Esja is starting her training.
She is 4 years old and we have waited an extra year because she was not mature enough. It would’ve done more damage than good to start her before and I am glad we waited. It was definitely the right thing to do.
The horse we are working with now is a very different horse from the one last year. Esja is sensible, careful and listening – all the right ingredients for backing. (I hate the word “breaking” a horse. I would hate to break anything. Train or work with, sounds much more gentle and cooperative.)
So, yesterday, once home, the first thing we did, was to run Esja round the school – to see what paces or gaits she has. Esja is a tölter.
There is definitely pace as well and maybe trot, but who knows. She will make a lovely family horse.
She has already mastered the “long and low” mantra – a good way of thinking.
Today, she had her first bridle with a bit put on.
She thought it was extraordinary.
And we watched her experiment with this new contraption.
There was no panicking. Esja was left tied up with others around her and given time to get used to the new feeling in her mouth.
It didn’t take long and once she had decided nothing much had changed, I took her for a walk round the school, asking her to stop and start while learning my body language.
Esja’s training consists walking a mile to the indoor school every other day. She leads nicely and is learning to trust me and to help me open/close gates (turn on the forehand). She takes everything in her stride. When we wait for the others, I lie across her back and make a fuss of her. All is good.