Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Fabulous feature in Devon Life magazine

We were very lucky to have Anna Turns from Devon Life magazine come and visit us last month...and her fabulous feature about our courses and Pony Picnics can be found on pages 168-169 of the September issue.

The article highlights our approach to understanding horse behaviour, communication, body language and psychology and how our techniques make a real difference to equines and owners. The great thing is that our techniques work with all horses and ponies - because we are understanding the horses themselves - and this helps us to be better horse handlers, riders and problem solvers. Our courses are allowing us to share this knowledge and help others, which is a real privilege.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Showing Success at "The Brooke"

Last week was a very busy week...on Wednesday I took a rare day out to go and watch Exford Show on Exmoor, particularly to see the Exmoor pony classes and we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of some of Rocky's wild cousins on the way there.

Young handler Millie came to Horseford for 2 training sessions with Frodo. They were entering into classes at the rescue horse and dog show at Knighthayes Court and needed to be working together brilliantly for the classes. Each year I do some training sessions with the people4ponies young handlers to help to prepare for the show, and to make sure they can keep themselves and their ponies safe on the day. Millie is a very quick learner and she makes progress very quickly. One of our challenges was to train Frodo to actually go over a jump rather than just demolishing it!

On Sunday, it was the Brooke Show itself and Mille and Frodo were a great team. They came home with two, first rosettes. They won first place in the child handler class, and went on to win first place in their first ever Horse Agility class. Frodo impressed us with his jumping through the blue hoop obstacle. Well done to both Millie and Frodo, who had a fantastic day! Photos of the both of them in action are below - going through the Horse Agility curtain obstacle, receiving their rosettes in the show ring, and then showing off some of the days winnings at the end!

We had lots of interest in our Understanding Horses courses at the show, particularly in the confidence building and problem solving courses, and it was great to catch up with clients and friends and to get updates on how everyone is getting on.

New blog available for Pony Picnics

As there is so much going on with Pony Picnics at the moment, especially with all the interest and press coverage, it seemed appropriate to give Pony Picnics a blog of it's own...so updates can now be found at http://www.ponypicnics.blogspot.com/ and there is a link to it from the main website www.ponypicnics.com

We had a fantastic review in last Thursday's Express and Echo, written by deputy editor Richard Birch. In case you missed it...

Taking a walk on wild side with Bobby the rescue pony
"ALL it takes is a confident stride and Bobby will shadow your every move. True, his head can be turned by a particularly attractive patch of cow parsley, but as we stroll through the Devon countryside it is difficult to imagine that this conker-brown pony was once wild. And not just wild; petrified of people due to a trauma he had experienced in his youth. It has taken several years of training and therapy to bring Bobby, now ten, out of his shell and he is now part of the team for a fledgling business that provides a gentle introduction to all things equine..." http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/news/Taking-walk-wild-rescue-pony/article-2516747-detail/article.html

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Understanding Horses at "The Brooke" show

Next Sunday (15th August) is the date for "The Brooke" Rescue Horse and Dog show at National Trust property Knightshayes Court, in Tiverton, Devon. It's a great, fun show for the whole family and Understanding Horses will have our own stand to promote our courses and lessons.

The day runs from 10.40-4.30 with parades and classes for the dogs and horses and it's a great opportunity to support local charities, as well as "The Brooke" hospital. This year Vanessa Bee is demonstrating her fantastic new sport "Horse Agility" and taster sessions will be available on the day.

There's still plenty time to enter your rescue horse or pony for the show, but you must enter before Sunday. It's a particularly good, friendly, "first-time" show for equines (or people!) who have never been to a show before. For details, please contact Penny on 01884 254665, or Jane on 01884 861181. Or email: jane@blackdog.ukf.net

Look out for Pony Picnics features in the press

Being the first place in the country to run "Pony Picnics" has created quite an exciting story for the media. Throughout July we've had a lot of interest in our "Pony Picnics" project from Westcountry journalists. We've had a news article in the North Devon Journal, and throughout August the paper is running vouchers for our walks and picnics.

A lovely journalist from Devon Life magazine came to visit us (myself and the ponies!) and we are very excited to have an article in the upcoming, September issue of Devon Life.

The deputy editor of the Exeter "Express and Echo" came to experience one of our Cream Tea Walks with his family on Saturday, so look out for our feature/review next week in the Wednesday "Express and Echo".

Busy times!

Well, it's quite difficult to believe that we are in August already, July just flew by! People4ponies held a fantastic Wild Pony Weekend, where 2 traumatised, previously wild ponies came for specialist handling. 5 students came to learn the techniques used to help these ponies. I even did a spot of teaching on Sunday, taking students out into the herd of ponies and enabling them to catch a "difficult to catch" pony by using body language. Bobby was perfect for this, as he would be considered uncatchable by normal standards, but if your interaction with body language is just right, then he will accept you. After practising movements "human to human" in the yard, (with me as Bobby the pony!) students were already well on the way to perfecting their technique when we went out into the field.

Rocky volunteered himself as a demo pony, showing how to teach a young pony to pick up feet - he's very well trained at offering you his feet, but he was a nice, calm pony to demonstate the technique with, having done it all before quite a few years ago now!