Up-date 25th October

Update 25th October 2019, I had Sally Ede out to do some communication and healing Mojo, today was the second session and she said he was much more relaxed this time.
He still is protective of his hind legs but was better when I picked out his feet before Sally arrived. I did the fronts as they are near perfect now and he holds them up well. Liz did the hinds whilst I bridged and treated, he lifted the left one as soon as she bent down and touched it, the right he lifted as soon as she asked him, held it up with no snatching at all.
He has been on Cortaflex and Buteless for around 8 weeks now, and Sally says he need to strengthening exercises, I have been backing him over poles and trotting over them too.
Long reining is the next stage them Liz will have a few ridden lessons with Sally. Then I can hop on board and continue with the pole work too.
The trimmer is coming the first week in November so hopefully he will be happier to let her trim them all, as long as we go at his pace.

Mojo’s New Trimmer

Mojo has a new hoof trimmer, she spent 2 hours with us and offered essential oils and red light therapy too. Mojo tolerated his fronts doing and they were done very well and he had spray and hoof clay too. By the time we got round to the hinds he had had enough, next time we will start with the feet and end with the esssential oils and red light.

Mojo’s feet 4th October 2019

Penny Thorpe ( the hoof trimmer) came again today to do Mojo’s hind feet. I got him in at 8 am to dry out and gave him a feed with cortaflex, buteless and some calming herbs. He also had some barley grass and a bucket with peppermint in – he wasn’t too keen last time but this time he licked the bowl clean, not sure whether he had the peppermint water. He had plain water too and some hay.

He seemed much less stressed when Penny arrived, she offered some tobacco essence and he seemed quite keen on that. Then she picked out his front feet and just tidied them up. Then on to his left hind – he lifted it well and it was trimmed and rasped, lots of breaks so he could rebalance. One of the other liveries gave me some readigrass for him to chew on – and he loved that along with some grass pellets and herb treats when he needed a bit of extra support.

Lots of praise and bridging when his feet were off the ground. He had both hinds done and then the sole cleanse spray and hoof clay was applied.

After the he had some red light therapy.

All booked in for 4 weeks time, I will continue to work on his foot lifting – which was very good on the fronts and is getting better on the hinds.

 

Agility Training

May 11th 2019
We have been having a little trouble getting out of the field as there is a very friendly pony who always gets to the gate first.
Mojo was OK to get out of the field, I had Liz with me and she distracted the pony who keeps chasing Mojo away. I took him into the stable to groom and pick out feet. He offered all 4 feet with me just saying “lift”. This is the cue my yard owner has been using, so I need to keep the consistency. No kicking, snatching or putting them down before I had finished cleaning them. He was eating his lunch at the time but got a few more treats for being so good.

Then we went in the arena and I put out an L-shaped corridor. We did that one way and then he backed on cue a few steps with in the poles. I asked him to back over a pole which he did well but then I decided to try the corridor again but going the other way. He got a bit confused and thought I wanted him to walk over the poles.

We ended with him standing on the tarp and getting a handful of treats. I left him in the school whilst I put a few things away. I had bunting tied to the fence as the yard owner wanted to do some obstacle training with her son and his pony in the afternoon. As i was unravelling it Mojo came to have a look, he was very eager to touch it.
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April 2019

Well finally got Mojo in the school to do some pole work and short lining. We haven’t managed much recently apart from grooming and a little targeting on the yard. I used my new short lines from Whinny Reins – they were brilliant, very easy to hold and didn’t get all tangled up like the feather lines, I must take a photo next time.

Anyway Mojo was very good, he walked well over the poles from a “walk on” cue and stopped on a “whoa”. He went to the frisbee I threw for him and even had a little trot, must now get the trot on a reliable cue. Only did a few minutes and now must build it up so we do more and then some ridden sessions.

 

 

Update 2019

Update 25th January 2019

Due to cataract surgery I haven’t done anything with Mojo – apart from pulling some twigs out of his mane. Today he was in for a rest from the wet fields, with a big pile of hay in his hay bar. He popped his head over the door and looked at me out of the corner of his eye. That is probably due to his unruly forelock blocking vision. I went in his stable and groomed him – well the bits that were dry, then put on my treat bag and loaded it with grass pellets. We went out into the yard and I groomed him a bit more, pulled the twigs out of his tail, sprayed it with “Mud Away” – not sure it does any good but we will see. He had a few pellets to nibble on in a bowl whilst I tidied up his tail and mane – scissors and a solo comb. I got the frisbee I use as a target and did his stretching exercises. He stood quietly whilst I switched on the small trimmers and just walked around the yard. We then did some targeting of an umbrella – just to make sure he hasn’t forgotten anything. It is amazing with these horses that even after doing nothing but being a horse in a field for nearly 2 months he was still enjoying touching a moving umbrella.

