Wolfie the Wonder Horse!

Wolfie the Wonder Horse!
Wolfie, 24/02/08

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The first time Wolfie has ever seen the Welsh flag
Happy belated Easter from wee Bob

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What makes a great horse?.......Heart

Check this little guy out, flying the flag for all natives out there. He's a 14.3hh Connemara gelding competing in advanced eventing. Courtney Sendak and Wil'YaLoveMe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJDePKdqYP4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLyXEjv3T-I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GATEhJ2sqDo

Friday, 6 April 2012

Could Wolfie be a War Horse?

My friend at the stables gave me a link to a You Tube clip of a Kelly Marks demonstration on making your horse braver, de-sensitising them to variuos objects. The full episode was shown on Horse & Country TV but I don't have that.

I have always tried to install confidence in Wolfie, to make him bold and think he is the bravest horse when facing every day obstacles. I think a lot of the time we just accept that our horses don't like something and leave it at that and never try an improve things or work through them. The infamous phrases of 'he / she doesn't load, clip, hose etc' which follow a horse throughout it's life. Or one of my biggest bug bears, not standing at mounting blocks and just wandering off when you have one foot in the stirrup. To which you are told 'he always does that'. I think of the issues Wolfie and I have worked through and overcome and how much easier and more pleasant it makes things in general. I also think it's kinder for him that he feels more confident in himself and me and not worried and anxious. Now I want to work with him to really make him the bravest horse, So..........it's Challenge Wolfie.

We started on Sunday with the tarpaulin and the umbrella. We have done a lot of work previously with both, whilst they are on the ground. He will now confidently walk over and stand on the tarpaulin and will walk past the umbrella. However, if I pick either of them up, even the tarpaulin folded into a small square, to Wolfie they become completely different objects and very frightening. It's really the noise of the tarp and any flapping. The umbrella also makes a noise if the wind catches it, but it's the action of it being lifted up and held higher. So the goal is that Wolfie will eventually allow me to open the tarpaulin and lie it over him and he will let me sit on him holding the umbrella.

We made good progress on Sunday. I began by walking Wolfie over the tarpaulin on the ground, opening it out and gradually making it bigger. He then stood next to me whilst I folded it back up again. We worked on him just standing next to me whilst I held the tarpaulin folded up. I then gradually worked on him allowing me to rub a piece of tarpaulin all over his body working from both sides. He eventally allowed me to place the folded tarpaulin onto his back and then again opened out one fold. It was very difficult for him and he was very unsure. He didn't want this rustling, noisy object on or near ghim but he eventually stood and by the end he was relaxed, was standing on a loose rein with his head lowered licking and chewing. I didn't attempt to open the trapaulin out any further as it was quite windy. I will now allow him to process what we worked on and we will continue again. It is so interesting to watch. Every part of Wolfie's gut instinct and sense of survival was telling him to get the hell out of there and away from the tarpaulin, and at the start he would have ran for the hills, but as he gradually realised that it wasn't going to hurt him, he chose to stay. He was really trying and it was a big ask for him. There's one thing Wolfie likes and that's praise and fuss, so he looked quite pleased with himself afterwards. He eventually managed to stand next to me whilst I held the umbrella and I stood with him whilst the yard owner walked arund with it and opened and closed it a few times (whilst humming the singing in the rain tune;-)). He is still very warey of it, but again a good step forward and I was very pleased with him.

I'm going to make a flag and I'd also like to get a bunch of balloons. I want to get hold of someone on a bike with a bell. I'm thinking of other things I can use to 'Challenge Wolfie' so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Wolfie crossing the 'scarey' bridge.