Lessons with JOYCE MULDER 4th-11th July

We had some great learning as always with Joyce, work in hand, we need to take weight back more in all exercises, I was so pleased when we came to riding that Joyce could see how Noo noo actually asks me to ride her now, moving closer to me at the mounting block,no-one else has seen this yet so it was great to have it confirmed by a trusted friend and trainer YES MY HORSE WANTS ME TO RIDE HER.Joyce set us up with lots of great new exercises and homework.First session we worked on keeping the balance through changes of bend on the center line, fig8 starting with quarters in and continue on the second circle in renvers, this was difficult for Noo noo but she gave me some near perfect steps,this exercise really improved my ability to influence her shoulders and feel her change of balance.
Second ridden session we worked on half pass away from the wall 3-4 steps then change bend/balance back half pass to the wall, squares with one side shoulder-in next side quarters-in,leading hopefully to qrt pirrouttes in the corners.
Joyce said Noo noo’s trot has much more freedom so all good.Looking forward to next trip at the end of August.

After this Karen Robertson came to give Noo noo’s body a check over, she said no real problems and Noo noo really enjoyed her treatment.Its so great to find a team of people you know are good at what they do and you can depend on,Debbie Survila trimmed Noo noo’s feet the week before and even my cob Jasper who is 27yrs old and only in the past year gone barefoot now has healthy frogs on the way.

VISIT WITH SARAH AND GORDON

I had a lovely time with Sarah and Gordon today,Sarah is an experienced horse owner and has ex race horse TB Gordon, she has found that he looses confidence when out hacking ending up in a bush and very sensibly walking him home. She has problems mounting.She knows of my journey with Noo noo and together we are working on restarting things with Gordon. Sarah has made a great start in putting his past truama behind him, she identified part of the problem being lack of trust between herself and Gordon. I explained some of what I did with Noo noo and she has spent the last couple of weeks spending time with him, something that came very naturally to Sarah who loves her horses.She has also changed the way she approaches him and now offers him a greeting, if he is not accepting of this then she knows now not to be offended and just walk away,she is also trying to keep her polos out of the field and training area.She has also worked on being able to move Gordon from her intention and body language.

It was obvious today that she is doing a great job even though these things at first seem not to be solving the problem.Sometimes you need to come at things from a different angle, I introduced Gordon to working with food today having spent time with him beforehand while eating his hay.We made sure he was comfortable in his enviroment as we had only been with him in his paddock untill today,Sarah is at lovely small livery yard with a great arena including mirrors so we made sure Gordon was happy with all of this.Gordon was so happy after spending some time at liberty he rolled. We dicussed that like eating sometimes Sarah could allow this and other times maybe say I don t want you to roll here and move him on.I worked with him first when we introduced the food as I realise if you have never done it before and don t know how your horse may react it could be a bit of a shock if they get really pushy.Gordon was great as he was very interested and really wanted that bucket,I kept my focus on the food while keeping the distance between Gordon and myself safe.He is a very fast learner and soon realised that when he was polite stood still not circling me, and gave me one hint that he was not interested he got to eat,then I asked him to bring his head up and move away,naturally he didn t think this was a great idea but complied,after a couple more goes he had it.Sarah took over and really got her intentions and body language clear and Gordon responded.She has started working on moving Gorden away from the grass around the arena and keeping him moving from a distance behind feeling when he is about to stall and stop, having to get her energy ‘up’ a bit to keep things going.We also checked out his halt which was not great to start with and Sarah seemed really be able to relate this to riding knowing she wants her horse to halt from a minimal aid.We also worked a bit on timing of aids.Gordon also gave us some lovely moments of focussing on Sarah who now knows a bit about eye contact and signs of relaxation like blowing and licking and chewing she is well on the way to creating a great bond with Gordon and I am really enjoying being involved.I could see a lot of his physical challenges while he was at liberty and he really needs some work with that as well.To be continued….

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