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My Journey with Pheobe

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it might as well rain until September.... :whistling: and it feels as tho it has

the weather has been less than pleasant through out August to say the least, hence no blog post as nothing was really achieved!


So spring has now sprung and time to 'grow' a bit more in our horsemanship journey, pull out the excuses (like weeds), nurture the brain - lesson with Mel as opposed to layering with s*%# - and encourage new buds of experiences and learning :smartass:


With this in mind Bailey and I are looking at L3 A2 - contact with flank rope assignment - while the ground dries out and revisit the last few L2 ones including imagination :huh: so some filming to be done, to be done ;)



How does another month slip past so quickly :o


What did we accomplish in June: ~ 2 play days which included braving the cold &

- working on the longer lines with the 22' around the neck

- a trail walk in hand away from and out of sight of the other horses with no calling out by me or Bailey ^_^

- riding and finding the centre on a very stiff horse and working on transitions from my seat on the circle and the rail; simple leads helped him to soften and our session finished with a softer horse and less leaning in :thumbsup:

- riding at home and discovering there are horse eating gremlins down the back of our paddocks :huh: so filmed A8 without fence and hence no straight lines (nor focus perhaps <_< )


Thank goodness for lessons with Mel to finish off the month :clap:

- L3 ground improving our connection, our backups and our sends- out and around at a longer distance with rope around neck

Really pleased with his ability to take the offer of a narrow jump :clapping:

- L2 ridden working on the correct diagonals (still my problem :whistling: ) and working these up into the correct canter leads on the circle before taking it out onto the rail and straight lines - Bailey was however much softer and not fussed at being by himself with me - maybe our confidence in each other is changing :yinyang:

also looked at the soft feel, rebounds and box homework - perhaps time to submit A10 ;)


Reflecting on our 90 day plan - a bit slow on the progress, but still helping to move forward and find some good things coming along, plus the sticking bits to work on -_-

not to mention the joys of winter and unrugged pony :P


And so another month has finished and we are into winter - already!

Only 20 days to the winter solstice and then there will more daylight again!!


From last month's plan, it seems we have been avoiding

  • Cherokee & snaffle bits and helping Bailey find comfort with these in his mouth - card 7
  • riding in the bridle - card 9

perhaps as it is not in my mind as a priority :huh: as for the rest...

  • the impulsion program - all of it, not just bits - so a good look and do of card 8, including canter PL
  • footfalls in card 10 and being confident to ask with an exaggerated body position for the canter leads
  • Sub/resub A8 - simple lead changes prn
  • start thinking about Imagination Assignment ?? BB ridden and 22'

may have avoided the PLs in general as they are on card 8 (canter) and card 10 (feeling for footfalls) :blush:

My 90 day plan suggests I should be starting to look at card 12 (contact riding - butterfly) and starting more soft feel as well as submitting the imagination assignment - must have thought I'd have that pesky A8 done and dusted!!


Today was a play in an unfamiliar place with a horse eating camel and alpaca so we did ground work with familiar patterns and the 22' around Bailey's neck, a trail walk in halter and a lot of float-loading practice!


My plan to finish L2 with Bailey - thanks Mel for your input :smartass: scary as it is now April is over :eek:

May means working on

  • Cherokee & snaffle bits and helping Bailey find comfort with these in his mouth - card 7
  • riding in the bridle - card 9
  • the impulsion program - all of it, not just bits - so a good look and do of card 8, including canter PL
  • footfalls in card 10 and being confident to ask with an exaggerated body position for the canter leads
  • Sub/resub A8 - simple lead changes prn
  • start thinking about Imagination Assignment ?? BB ridden and 22'

May 11th


feedback from Mel for A8 - ask with my seat for the transitions before using the rein - downwards in particular, which I think I did today and hence took a bit longer for the transitions to happen, but we did get it eventually.

