Monday, 12 April 2010

More horse whispering

I have just spent a fascinating weekend in Brittany watching Adam Shereston working with my friends' horses. He came to us last year,and his methods are very different from"traditional" ways of working with horses. We realized we'd barely scratched the surface, so he will be coming back here next weekend. In the meantime, as Mary-Ellen had booked him up in Brittany,I seized the excuse to have a child free weekend and went to watch.

He worked with 7 different horses, all of which were of course different, but it was really useful to see him use his methods over and over again because it really does take time to absorb how he does things. Also, as each horse had different "problems" (Adam says it's not the horse that has problems, it's us who create the problems) I had the opportunity to see how he adapts his methods to deal with different horses.

This bay horse belongs to M-E's friend  and won't let people touch his feet, he becomes very agressive and she has had vets and farriers refuse to work with him. Adam spent a lot of time getting him to trust him, he said it would need an awful lot more time to get him over his fear which he deals with by becoming aggressive, but he certainly made a difference in the time he had with him, the horse actually offered him a foot at one point (which of course I missed with the camera)

One thing I saw again and again was a horse trying to keep Adam in front of his head as that's where they're used to seeing us, they position themselves so they can always see us there. Adam gets behind their shoulder so they can gradually get used to seeing us behind them as that's where thay are when we are on their back, this is why a lot of horses are fine in hand but not ridden. He also gets them used to seeing us behind them from both sides, a lot of horses are happy with us on the left but not on the right, Chris's horse Rocky was not at all happy with him on the right at first........

Something that came up with M-E's Bretty was a horse often doesn't see the point of things we ask him to do which switches them off, Adam was trying to get him to back up which he did at frst, then obviously decided it was a pointless exercise because he was in a big field and didn't need to go backwards, he could easily turn round! Adam didn't insist, just went on to work on something else, he says you must take what the horse offers you and work with that and not get stuck on doing one particular thing if it's not working.

I'm really glad I went because I understand a lot more now, it's all fresh in my mind before our clinics this weekend. Several of the people whose horses he worked with during an earlier session turned up later the same day or the next day to watch some more because it's a lot to take on in one go!

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