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Hugo arrived in February 2017 and he's been growing ever since! He was born in May 2014, bred locally. He has a great aptitude for learning and is quite the clown.

Hugo


March 24, 2017
Hugo's First (Real) Trailer Load
When Hugo first arrived, we had a fairly entertaining time getting him into the trailer. Over the last few weeks, I have been helping gain more confidence in stepping onto things to help him. He is especially unconfident with his hind feet. He's a speeded up version of me playing with the trailer today, including letting Shaun help him: https://youtu.be/zmwlucFuhjY

March 18, 2017
Climbing
Hugo has been doing really well this week. He had vet Thomas from Blackdown Equine come and see him for another flu injection, which he didn't even notice happen! In terms of his progress, I have moved on from teaching the more static questions and now we need to start moving. This isn't something that Hugo generally thinks is always necessary so I've had a couple of 'No, but Yeah' moments but he is so mild-mannered that you can usually diffuse the situation by coming up with an alternative plan that he thinks he can do. So we have been looking at moving his front end and hind end from more distance using rhythmic pressure. He is so babyish in his walking that he sometime just wanders towards you before he's figured out where he's going and he would rather like to use his left shoulder to change the discussion, but overall, we get where we want to go. Here's a little video of him in my play field today: https://youtu.be/zfdJlGPpSVM

March 8, 2017
Follow a feel
Hugo tried so hard today! He got his back feet on the pedestal, having first nailed front feet on it today. He's got that sussed now! He also helped me make a little video showing the difference between him, a blank canvas, and Shaun, who has had me as a teacher and a learner. I am truely grateful to Shaun for being such an amazing teacher. We take the good with the not so good :-) https://youtu.be/kRdwg68cfPo

March 7, 2017
Hugo gets some help

When Hugo first arrived, we had a bit of trouble getting him into the trailer and then out again at the other day. He was completely baffled by the ramp and it was in the back of my mind that at some point I would need to take care of this for him so he became more confident with what he was standing on.

I have a long thin pedestal that has been used as a seesaw in the past, which I have put on a track near to where the horses are grazing at the moment. A couple of days ago, I asked him if he could try and walk over the pedestal. His answer was a resounding 'No'. He has this ability to plant himself with his front feet splayed out and it's fairly clear what his mind is thinking. So, I was standing there figuring out how to get him to move, when Shaun appeared from his hay pile in the barn and bit Hugo’s backside, making him leap over it. I was a little surprised and then even more surprised when Shaun wandered around the back of Hugo again and pushed him back over the pedestal again. This went on for a few more goes and Hugo got less reactive while I was literally a bystander holding the rope! Hugo was eventually able to walk over it without Shaun driving him.

The next day Hugo was loads better about stepping over the pedestal, although he didn’t want to stand on it. There I was again, devising a plan for how to help him, when Shaun emerged from the barn and stepped up onto the pedestal. There he stood while I asked Hugo to try and move one foot onto the pedestal. After a while he figured it out and was able to stand up next to Shaun.

 

I am totally blown away with how much Shaun is helping Hugo. His patience has really impressed me – long may it continue!


March 2, 2017
Hugo Progress
After my little breakthrough earlier in the week, I have been putting my plan into practice. The first day, Hugo thought lateral flexion was a bit pointless and continued his plan of shouldering me out the way if he thought he could. But today, he was noticably softer in the flexions and I was able to ask him to try figure of eight again without him trying to drag off somewhere else. We also looked at moving the hindquarters using direct feel. He didn't think much of this to start with and the left side was very bracey. However, he got lots of rest between the questions and eventually did a step or two off a light cue on both sides. He's such a quick learner when he stops trying to argue (politely) with me!!



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