Sunday, 13 June 2010

Horse handling for the less confident person

We had lovely weather on Saturday for our popular course "Horse handling for the less confident person". This confidence building day is about learning how to be in be control of horses and ponies -whether they are loose, whether we are interacting with them in small/enclosed spaces, or if we are leading them.

We always tailor the course towards the individual needs of the participants and the particular issues they would like to address. On this course, one of the special topics we covered was catching the "difficult to catch horse or pony", which is one of my favourite subjects. Once people learn to understand horse body language, and understand how their own human body language affects the horse, catching is no longer a problem. Being able to go out and interact with our herd of ponies means that people can practice their skills. Faye helps students to interpret the signals from the ponies, and helps students to perfect their techniques.
We finished the day by taking Muddy for a walk - this helped to bring all the day's teaching together. Everyone was able to confidently handle him, even though Muddy was an unfamiliar pony to them, and participants were able to deal with different scenarios, such as what to do if your pony refuses to move...and how to safely pass tractors and traffic.

We received excellent feedback ratings about all the aspects of the course - for the quality of the teaching, the theory and practical content, and the overall experience on the day.

Feedback comments "Great to be able to put it all into practice. Good balance of theory and practical. Certainly made us think about how our actions give reactions to the ponies".

Photos from the day: above - Faye teaching in the yard, with pony Bobby and course participant Louise listening to the instructions! Below - (left) putting the theory and techniques into practice on each other, before trying it with the ponies. (upper right) A very nice example of how to ask a pony to take a few steps backwards. (Lower right) Returning to the yard with Muddy after taking him for a walk to put the day's teaching into practice.