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Riley and I are learning so much

This week has been mainly lungeing and lateral work for Riley. He seems to be enjoying the work and is very willing even if he doesn’t always understand what is being asked of him..
The week started with another brilliant lesson with Emma.  I feel as though Riley and I are learning so much and improving our partnership.  We did a leg yield exercise that I haven’t done before and whilst it was tricky it was so rewarding when it went well. On Tuesday morning I lunged Riley, something that I haven’t done for months.  He was well behaved on one rein but on the other rein he was a challenge so to end the session on a high note I kept the circle smaller and we finished with a few circles without him trying to turn in.  Moving forward I am going to add lungeing into his routine weekly.

I did try canter but couldn’t hold it together

Wednesday and Thursday turned into days off for Riley which wasn’t what I had planned but he enjoyed his days in the field. On Friday morning I schooled him and worked on leg yields and practiced what we had done in our lesson earlier in the week. I lunged him again on Saturday morning and whilst he did try to turn in a few times, our session was much more successful.  We also managed to get the downward transition from trot to walk that we hadn’t managed earlier in the week and he was listening to me more.  I did try canter but couldn’t hold it together so decided to leave that for another day.

Riley is looking rather fluffy

Riley is starting to look quite fluffy and needs clipping. It may take some time to get him used to the clippers but I want to try and get him to accept them as I don’t really want him sedated again if I can avoid it.
Riley is looking rather fluffy now as his winter coat is growing and really needs a cut.  As far as I am aware, he has only been clipped once and that was when I first bought him earlier this year  This wasn’t the success that I would have hoped for since the first time the clippers came near him he kicked and made it clear on further attempts that he didn’t like them at all.  In the end he had to be sedated.

Sedation again?

This time around, I knew that clipping was going to be a gradual process and so I ordered my first pair of clippers and took them to the yard on Sunday for phase one of the ‘get Riley used to the clippers’ mission.  I switched the clippers on, and the noise grabbed his full attention immediately. He wasn’t at all keen and stamped his foot and danced around so I knew it was going to be a gradual process.   I decided to give him a hay net whilst the clippers were on and as he is a greedy pony, I hoped this would be a helpful distraction. This worked to some degree so I can see that plenty of small steps are needed to get him used to the clippers, but I am optimistic that he will get used to them. I suppose there is always sedation again if not.
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Sharon Howe

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