Monday, 13 January 2014

Holly's Progress After Two Months.

After two weeks in her large pen in the barn I could see that Holly was getting bored so I took the plunge and hoped she'd follow Dougal out into a paddock. I tied some tape across from the gate to try and prevent her from overshooting the gateway, led Dougal from the barn to the paddock and she followed her new friend out, and later back into the barn, with no problems at all.

Holly had finally started eating some foal mix so I began some short clicker training sessions. Here is a video of our fouth session:

I'm really pleased by how much confidence she's gaining and really looking forward to being able to handle her properly. I had hoped to have done more with her by now but Christmas, wet weather meaning all the horses have been in a lot, and my catching a nasty cold have meant we haven't managed any more sessions since the video. Regardless of that she continues to get braver every day, will now touch my hand with her nose, and her cheeky personality is beginning to emerge.

When we had high winds blowing the rain into her open fronted barn I moved her and Dougal into pens in the sheep and Alpaca barn. She was interested rather than scared of these new acquaintances and took the odd nip at the Greyface Dartmoor ewes when they leaned in to help her eat her haylage!

Going out to the field and back she began hanging back grazing the grass along the pathway then trotting flat out to catch Dougal up when we got to the gateway, with great clumps of grass hanging from her mouth. Now I have to tie Dougal up in the field or barn and go back and round her up as she's more interested in grazing than she in staying with him, and she allows me within touching distance before she bothers to move.

Now I'm fit and healthy again, and the days are slowly getting longer, I'm looking forward to doing some more training. She's a really lovely pony, she makes me laugh often and seeing her and Dougal together.always makes me smile. When I first met Dougal he was about 18 months old, living in the small back garden of a semi detached house in the middle of a town with only a dog for company. Now he's still only about four years old but he's helping to educate a second foal for me (Rico, my PRE, was his first protege). He's worth his weight in gold and I'm so lucky to have him!!!