|Chatting to the Crowds|
|On Our Way to the Parade|
|Getting All Spiffed Up|
|On Our Way - All Excited!|
|The Stirrup Cup - the Dark Handsome on the Left is Us!|
|Diving Into the Dam - Look Out!|
We also often get stuck on the competitive riders with their own horse that we forget that there is an entire community of passionate horse-lovers that will never compete or be able to own their own horses but they are just as passionate about their weekly riding lessons!
One important thing that you should know about working with the fearful horse is that when they start to gain more confidence, they will begin to test boundries. That is also partly because the rider will tend to coddle the horse a little too. Always be firm and reasonable. Boundries are what give confidence. By feeling sorry for them and letting them test and get away with things you begin a see-saw kind of test, punish, retreat, cycle which is not productive at all. My rules apply – stand still for me to get on (that was a lot of work but now he knows!), when we work, we work, no looking for girlfriends while we work, when outside, we go as fast as I say, when I say and where I say. There is no need for beating or shouting – with him a firm no will do the trick or just positive riding and keeping his mind focussed. Because he is so scared of any crop or stick and even a baseball cap scares him, I devised a clever way of reinforcing without sending him into a fear spiral. I have taken the bottom strap of a flash noseband and have worked it through the D-Ring on my saddle. In that way it is not in my hand, he doesn’t notice it and it holds no stressor for him, but if he is in a place where he needs a bit of backup to the leg or he wants to go out the gate or anything, I just take the strap and tap him once with it, let it go and he gets the message without the need for a crop. It has worked really well as an alternative reinforcer. With this I don’t mean to say that everyone needs straps – what I do want to illustrate is that when working with any horse, you have to think outside the box and really try to understand what is going on in their heads and how you can help them. Sometimes unconventional methods can be of great value!
This has been a busy busy year with loads of teaching, competing and training and I can't wait for the new year to get busy again and enjoy my precious boy and my students and keep learning and keep growing and having fun most of all!
"Johannesburg – Paul Hart's withdrawal from the equestrian event at the Olympic Games in London has cost him almost R1 million, The Times reported on Thursday.
So far this juorney has been everything I expected, AND MORE! The last three months have been the best, the worst, the most thrilling and the most frustrating of my horse career to date but the progress that is being made is thrilling and amazing and in the next few months I will be sharing this journey with you.
I am not sure where we are going to end but I do know that this little guy is going to be something special. I can't wait to share everything I have learned thus far with you all.
Watch this space!
Gerdi has also gone on to win the Youth Festival 80cm Pony Rider Championships! You guys are just awesome to watch!