Even so today's filming was still under time and felt okay, but I'm not confident my diagonals were correct - it did cross my mind as we were doing them, but I looked more for maintaining the gait/rhythm than checking Bailey's hips :huh:

Our warm up was out on the grass - very yummy grass apparently :P - and I had a few suggestions from Bailey to 'bugger off, I'm busy' - but I chose to ride him forwards without the handbrake, sideways around the cone, find the centre, transitions on the circle and our gallop programme, 3 x inside and outside the cones in both directions - phew :unsure: - 1 down, only 6 more to go :wacko:

Our warm down was turns at the walk and rebounds and then finished with the assignment :thumbsup:


May 26th


today's play at Elcho in the sunshine B) went well I think...

warmed up similar to last play - out on the grass using the southern cross pattern of markers - not so fussed about eating today - so a bit of pinch test including sideways around the cone, find the centre, sideways off the circle at trot and transitions, simple leads at walk to trot and the gallop program in both directions - not so scary today - phew ^_^ some point to point and rebounds, then finished with stopping spot at trot - need to work up to some cantering :o

and filmed A8 - last feedback as I thought I'd missed the diagonals :P so finger's crossed :thumbsup:





March - saw another go at the assignment - not quite what I'd planned, but we are still moving forward (in more ways than one at times...and the odd sneaky steps by Bailey :blush: ) and eventually a Blue Tick for our 1st L2 assignment - yey :smartass:

April - we began working on our 'Spirals' assignment, had a clinic with Mel...L2 Ground and beginning/revisiting BB riding

May - June - still working on that Spirals!!! arrgghhh :whistling: Mel's words of wisdom - that feel is a very elusive thing, you think you pick it up but if your horse steps towards you(escaping the feel) then your feel is gone again. Need to be balancing keeping him out of your space with your feel. The Contact assignment is a good one to learn this.

July - Started with a L2 ridden Impulsion w/e with Mel - OMG we had to ride for the 2 days - wish I had 'prepared earlier'! but we did it and survived! and banished a couple of mountains along the way that I had been building in my mind:

  • saddling and riding ( I may have been putting these tasks to the furtherest back burner ... )
  • cantering, and controlling Bailey's direction, at the same time!
  • stopping spot in the open
  • transitions down while remaining balanced
  • talking about and riding the gallop pattern
  • going on a trail ride

We also played with the Pinch Test, attempted to maintain a circle at all 3 gaits (a work in progress!), point to point using the FQ and rebounds patterns around the southern cross.

nb transitions down - use flex, seat point, rhythm and try not to brace!!

Home again to fly out to Perth the next day and visit with our daughter.

Our LR play day at the end of the month was ground work again and filming of an assignment (spirals of course!) with a very reactive and elevated horse!

We had been practicing some of the elements but not put it all together until filming - SR & LR falling leaf and change of directions.

August - a visit from Sharron and the girls - plus the odd play down at Elcho.

The month has finished off with a lesson (ridden and working on the canter - getting it smother during the up & down transitions, posting and establishing our circle) plus a Live Assignment coaching with Mel - I seem to remember her mentioning something about 'shortening my rope' I think!! glad I have it on video to watch over again!

Last w/e was our horses' birthday party - which was heaps of fun before the weather put a bit of a dampener on our games!

These last 3 days of the month I have ridden Bailey down at Elcho Park - out in the open using our southern cross pattern to walk, trot and canter each day! - yey me!!

Initially a little suggestion of his hip up, but soon forgot to bother and played really well!

Steering needs work as he ups his gait, and while doing the 'straight bits' of the pattern, but nothing that was uncontrollable - so feeling a bit pleased!

