From ‘Trouble’ to ‘Trust: Angel’s Story

Its been a while since I’ve posted a progress-update about Angel, the lovely 14-yo remedial mare I’ve been working with since April this year. Angel came to her new owners about 18 months ago with a whole series of ‘issues’ due to previous ill-treatment… ranging from barging, not being able to pick up any of her feet, severely kicking out, not wanting to be tacked up, didn’t lunge – the list goes on. At our first meeting, it took 15 minutes even just to put on a head collar (I was told that was the ‘norm’), after which I was dragged out of the stable after opening the door.
We made great progress from that within only 3 or 4 sessions (read https://goo.gl/7lE08t – our blog post titled ‘What We Need’ ). Thanks to her loving owners’ dedication to Angel’s physical, mental & emotional needs & wellbeing and our bespoke sessions, 6 months on, Angel is now a very different horse to when I first met her.
The mare has grown enormously in trust and confidence. She no longer barges out of her stable, but waits patiently until the door is opened and I/her owners are ready to move off. Putting on a head collar is also no longer an issue. Having started her on Straightness Training to address the mare’s natural asymmetry in her body as well as developing mental, emotional & spiritual balance, Angel has learned to relax and stretch while standing still and walking. She also now leads well, lunges on a small circle on both reins in walk & trot. We have also progressed to reintroducing Angel to the saddle & girth and she is now happy to wear both during our training sessions.
Lungeing1
During our last session a fortnight ago, Angel stood quietly and allowed me to pick up all four feet calmly, holding them patiently until I was ready to put them back down. That was a first!
Patiently picking up feet3
Patiently picking up feet1
We also introduced the mounting block. We allowed Angel plenty of time to take a good look at it from all angles, with and without a person standing on it. Once Angel was happy to stand quietly at the block, both her owner & I took it in turns to lean over her back/saddle & patting her gently on her neck, shoulders, belly & flanks. Angel took it all in her stride. I could not have asked more from her and am so pleased with her progress. And a big ‘Well done’ to her ‘mummy’ Stephanie & daughter Rowena who are the best owners Angel could have asked for. You guys are doing a great job. And thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey x
Getting used to mounting block1 Getting used to mounting block2 Introducing the mounting block1 Lateral bending to the left Lateral bending to the right Leaning over1
I am very excited about our next session tomorrow and will keep you posted how things are coming along.
Bea x
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