Ella’s pony wouldn’t even walk forwards, let alone move faster than that and there was not much enjoyment happening there for either child or pony.
… In one day! …
Narel: Just updating re Caramel and Ella.
On the weekend we set up Ella on our version of Magic and I taught her the position which amazed her.
Me: Magic is our vaulting horse – a 44 gallon drum on 4 legs that we use to help people find the perfect riding seat for them BEFORE they get on their horse. And the position that Narel is talking about is the strong, safe and incredibly magnetised into the saddle, riding seat that I teach on the Fast Track to Brilliant Riding program. So Narel had Ella sitting on a saddle stand working on getting her riding position strong and safe BEFORE she went back out to her pony.
I also got her to sit in the “traditional” riding pose we are all taught, to compare – and nearly pushed her right off the other side!
We worked out her stirrups needing adjusting and that helped her become even stronger in her seat which she got really well.
She then went out to Caramel and saddled her up and we went in the round yard to start.
I explained first how when she was getting on (or doing anything at all) if she felt her or Caramel’s tension or heart rate up or anything different to stop and wait for The Chew etc so Ella spent ages just getting on, as she said there was a lot of stress about that.
Me: All this is explained in detail in those free lessons…
Caramel yawned unbelievably – so much in fact I wondered if it would ever stop! Me: That’s the sign of a horse releasing a lot of old tensions.
Eventually Ella was on Caramel’s back and did a lot of just sitting and getting off and on and various things but Caramel was still not going forward.
I had to leave her to it for a while as I had loads of washing to deal with plus a number of other things but was able to keep an eye out. Then I looked up from under the clothes line and here she was going forward around the round yard freely!
I was stoked and so proud of her.
Ella said that she just kept stopping and starting, waiting for The Chew with everything – then suddenly Caramel just went.
Caramel was still stopping at times and refusing but at least we got some movement – all without any big kicking, using force etc so that is a great start to a problem we have had for a LONG time.
I explained to Ella about Caramel’s caretaker nature and how we don’t want to damage her ability to look after Ella. So now Ella will only ask things if she is feeling safe enough too.
So it’s a good start and obviously there will be many sessions and layers I think they need to work on together before the true forward is there but this is really great for them.
I think a lot of the key to success was once giving her the instructions, then me backing off so they could just work through it at their own pace without me standing there waiting/ watching/questioning.
Me: Ponies like Caramel who will not go forward when they are afraid or confused – OR WHEN THEIR CHILD IS AFRAID OR CONFUSED – are worth their weight in gold. When we work with them differently, when we work with them without sticks or whips or kicking – then they are able to help their child have the most marvellous confidence and the most wonderful bond with their pony.
And most importantly – Caramel can now look after Ella like she so desperately wants to…
Congratulations to Ella And Caramel for making such a great start in one day – we look forwards to hearing the rest of the story.
Narel is doing our two week advanced teacher training and horse rehabilitation clinic in June,. I think she is going to make a marvellous riding teacher!