Then today we played in one of the arenas, and finished with some ride the rail and leap frog with Shell & Blue, stopping at our 'comfort spot' when he was going both up and down gaits (walk - trot - walk) along the rail calmly - very happy with him :inlove:

Filmed the L2 A2 again!! - fingers crossed this time ;)



L2 with Bailey - Feb 2014

Sun 1st - @ Little River PC with Shell & Blue

  • practiced our first couple of homework cards - not too bad:- (no jumps nor poles today)

  1. need to work on my hands on his face, lighten up and release quicker on a forward step
  2. watch for and correct the drift of opposite end when yeilding HQ/FQ
  3. sideways...omg!! wasn't too bad from section 1, but from side!!! needs lots of small step release and forward drift correction
  4. worked at the end of the 12' with pause once at end, preempted direction, and transitions a bit bumpy
  5. sideways from a trot down the fence - ok would be easier not to use fenceline infront of yards as left over hay on ground very, very tempting to taste test!

  • filmed assignment 1 - or start of!

  1. amazing how much difference it makes when you change the starting spot
  2. aaaarrrggghhhh! PA once in the 'spotlight' - for both of us it seems!
  3. would also help to remember all 6 directions....

sorry Mel - will upload anyway for feedback and suggestions!

Thursday 6th

  • put off going outside as too hot and other things to do - cleaning, washing etc on day off work and play with Lilah ;) ....but then thought I dont need to do a lot, but do something with quality rather than quantity, so went outside

  1. and both hands on his nose, hands off when he stood still - no halter so he could leave at any time
  2. then 2-3 steps forward - tadah!
  3. and then Galliano had to come in for his rub/scratch etc...and 'drove Bailey away from me'!

so next play will be without his brother able to interfere!!

Saturday 8th

  • met Shell & Blue at Elcho Park - our 1st time there, horses in the distance, next to a busy road - and he wasn't phased by it, walked calmly off float (and back on to come home).

  1. ran thru SRY, looking for rub/release as quick as possible, particularly in sideways, and correcting the forward drift - 1 step at a time - getting there...
  2. changed to 22' rope, rebounds and longer range circles, transitions, stopping on the circle, change of direction
  3. falling leaf - hmmm, had to find my 'teeth' to keep him out and around me...and then he was more 'interested' in my directions, and his change of direction was better too!

no poles, so no jumps involved...and was getting very warm/hot - so finished on a good note I think ;)

found feedback from Mel once home and in the air con again...

8/2/14 No Yield looking good, remember to do all your yields with the stick and bag. In your HQ yields, remember to lift yourrope if he steps forward or towards you and try speeding up your yield to give him something to think about. Just need to put more intent in your body energy when you want him to move (think about Shane and his ‘Don’t make me get out of my chair’ phase or think about bossy mare – ears back, teeth bared. If he steps forward in your sideways (or any other yield) remember he is pushing on your space, so no need to be so nice with rhythmic pressure – try a block instead.

Tuesday 11th

  • played at home with a pole on the ground and jumps, while blocking his brother from joining us up close! while going thru no yeilds with stick and bag, noticed a scrape and bruising to his rear inner pastern so kept our session short (love that both Pete & I can check out his back legs from either side - no problms)

  1. no yeild with plastic bag in the breeze - no drama :)
  2. pick up back leg - yeild - is, as I thought, better than his front!
  3. sideways straddling a pole good
  4. back over a pole on the ground - in contact - started over the pole, backing just the front over - okay, so then asked for all feet over from in front of pole - getting there gently without swinging his butt ot to the side :)
  5. backed to the end of 12' rope, finishing on a light phase, then a couple of circles at trot, then over pole, then over jump, spiral in - both directions - need to work on the impulsion a bit more
  6. over to the fence for trot out, around and into sideways - hmmmm, need to pick a fence line without trees spaced along!, but finished both directions with sideways steps

and when I took his halter off, he stayed and walked back with me

Saturday 23rd

  • cannot believe it has been 12 days since playing with Bailey - how did that happen!!!!!???
  • good thing it was play/practice day at Little River!

