So, its been a while since we've told you guys about our youngsters. We have 3 on the farm at the moment - Blaze, Aria and Melody.
Blaze is a 5 yr old, fairly green welsh cob who had been backed a few weeks before we bought him. He did quite a bit of work with Hannah leading up to Xmas, and was happily walk/trotting and cantering, and crossing a small jump. We then gave Blaze a bit of time off over Xmas to have a wee rest, and absorb what he'd learned - often giving them a little break gives them time to mature a bit more, and they come back to work keen and ready to learn again.
Blaze is now back into work and has done a bit of flatwork and lunging. Our plan with Blaze is to reassess him around April time and decide then whether he will continue on with his training and become a school horse, or decide whether he should be sold on privately, as he has a lovely temperament and way of going. We'll keep you updated!
Aria has now reached a very busy point in her life! She will be 3 years old in April, so has started coming in each day to be groomed, get used to standing in, being tied up, having rugs changed e.t.c. She has previously been handled regularly, been introduced to a rug, met the farrier and stood in a stable, but her learning will progress fairly rapidly now. Our plan is to spend a few days getting Aria used to coming in each day, then introduce her to work in hand in the indoor school - she's never been in there, so that will be an experience for her! Once she is confident with her handling in the school, we will introduce basic lunging and long reining in walk and trot. She will also have a bridle introduced (happy mouth bit) and have a roller (girth type thing) put on. Once she is lunging in a bridle and roller, we will introduce a saddle, flappy stirrups, funny noises and anything else that she may have to become experienced with.
Finally, we will lean a rider over her back, then sit them up on top of her, then ask her to walk a few steps with a rider. At this stage, we normally then give the horse another few months off, before picking up their training again in August/September time. It is all totally dependant on how the horse reacts to the work though, and what their temperament is like. Aria has been very confident and forward so far, so hopefully this will remain the same for her training.
Melody will be a year old in May, so is 8 months old at the moment. She is a big girl, and is still living out with mum (Belinda) and surrogate granny Aero. She is no longer expecting milk from Belinda, and eats haylage with the other two, so is becoming more grown up and independant. Belinda will soon be reintroduced to ridden work, which will start the seperation process between her and Melody - Melody will stay in the field with granny Aero whilst Belinda is taken in to do a bit of work. Melody will continue with basic handling this year - leading in headcollar, tying up, standing in stable. She is already happy in a stable, as when it reached -18 in December, we took pity on her and took her in for the night! She loved the whole stable idea, and is delighted now if she comes in to get a groom/feed.