This is the story of my quest to train my three Dales Ponies for classical dressage, primarily by using Alexandra Kurland's clicker training methods, with a touch of others such as Philippe Karl and Anja Beran thrown in. I turned to clicker training because I had come up against some issues that I didn't know how to fix and because I wanted to inspire them to become enthusiatic partners. Bella and Jack are all my own work and have never been ridden by anyone else.

Bella, Grace and Jack

Bella aged 6

Bella aged 6

Treat Delivery

Jack aged 7


Monday, 10 November 2008

I have had such a lovely weekend. Bella and Jack reports tomorrow, but today I took Gracie to the last local show of the season. She is already rather wooly, but I wanted to show her off, now that she's mine.

She is such a delight at shows - it's like going with an old friend. She is totally calm and relaxed but a real poser in the ring. She is an older person's dream show horse - no adrenalin involved at all!

Unfortunately the concensus of opinion after the Mountain and Moorland In Hand class was that if we want to hold our own against young Welsh Cob stallions I have to learn to run! I was absolutely flat out - I thought I was flying along; I ran as fast as I could and then speeded up some more (I'd already seen the competition trot round and knew we had to pull all the stops out); I needed oxygen afterwards - but apparently I am too slow to do her justice and I don't have the right action (this is from OH, the judge, who is a Welsh Cob breeder and shower, and another sometimes judge who was ringside - they are both friends of ours). Some running lessons and circit training were discussed by the aforementioned three. Shocked

I have decided to work on her canter over the winter and hope to do the ridden instead next year - it seems the sensible option!!!! nod

Anyway Grace and I had a really lovely time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Here are some pics taken after the class and I hope to get some action shots from the professional photographer in attendance. It's a pity that I didn't avoid getting the bin in the photos or notice that part of her mane had escaped onto the other side, but such is life!!!!

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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!