  1. using hula hoops to anchor/see how much 'other' movement is going on in the FQ,HQ yeilds - once standing 2 feet within the hoop! - need to anchor my focus more and correct prn
  2. soccor ball - not very good dribbling from me!
  3. nose over the cone - sideways - moving from an ask, but quite bent
  4. back up '8' - need to slow myself down and reward him more - rather than rush to complete
  5. umbrella no yeild - no drama until open and spinning - but worked through calmly
  6. jumps over pole very gentle, and over tarp, back up over pole on the ground, all from an ask and then sideways along the jump - such a good boy!!
  7. finding his sweet spot to scratch - hmmm, anywhere, everywhere when there is grass under his nose!
  8. apple bobbing - so much fun to watch him discover what to do - then to try stopping him!!!
  9. bareback riding the rail with 2 other ridden and 1 loose horse - interesting - need a 3rd hand! initially a shy, but stayed on!!!
  10. mounted from leaning over his back rather than sliding leg over!!
  11. really need to get better at body energy to slow/stop - go is ok, whoa is in his time with rein influence....hmmm


Down by the Sea

So we did it - Bailey has now been to the beach, with his mum Pheobe, as a calming influence - not sure if that was for me or him eek.gif and Dianne came too. Sharron and Stormy also came along for the play at and ?in the water.

Just like taking the dogs for a walk along the beach says Dianne - also a new experience for them this summer!

When we first acquired Pheobe, my girls were working at the trail riding and school on weekends and over summer, and were offered to have their own horse with them to use on the beach rides. Excellent experience for all of them as Pheb is a great lead horse...calm and sensible with a no nonsense attitude in the herd with a 'don't you dare go passed me ear twitch' dry.png expression out along the beach.

So we load the 2 horses...hmm how long has it been since I've played with Pheobe and put her onto the float...maybe ~18 months?...anyway, on she goes with only the slightest hesitation (this from a horse who used to take 2 hours to even consider going onto the float), and we head off to the beach - so far so good, what am I worried about?

Unload in the car park behind the sand dunes to wait for Sharron and Stormy, alert ears but calm bodies and heads soon low and grazing. Stormy pretty much does the same when they arrive, so we head to the track and down onto the beach...keeping up with Pheobe as she strides through the deep sand is hard work, but the others follow with interest and a just few pauses along the way - so far so good!

Over to the still water of the Merri River mouth we go to have a play - no this water is not good for drinking, and nor is the stuff in the sand any good to eat! But it is fun to splash and roll in...and the sand feels sooo good too. Not sure who became more wet - Bailey or me!

Di and Pheobe just amble around at the waters edge and get her toes wet...she is too cool to splash and roll cool.png

Sharron and Stormy had great success in this water - but that is her story!

A couple of motorbikes appear on the beach and they just wait and watch while we play before heading over and on their way once we moved onto the beach itself and closer to the waves...thanks guys!

So down to the water's edge we go...hang on, this stuff moves .... And omgeek.gif ...it's chasing me up the sand! But offer, retreat, offer retreat, and the snorting stops, eventually and the head lowers and I may just let my feet get wet as it goes away back out there...while we walk along the edge, every so often heading away as those waves wash in again, but less rushed and quicker to come back to sniff and investigate this stuff :)

Pheobe and Di have headed off to go 'home on the trail ride' and back to her work place, took a bit of convincing her to come back to the mouth with the boyshappy.png but she listened and followed Di back to us trotting shoulder to shoulder inlove.gif so proud of my girls.

All loaded calmly as we set to head home again - a great day and great experience in a new environment for Bailey - may just have to keep him forever too wub.png


We had a fascinating weekend at a new venue 'Unicorn Park' near Ballarat on the long weekend in June - what were we thinking weather wise :0)


L1 was the ridden stuff in the mornings to build my confidence and get some eyes and feedback on our 'bumpy' canter transtions...hmm, a work in progress for self to believe he can and will do as I ask - remember to breath and relax for him so I can 'open and offer' the transition for him.

