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.
Saturday, 3 January 2009
Things I am especially delighted with and excited by:
Bella, Jack and Grace -
Their understanding of and response to the bit.
The quality of the contact and feel they give me down the reins.
Their understanding and response to the lightest of driving aids.
Their attitude to their work and to me.
His walk and his lateral work at walk.
His present high levels of confidence and concentration, and he is so controlable now.
His energy and enthusiasm, and his newly aquired love of movement.
Bella - Her superb (for a Dales), elevated, cadenced trot, and her Spanish Walk.
Grace - Her canter (considering where we started from).
Things I would like to change:
Bella and Jack -
Their attitude to each other and to working around other horses (they both seem to regard attack as the best form of defense and have to be restrained/discouraged from doing so!).
Her lack of confidence with high sided vehicles on narrow lanes, and with some objects.
Her habitual tendency to hollow still in downward transitions.
Also I can't ride Jack at the moment. He has had a small nodular-type lump under the skin on the underside of his chest, underneath where the girth lies, for some months. It only involves the skin (I can get my fingers underneath it) and was causing no problems and my vet didn't think that it was a sarcoid, or anything sinister, but suggested surgically removing it sometime and having it biopsied.
I have been dragging my feet over this because I have had rams with terrible brisket sores which won't heal because they are always in contact with the ground when the ram lies down. Removing Jack's lump was going to leave a stitched wound in the same sort of location and in an area where the skin is already quite tight, and I was worried that the wound would break down.
Also, the only time Jack has had sedation and antibiotics (he had to have his leg stitched after being frightened by someone shooting on the other side of the hedge, so he tried to climb over the gate to his paddock) he had what looked for a while like it was going to be a surgical colic, two days later.
I was planning to try and desensitise him to needles using the clicker, so he could have it done without sedation (and have injectable antibiotics instead of oral) but the lump has changed drastically in the last fortnight. It may be wishful thinking on my part but it looks as though it is separating away from the surrounding tissue. It certainly looks more like a sarcoid than it did, so I will tactfully insist on sending a photo of it to Derek Knottenbelt before the vet tackles it, if it doesn't self cure.
Either way I won't put a girth on him while it looks so unstable and sore.
- Motivation of Dressage Horses - Richard Hinrichs
- Taking Stock.
- Snowy Days.
- Photo Albums 2008.
- Snowy Days Photos.
- Frosty Photos.
- Philippe Karl Style Flexions.
- Giving the Horse a Voice.
- Aspirations and Expectations.
- First Time Evers.
- I found these clips on You tube yesterday and they...
- Russell's Story.
- Saddle Fitting.
- Photos of my Pones Backs.
- My Little Helper.
- ▼ January (15)