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TETUÃ'S  TALE  -  2004  -  AUGUST

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  July 04 Aug. 04 Sept. 04 Oct. 04 Nov. 04 Dec. 04
Long-reining on the lawn just in time for a cup of coffee on the patio.

It's good for horses to join in with our social times.
With a little imagination, the garden can become the ideal cross-country course. 
Places that would be inaccessible riding are possible with long-reins.
Learning to push through the bushes and passing strange things is all part of growing up, gaining confidence and for me - getting to know Tetuã better, learning lots too and spending time together. This is certainly not a place to ride but on long-reins it's possible.
Not all horses like going through narrow places like this but with careful thought, patience and understanding Tetuã said, 'OK, I see where I am supposed to go' and walked calmly through.

On a later day, I forgot the house heating was on and hot air was blowing out of the square vent on the wall. Apart from being a bit surprised, he passed it and it didn't upset him.

...... and then there's the washing on the line! I love playing with the cones, teaching him to twist, turn and stop on the lightest of touch. The blue sheet is just a large picnic mat and if treated as such, it then becomes no big deal later in life. It's important that a horse doesn't get a fright in the early stages, so weight it down and make sure it doesn't blow in the wind. That can come later. Also make sure there are no holes for him to get his shoes caught in.
 Tetuã doesn't have shoes!
 
This is an interesting exercise. The 'Wobbly Board' is 8 x 4 feet plyboard with a bar across the middle on the underside. The board rocks over this bar as you walk across it. Start without the bar, then add a small one. Horses soon become used to the slight movement and noise. Excellent for teaching your horse to go across bridges - Le Trec competitions perhaps - and it helps introduce the principles of loading too. .... after the Wobbly Board, loading comes easily. 
Tetuã's first time up the ramp. Look how confident he is, relaxed body, ears pointing forwards knowing  where he is going. Me alongside, with a feed bowl in the hand to give him a reward.
I like to start with the front ramp down so as to make the trailer more inviting and less claustrophobic for him. Tetuã already travels very happily in the trailer, even his first time. One does have to remember that he had traveled from Portugal but that was in a very luxurious horse transport and very different to a trailer. Not all horses like trailers. They can be rattly, unstable if not driven very carefully.
This wasn't planned! It just happened that there were two cones in the field whilst I was lungeing. Tetuã just pricked his ears and jumped them really rather well. Coral was there with the video camera and these picture was the result. Then after all his practice on lunge and long-reins, popping over a log for the first time was easy - and for me most exciting. A star was born!
Here we are in the garden again! Without shoes, Tetuã leaves hardly a mark. So nobody would know we'd been through, would they?!! After all the fun stuff, there are still jobs to be done and when dustbin bags need carrying, then your horse can help too. The aim, eventually, is to ride and carry the bags. Teaching a horse to pull things is most useful. Wood to be dragged in, fields to harrow as well as the pleasures of driving itself.

There's nothing like a versatile, all terrain, useful horse!

... and when the work is down, the pleasures of a ride out over the open Forest takes a lot of beating. Here is Tetuã enjoying his first canter under saddle since his arrival in the UK.

Having a bath is part of the education and pleasant for both of us, especially on a hot day.

 

 


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