Our saddling/mounting was also refined with much less movement around me while I try to find the balance of our new saddle, let alone get the swing right to place it onto his back, but after 2 days we seem to have that sorted - yey! :)

Remember : Phase 1 = Life Up to go, and Life Down to whoa...on the ground and in the saddle-doh!

Slow, soft hands = soft horse

Maintain my personal space - at least a stick length away...may have heard that before, but, but, but ... it was cold ;)

Direct rein is an offer, if he doesn't take it, use the HQ yeild to help get his weight back so he can step across and avoid letting him 'drift out sideways'


L2 was the ground stuff in the afternoon - so great to 'play' with Bailey and explore/expand our connection and see what he is 'thinking'. He does have beautiful eyes and expressions (not that I'm at all biased of course!!) so watching for signs of response to auditory stimulus was interesting to see the subtlties(?)

Remember : maintain MY focus in the contact yeilds, and stop on phase 1

Go should = Whoa

Transitions - be able to pick up the feel on the rope and not have him come into my personal space! (there it is again - personal space!!)

Should have an idea of where we are going on a trail walk...and keep MY feet moving forward too!

Send with feel and be able to define the gait he should go in ~ energy in the send

Sideways down the fence - wow!!- open up my body and energy and he makes it look easy :)


Gee I love my Boy!!



Another mind filling weekend with Mel at Burong near Winchelsea -_-


We worked on improving so many 'simple' things - the send, start with 2 eyes facing me at least a stick length away and with 'feel' on the rope (hand following foot), send with contact around me, not through my personal space! Practice when doing trail walk and spirals!

Then we used a BB PL in the group(not even a BB pad was had :( ) in 1 rein halter to feel the 'movement' to get in time with at walk and TROT :o and survived!!


Shell and I had a practice in the AM - a trot PL in the day yards - aiming to be with feet out of stirrups :eek: sounded okay, but hard to maintain due to uneven ground and lots of distractions and 'impulsive' moments and with Pheobe breaking gait, so I only did 1 session with feet out, the 1st and last were with feet in -_- Our afternoon lesson was more controlled! Spirals around the cone > simple lead changes, work on the circle at trot and canter - yes we had some canter! Improved the sends ie 'rolled' up into the trot and canter - nice - and down again, stopping out on the circle! Homework - to get better yeilds off leg and unlock her shoulders by using sideways and flex.


Warm-up using trail walk, L1 1 rein assignment, sideways around the centre and change of direction then onto +ve reflexes - pinch test, FQ, HQ, Sideways and Back, using body and seat point positions - amasing how light she can be :blink: why am I so 'heavy handed' then? Follow-up with rythmic pressure if not moving off phase 2.

Riding the 'square' with comfort spots at the corners, posting and trying to co-ordinate the roll up into canter :wacko: need lots of work from me!!


played outside in the AM on the other arena - stallion over there who Pheobe didn't take much notice of despite his calling out :angel: as we did some ground work and trail walk improving sends and sideways. Our afternnon lesson was again trail walk for saddling up, then L1 1 rein assignment and pinch test for rein positions. Onto developing and maintaining cirlces at all 3 gaits ^_^ with centre comfort spot. We had canter that was smooth from soft asks eventually without the head shaking/tossing business :clapping: hmmm ?+ve reflex :rolleyes:

then impulsion point to point at trot and canter departs - Pheobe thought that was fun :whistling: interesting in a short space as I tried to keep up with her! Then we put it altogether in the L2 riding Ass - 3 gaits from body position up and down, posting and change of direction! Not quite there yet (surpirse, surprise!) but very happr :rolleyes:^_^:D


So what's stopping me now from finishing the L1 ridden stuff??? Nothing, I can and will 'JUST DO IT'!! 'cos I have more trust in myself and Pheobe :wub:


My Journey With Pheobe

I am so glad I had chosen to do the level 1 ridden stuff for January, as I think I may have been so left behind at this level 2 clinic with Mel in Noorat :rolleyes:

We touched on lesson 8, but mainly worked on lesson 7...so much in there... :confused1:

