Four little boys came into the indoor school this morning to play.
his two sons, Thordale Arcturus and Thordale Borealis (Bozz-Bozz) and
Moelddu Gwynfai or Hammy to his friends.
We decided it was time Hammy had some more training again. He was tacked up, with help, and did some leading practice around the school with Fiona.
Hammy still remembers his tricks and does the full routine for food. Some might call it begging.
But he has immense charm and we love him.
After wearing his tack, Jo put Hammy’s harness on and went back to square one, through all the training stages, for pulling a cart. First, long-reining.
Listening to the log following him (and others) – the noise and something (or somebodies) behind him.
Getting used to the feeling of resistance or pulling, ie the feeling of a cart.
Hammy remembered everything very quickly, which was good. We would never had just put the cart to him because he had done this training previously. We had to know, by taking him right back to the beginning, that all the ground rules had been covered properly and to a safe standard.
Then Fiona got the cart out. Well, Bozz-Bozz was fascinated. He thought it was a wonderful invention with huge potential.
Meanwhile, Hammy was intrigued, amazed and fascinated all at the same time.
Now this is where having friends around, who don’t give a damn, is a good idea.
With the help of Bozz and Arcturus, Hammy could see that, as they weren’t frightened or running away, there really was no point in doing that himself and soon he was happily wandering around with Fiona pulling the noisy, squeaky, bumping cart.
There is method in our madness. Bozz-Bozz, Arcturus, Indy and Hammy are all very good friends. They do most things together and learn from each other, mostly Indy. Indy is a dude, a cool dude who really cannot be arsed to use any effort in having a hissy fit about life. That would involve movement and he just too lazy for that these days.
And all this winter, the little boys have been watching and learning from their Dad so they now don’t have fear of much because their big strong Dad, who they adore, never reacts to anything.
And so it continues and Hammy is learning to stop living off his nerves (he is very artistic and emotional, at times) and he learns that nothing we have done, training wise, has killed him yet.
We will keep going, get a little further and then give him a rest. Hammy is that kind of horse. It would never do to rush him. We like everyone to be laid back.