Smokey swivels and Bug goes to the beachRSS feed

Posted: Saturday 18 June, 2011

by Rosemary at 12:07pm in Equines Comments closed

As part of Smokey's education as a working pony, he has to learn to turn without bending his body ie by crossing his front feet, one over the other, while keeping his hind feet swivelling on the spot.

Moving sideways is a manoever that we learned in the Parelli programme, so he knows how to do that - in fact, it's often what he does if he's not sure what you're asking him to do - "if in doubt, try sideways".

Last time we were out with Steve and we tried it, he was either moving forward or backwards. On Thursday, we went out on to the road to have a practice and he was foot perfect to both right and left, although he finds going right easier. I found that opening up the right rein, for example, and asking him to "over" was enough to get what I wanted. The going backwards previously was my fault - I was putting too much weight on the left rein, in this case, to stop him going forwards, thus causing him to back up. We've spent a lot of time on "back" :-) I was very pleased with his progress - now we have to try it in traces.

The highlight of Bug's week was a trip to the beach. I want to use him to collect seaweed for the garden, so I was keen to a) find out how long it would take us to walk along and b) how he felt about the beach - sand, sea and tide. He's only got little legs, so it took us about 40 minutes to reach the beach; sand was fine (a pony can make good and interesting tracks in the sand with hooves plus nose :-)), sea was a bit scarier, but allowing him to approach and retreat, he was standing in the sea before we came home. Goodness, his hooves were clean!

Naturally, folk wanted to pat him - 'cos he's cute - but he's not above having a nip and he's not as people friendly as Smokey, who has really only had good experiences with people (well, no malicious encounters as far as I know). Bug was far more interested in the grass - poor starved animal that he is, in his head.

Now I must do something about a klibber :-)

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