Saturday was about establishing a 'comfort spot'... for both of us!... with a pattern of circling the cone at all 3 gaits and stopping with a nose over the cone...most of the time!, running thru the level 1 - 1 rein assignment as a warm up in an open space, again repeating something familiar...and jumping over those scary barrels before mounting! Gentle stretch of comfort zones for both of us! :clapping:

Sunday was about 'pinch test' and 'butterfly reins', to pick up contact in 2 reins of the halter, being able to ride forward with no contact, and use up, bump and leg on to communicate, - not hold or pull - which is very tempting once you put 2 reins back into your hands :blush: so we were able to do the square - sideways across, back, other direction sideways and forwards - and repeat in reverse. Lots of movement and head shaking on both Pheobe and my part to get some understanding between us and clear direction, with correction and RELEASE when they get it right! :thumbsup:

Monday we looked at 'simple lead changes' at walk, trot and canter - this is when I found the eject button forwards and holding her head in at the moment means up...oops! it may have helped if my weight was back and I was looking up...! sideways around the cone and then onto playing in her mouth, holding her tongue and putting on a 'cherokee bridle'. Then something relaxing while maintaining contact with it - RTR bareback - in a low fenced area - walk and mainly trot fun with the halter on too.

Tuesday we looked at the impulsion program, and what bits do which - to lengthen or shorten our horses and after some warm ups around our comfort spot, we did a 'stopping spot' ride at trot in the open x 3 sessions - again stretching our comfort and riding with confidence in the wind, along the fence, by the trees, and back to our cone and around and out again... not so scary with 2 reins, but must remember to use it as 1 when needed!


Oh, did I mention we did our Float Loading Assignment ?? - and have another Blue Tick! way too tired to do the mounting one, but are probably ready to as we practiced each day...a couple of times some days! The mind may have been willing, but the body couldn't keep up! I know what you mean about 'burn out' Monica my brain is full!


So now to get this long drawn out level 1 finished and out of the way...ready to move on to the next stuff - level 2!


7th July

I even had the camera out this morning before work as it was just a glorious morning and I had to be out in it, so thought I may as well film something...hubby even said he would tape for me....hmmm why hadn't I asked him before?

Okay so he may have stop/started the skills check assignment 'cos he thought I wasn't doing anything in particular...but he did manage to continuously film the 'float loading' assignment, so will upload that tonight for 'assessment' Yeah!


9th July

re fload loading clip, it felt better as I wasn't sure if Pete was filming or not, and just went along with the flow of the assignment...have also added the other stuff/bits we did Tues...in the right place I think now!?


10th July

in a few hours time, come rain (as it is here now) or shine (hoping for the later in AM) we will ALL have completed our 'Challenge'...go team

Had a play with Pheobe tonight in the rain, and she still goes into the float...still smiling to self that she does, whateva the weather!


11th July

I did my play today in the wind and rain as it hasn't let up all day it seems, so just some walk play, and sideways and step over the jump pole. So all good! And of course, she loaded calmly into, and out of the float :D


We did it, I now have a horse I can float load, easily, and we are going places, together....yeah :D


Anyway, we played again today, float loading is almost easy and pre-empted when we go near to the float/ramp...so walking across took a bit more focus and clear direction. We had a bit of trouble with a trot pole jump that Pheobe knocked going across and the pole fell between her feet...not so keen to do that again, so took a while to re-establish from both directions...same as the float loading concept....surprise, surprise, surprise... reward the try, rest and reward the try, or keep sending back and around over something smaller, and then re-try...then she did it!


