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


Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Photos of my Pones Backs.

I emailed my photos to 'Saddlefitter' this evening (poor woman, very cheeky of me to send her photos of all three, but I always feel I have to treat them all equally - as if they'd care that they'd been left out of the photos!!!!!).

Anyway I thought you might be interested to see what my hips have to cope with! I'll just post the most revealing

Grace, a badly sprung settee:

Jack, an overstuffed armchair:

Bella, an overstuffed mattress:

I sent a side view of Grace taken at the show in September, so she looked really smart, but I couldn't find suitable ones of Bella and Jack so had to take these of the muddy, scruffy looking urchins. I need some warm weather to get them clipped right out and bathed!


  1. ouch - yep, pretty wide :-) Grace's back doesn't look that bad at all atrophy-wise, I was expecting much worse! You've obviously already done a good job.

    I reckon Tiglet is somewhere between Grace and Jack in summer but because her body is lighterweight, she looks deceiving!

  2. Thanks Charlotte. Grace's back is much better than when I first met her - her spine really stuck out, with huge hollows either side underneath the seat of the saddle. Not sure how much of the 'filling in' is fat though!

    I told 'Saddlefitter', in my email, that Grace was too fat and thought afterwards she'll look at the other 2 and think "what - only Grace?" but Grace has a huge amount of subcutaneous fat which rolls along in front of the clippers when I clip her. Bella and Jack's fat is a bit more 'toned'.

    Bella's back is so flat that all saddle trees seem to have a bit too much curve in them to be ideal. Jack has a tiny bit of shape to his but Bella's you really could eat your dinner off!


    My lungs are so crap at the moment, I think I'll have to go for the bottle of Pen and Strep and the cattle size needles, before I go mad with frustration!!!!

  4. I can really sympathise Helen!!! I am still feeling rubbish, too and I 'had' to do something with Hylo tonight as he wasn't done for me as promised (mumble,mumble) but my heart wasn't truly in it.

    I so want to get back to how we all were a few weeks ago....... Think the pen and strep would help me???



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