My plan in the next few weeks is to get him happy to go in the lorry and be driven around the block.

February 11th 2019

Mojo had a flu booster today, all was good the vet was superb, she hugged him and as he was wondering what she was doing the injection was done and he never even flinched. Plenty of treats followed.

Before the vet arrived I groomed him and did some stretching exercising with the target. Also I had the trimmers on and walked all round him, he even let me touch him with the back of my hand whilst the holding the trimmers which were on. The battery is dying so it wasn’t very loud but a few weeks ago he would had have just left.

Mojo Ridden

A couple of snippets from our 2nd lesson with Sally Ede. Mojo was calm and relaxed and focused. I used my body and a slight open rein to turn. We used scratches as reinforcement and he was forward going so only a slight touch with the leg to indicate ‘yes” that is what I want.

I now want to add verbal cues to the rein cues but that will come after I get more confident riding. At the moment Mojo doesn’t seem bothered by my riding and as long as he is under his emotional threshold all is well.

I did feel a little guilty as I wanted to use more positive reinforcement in our ridden sessions but I also need to know he can be ridden  by anyone, as he will most probably out live me.

Update on the mounting block

Well we only managed one session of training last week, but Mojo was much calmer at the top of the arena. I used the cones to settle him and get his attention away from the mirrors and scary pigeon producing hedge.
He was very good at his cone touching and then he stood at the mounting block and turned his head rather moving backwards for the reinforcement.

We did the mounting block at the top, middle and bottom of the school.

Here is a little montage of the session at the lower end of the school.Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com

Another lesson with Sally Ede on Friday 17th so hope all goes well.

Lesson with Sally

Mojo and I had a lesson with Sally Ede – a Ride With Your Mind coach, and great confidence giver.

We worked on getting Mojo standing at the mounting block – due to me not having done much mounting block training recently he had reverted back to swing his quarters towards me. He was at his emotional threshold once we got in the school as we worked at the top end in the shade. It just goes to show how important generalisation is in our training. He hadn’t been up that end much in our training sessions.
As he was at his emotional threshold all it took was a pigeon flying out of the hedge to tip him over in to a flight response.

This a very bad video of the event, the video was too far away and I had no help to reposition.

Mojo spooking

By the end of the lesson Mojo had calmed down and was beginning to stand still and not swing round.. I managed one foot in the stirrup a couple of times and then added some weight in the stirrup. So my homework is more mounting block training and to so this in other areas of the school.

Also to remember to breathe and do my grounding exercises before and during sessions.

To this end I have written a shaping plan. I am often too lazy to write them but it is a good idea to have a written plan. Having also just complete an Advanced Animal Training course I ought to know and do better!!

 

 

April 2018

I took Mojo into the school this afternoon, he did get a bit over excited as I haven’t done much with him recently. He was watching this morning when Liz whilst rode Smoke and saddled Indi and sat on him, I thought at the time Mojo looked as if he wanted his turn. So after lunch he got his wish.
He followed me over the poles and then I threw his frisbee for him to target.
He lined up at the mounting block and targeted on the off side. Did his ‘carrot’ stretches and then I got out my little trimmers and did some SD and CC with them. He wasn’t bothered about them until I walked around a bit, but the reaction was just a slight elevation of his head and neck.
He did target them fine when off and after a few minutes he targeted my hand with the trimmers running. I stopped there and gave him a big jackpot and lots of praise. Lots of scratches too as he is shedding like mad and I have just bought some lovely grooming mitts.
Then I left him eating and went to put some hay in his stable. He then didn’t want to come out of the school, so I just stood and held his head collar at arms length – he soon came and but his nose in and went back in his stable – he was going to have his tea before going out again.

Mojo Ridden

Mojo was ridden by Liz Hibberd, he was very cool today, we used the “walk on” cue and the target. Then phased out the target and Liz just cued him to walk.
He had one little spook when he trod on his own feathers – I really must cut them again.

 

He even had a little trot at the end, then lots of praise, scratches and treats.

 

Liz also sat on Indi for the first time and walked a few steps, we used my hand as a target and then the “walk on’ cue. Indi was very relaxed and we called it a day after a few steps.