So glad to have done this challenge! :D


Pheobe & I practised our assignment yesterday, and things went much better without a camera watching...so another thing to find 'comfort' with ;) ...for me


I played with Pheobe last night just before dusk and in the wind, so wasn't really surprised she wasn't that keen to load, but she did eventually, although wasn't wanting to stay on very long...so we did the same thing tonight as the weather is similar. Again not keen to stay on for long, but obliged all the same. I'm thinking my next step is to actually take her somewhere, unload, have a play and then reload again...will look into that for next weekend I think then I'll know we can do it anywhere, anytime :rolleyes:


I did get out there today and had yngr son come out the 2nd time today to film for me...I think I have managed to upload it... :blink: ...so 2 firsts today yeh


The filming wasn't all of the assignment, as it didn't go very well...maybe Pheobe picked up on my 'just get it done' energy so wasn't as well directed along the fence as she has been in the past plays! Oh well, plenty of room to improve :rolleyes:


I agree Ellen, the task itself now doesn't take anywhere near the time it did to begin with...even with warm-up! and the result is definitely a softer horse, usually...today I asked for a 'barrel' jump instead of just a pole, and had some 'head shaking' directed at me by Pheobe as she does to yeild the other horses, and then she continued over the pole end of the jump, so I will keep offering/suggesting the 'barrel' end...and now I believe she will jump that end when 'she' accepts the challenge ;)


I did a bit more movement with Pheobe, before taking her to the float, going over the tarp and playing with an umbrella...just love the way they hide behind each other when there is something unfamiliar, and 'delegate' someone to check it out...and even then Pheobe wouldn't have a bar of it

Still have to put the chain across to the divider behind her, and check out the rest of the assignment before submitting...(that may sound like an excuse ), but who knows this may be the weekend...?


Pheobe told me today I have lots of deposits owed into the rapport account, as I followed her around the dam before we could start our play today and then we had very curved HQ yeilds, but lovely flexes of the neck Must be time to reward the brilliant effort she has given me this last few weeks...hmmm I wonder if she would like a massage to follow having her 'nails done' tomorrow? She continues to load for me, with the divider across next to her today as well as starting to stand for longer inside the float. So all good, but must need to add other things when playing to keep her (and me) interested. Imagination is a good thing...so other flight test senarios...hmmm any ideas anyone?


Pheobe has definately associated the float with comfort...and is looking to go in when faced anywhere near the ramp, so had to check/correct my direction when I 1st asked her to cross the ramp and not load She has had her head down looking at me as if to say 'are you sure?' and perhaps anticipating to load lol!

I had also put the divider out from the side wall, and she hesitated going on, but only needed a little further suggestion to do so, and that was from standing at the foot of the ramp.


So next is too ensure she is fully on, the divider is centred and put the chain across behind.


I have days when going out to Pheobe that she doesn't want to be with me...it used to be all the time that she would walk away a few times before standing and allowing me to 'catch' her It has become far less often now, and am waiting for the day when she comes to me (I hope) and it's not food time! So I guess I have lots of rapport banking to make up It is hard not to ask for just a bit more or one more time. I didn't believe that she would 'lick and chew' 'cos I'd never seen Pheb do that, it only happened to other peoples horses didn't it?? so was stunned when I actually gave her enough time to process and ... lick and chew...just happened BFO or what :rolleyes:


Today I put the centre divider back into the float, tail end against the side, and am gobsmacked that she still went on after only 2 suggestions! We didn't need to do lots of back off and circle around again, it was almost from straight up offer from both sides, and she is happy to stand on there. So next will be to straighten the divider in the float before loading, or maybe move it across next time she's in first...will see how we go.


I have felt calmer in myself doing this task, knowing that I have to take the time it takes and trying to add variation in the warm up/warm down to keep it interesting, and finish on a positive, what ever that may be for the day. Easier to do when things are going well


I think part of this task/challenge is to build a little more each time, be it time, movement or no movement, extending the comfort/release as much as practicle...so for us that means choosing to go onto and stay on the float until asked to leave.


How good will it be, when we can ask our horses to load at liberty like Belinda can with Thor?


:D:) We did it again today...and from both sides :):D


I'm sure you can see/feel my smile where-ever you are! It was too good a day not to go out and play as the sun was shining and all was well in my world!

