Monday, 16 September 2013
The first couple of sessions I did with her were aimed at establishing understanding and respect for personal space and getting control of her feet. This was soon achieved, and we have been working incrementally week by week to advance her training. We started with lots of groundwork and confidence building; tarpaulins, plastic bags, traffic cones, umbrellas, going for walks around the farm etc. Then we long lined with the roller in the roundpen, followed by on the tracks with a leader, before moving onto the saddle. This has taken place over several weeks.
At first she found halting extremely hard work as she is so enthusiastic about going forwards. However, gentle consistent asks with correct timing and a giving feel on the line soon resulted in a soft and calm halt. The next challenge was steering. Initially, Roma found it difficult to leave the side of the roundpen. Again, gentle, clear and consistent asks and well timed releases resulted in a greater understanding of what I was asking her to do. Last session we long lined in the field around obstacles with very light responses to my asks for halts and steering. Hoorah! Fun times ahead!