What good ponies!
They've both made such progress this week I've wanted to write something every night but every night I get home and pass out! Rubbish.
Sonny has really had his ups and downs this week. He started well but once he started to feel challenged by the things I was asking him to do (such as lunge, especially on the one rein) he would play up - sometimes quite aggressively. He tends to go into 'attack' mode, rearing and kicking out at you. However once he was pushed through those tantrums he came out the other end to do some really nice work and learn quickly. He's now lunging well on both reins in a bridle, moving off mostly without incident and is also now getting the hang of long-reining. The next step is to re-introduce the saddle.
Pictures are from mid-week when we were still tackling how to lunge! Photos taken by the ever handy Phil!
Annie just continues to go from strength to strength. She will now allow herself to be caught with much less drama and sees or tries something new every day. She has moved on from her comfortable spot in the back of the stable and is now often to be found with her nose poking over the door for a chat!
This week I introduced both the bridle and the saddle with no clue as to whether she'd even seen them before. She took to both fine, just a bit wary of the saddle-pad. I've been leading her round the farm and arena with tack on and have leant over her a couple of times but was still unsure as to whether or not she'd actually been backed.
Yesterday I decided was the day to get someone on board. One of the girls volunteered to be the test-pilot, meaning I could stay by her head and try to keep her calm with a familiar face should anything go wrong. We started in the stable as this is her safe place and although she had a bit of a twitch and a start, she handled it really nicely. There were some wobbly legs when we lead her out of the stable with ride ron-board outside into the car park but she handled it all like a pro. But we were left unsure as to whether or not she actually knew the aids.
Today I tried a bit of long-reining to see if maybe she'd been driven, or to at least try and use them to introduce some vocal commands in order to teach the aids. We managed very small bursts at a time but otherwise she wasn't sure about it at all! In the end I got on with a friendly face there to 'hold her hoof' and walk her round. She handled it all very well and actually proved herself to be quite steady and unflappable in terms of activity in the saddle - great for a kids pony! Unfortunately it became very apparent that she doesn't know the aids, so that's now my main priority for her!
Pictures are from being sat on for the first time yesterday and a bit of long-reining today.