid off. Then I did it again. It took a while, but we finally got her to move with me slung across the saddle. She was very scared, this reminded her of what she had gone through. I could see it would take a bit of time Finally at the end of that session I was bouncing onto the saddle and just lying across and she carried me for five steps. We stopped there.
6th December. I long reined Lemony but she has put a strain into her near hind and is walking short, so we just did a bit of walking and trotting and she freed up a bit but was tracking to the right behind. So she must have done something.
I decided that I could still get up on her. So with my race exercise saddle I leant across several times and then put my foot into the stirrup and stood up keeping both legs on the left hand side.
Lemony was fine, she was calm and Jackie lead her around the mounting block. I finally sat right up and Lemony was good she saw me and was calm and walked a few steps. We stopped there. I was very pleased with her. She is a real tryer and though she has been through some very real trauma she is now dealing well with it having given her the time to shake and tremble and relive the whole horrid experience.If I rushed her I would loose her completely, we have to take one step at a time.
9th of December.
By the middle of December I was regularly rolling over on her and finally stepped into the stirrup and sat up on her back. She had about three meltdowns, but I just sat very quietly and she soon stopped shaking. We took it all very quietly. She is wonderful to long rein and so sweet and very sensitive and intelligent. Her half passes from the ground are superb and she responds better than some of the dressage horses I work with. I think she has the capacity to be a very good dressage/jumping pony. We will come to all that eventually.
I noticed that she was developing some charming quirks. When we work in the field other ponies from next door come up to watch. She likes being watched and looks for them, almost as though she seeks approval, or she is a real performer? The other day she put her hoof up on the plastic tub. I am sure had I not requested it but asked quietly that she step down. She would have put the other one up like a circus horse. Maybe there is something I am missing here?
We continued to the end of December just once a week, sometimes twice is weather allowed and I got up on her. At first she wavered and did not want to move, then with Jackie’s help she began to take small steps. I never asked too much, and always long reined first and bounced up and down on the plastic tub, allowing her to get used to my weight and the movement. Now we are getting there. I had a marvellous ride around the field on Tuesday 3rd January, and Jackie let me go on alone. I feel we have arrived, and now it is time for me to get on and start the process of riding her with another horse.