Now I have to put the divider back in place, and go again...but I'm sure it wont be such a difficult ask :rolleyes:


Monica thank you for your comments, and I fully agree with Shane's Cheshire loading video, the BFO about where comfort is...doh :unsure: I also tend to 'warm' Pheobe up by doing no yeild checks before we start any play. I think Pheobe wondered what I was doing today when I asked her to just stand on the base of the ramp initially...and then resend onto the float, again, and again until she was asking which way to go, on more or off...obviously she worked it out Okay, so the left over hay on the floor may have been temptation, but she lowered her head to eat it...so she was calm enough to be there!




So glad to say that today Pheobe 'chose' to go into the float, while I stood outside next to the ramp! and must admit that I'm still smiling about it Not so sure I want to ask again tomorrow :unsure: , but I know, the purpose of the team and task is to be able to repeat the process and make a habit, or new behaviour

She even waited inside for me to come around to the front door and stepped right up into the front of the float, without anything behind her...so pleased We'd had some licking and chewing with 2 front feet in, and rear on the ramp, so I guess I must have waited and rewarded often enough to get the load. She had faced me a couple of times from inside the float looking for the rub with an almost questioning look...'is that what you want?'...so sweet :rolleyes:


Now that the elements are more favourable, sunshine most of the day here after overnight rain, that the horses are being 'fascinating', or in my case, surprising! ;)


We had a good day today that was better than the last...used the card 4 tasks to warm up and HQ yeilds are getting better with Pheobe stopping to face me rather than next to or behind me! The float loading is improving, and even had trot up to and onto the ramp, and front feet in the float and back feet on the ramp from both directions and happy to stand in this position! So we will get there, one foot at a time :rolleyes:


It continues to rain here, but sunshine today as well, so must make the most of it


Finally had an opportunity last night when home from work, it was still daylight, didn't look like it had rained all day, so took the car into the paddock and moved the float onto the drive without getting bogged, so yes found a dry area to play on!! yeah!


We then just played around the float, had 4 feet touch the ramp across from the left, and 3 feet touch from the right, so slightly better! The loading also had a step forward, literally, with 4 feet onto the ramp, and almost a front foot onto the floor....thinking about it, but not 'confident' to put it down...? Had this from both the left and the right, so lots of rest and rub when there, so an improvement.


Started to get impatient with this slow progress, but 'pushing' Pheobe just caused her to moved into my space across the ramp, so off and then back up again. Finished with standing straight on the ramp again!


We will get there...we will get there...we will get there!


We have had rain, and more rain, and then some more rain today...and it didn't stop, so by 5pm I put on my gumboots and tested my coat (new from equitana last year...glad to say it worked perfectly...I stayed dry and warm) in the puddles/lake that is currently my paddocks!


I took Pheobe into the shed I had used the other day and we walked to the back corners and HQ yeilded along the back wall and around inside. Had a little fright when her back legs snuck into the wheelbarrow arms, but was okay to come back into the shed and stand with her head facing away from the opening again, small dark places under rain on a tin roof are okay.


Then to the float...across the ramp and stand with 2 feet from the side, okay from the right, need to work more from the left. Not able to stop all 4 feet on ramp...yet. Face into float, okay but no rest for standing just on the ramp when not trying/thinking about moving forward. We finished up going across again, but by this stage both of us were slipping...not a good look !


Our session today was in the glorious rain, that fell ever so softly while we were playing, so most of our play was calm and at walk, with a few trot transitions up and down with body energy....nice feeling, then to the pole, jump and float. Again calm between, not so calm over the ramp as it was slippery, but still managed to get 3 feet across today

Load was better with head lowered during the rest and rub, although still only 2 feet onto the ramp. (note to self: remember to remove shetland from float before taking Pheobe to load )

Plan for tomorrow is to get 4 feet onto ramp when going across (protect personal space better), and expect 3 feet onto ramp when facing to load (more assertive send).

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