Vienna, a young pony Sept 7th 8th 9th 2016

Vienna a young gypsy pony jumped out of her field and into a field where G keeps her horses in Surrey.

The owner has managed to get her into a stable with food and also the groom got a head collar on but it had to be taken off and no more progress was made. They cannot lift up its feet or groom it.

She called me in because they want to move the pony and need to get it used to being led.

I began the first day in the field doing join-up and trying to get to touch her frontal under the forelock. Not easy. I did succeed but it took about an hour. She is very skeptical and does not want much to do with humans.

The next day we put her into the stable using food and then I went in and slowly got her to accept me by rubbing the frontal and then rubbing her all over finally she offered me all her hooves when I asked. That took at least and hour. Then I took the long line in and just smoothed it over her body.

I was able to scratch her and she demanded that I did it again.

Progress she allowed into both sides and I began to untangle her mane. I held the headcollar up to her and took it away when she moved to wards it. Very positive.

The 3rd day 9th September I did a bit of join-up in the field again and got a better attachment by stopping her and making her turn towards me and focus on me. I rubbed her frontal.

Then we got her into a stable and she was pretty willing to be touched. I groomed her with my hands picked up her feet and then put the line around her head and nose and asked her to move to the pressure sideways. Which she did finally, I did have to wait. I then go the headcollar on and I moved her forwards and then we opened the door and took her out Gina on one side and me leading. She walked forward with tentative steps, but finally quite freely. We put her back into the stable to think about it all. I left.

On the next day she was easy to put the headcollar on and I repeated the same process as I had done before. The groom came in and with a little difficulty managed to get the line clicked on. She loaded with ease.

What I would add is that when working with young horses it is imperative to be quiet, slow, gentle and maintain a low heart beat. No sign of anger annoyance, frustration is going to be productive and may serve to put the horse back several steps. Loosing your temper with an animal is counter productive and stupid as is the same behaviour with people. I grew up with a mother who was good at losing her temper at any moment, and reducing me to a shivering wreck and I have a sister who is has inherited the same trait. This behaviour stamps of control and is abusive, because trying to frighten people is wrong. I understand horses because I grew up frightened of adults, and I avoided my sister at all cost. When I met Monty Roberts I was suddenly faced with a man who had been through a far more terrifying experience than I had and because of that we became firm friends. He taught me a great deal, he helped me to grow into who I am now. I want to help horses to do the same.

If you want people to work with you it is more productive to be calm and reasonable. We seem to forget that when working around horses.  I know people who think that if a horse does not do what they want they hit it or loose their temper and the horses has  only not been able to compute what the person is saying. It is the human who is in error not the horse. CB