Today Heath and Elaine managed to conquer two major milestones. The first was a moment when Heath stopped soon after leaving the yard. Heath's main issue is rearing, so when he stops and doesn't want to go forward it can be quite dangerous as he doesn't mess about when he really doesn't want to do something! In the past Elaine would have tensed up, Heath would have reared or bolted or Elaine would have fallen or jumped off and they'd have retreated back to the yard.
But not today!
Heath stopped so Elaine used a technique we've found has worked really well for Heath to keep him calm and give him something else to think about by lowering his head from the saddle. She then gave him a slap on the neck with the reins, told him to get on with it, rode positively forward and off they went!
Which brings us to the second.
All on their own, Heath and Elaine rode around a hacking route we've been working on - all on their own! He's had his moments and his struggles but today they did it, with Elaine on board all the way round. Did I mention all on their own? This is a major achievement.
It might not sound like much, but not too long ago it was a struggle just to get Heath off the yard under saddle, never mind walk a 5 minute loop just outside the farm - and definitely never mind a proper hack out with trees and people and other scary unforeseeables! Both Heath and Elaine have come on so well - Heath was jumping just the other week! Now all we need to do is get Elaine doing it with him ;)
Well done guys - you've come really far and overcome a major hurdle. Pats on the back and carrots all round - especially for you Elaine ;) If you've cleared this one you can clear the next one. And the next and the next and the next. So best get back to work!