Charlie Charles's diary

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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@newforest has prompted me to start a diary for Charlie, and of course it makes a lot more sense than alll my random posts all over the place. So here goes! This is the diary for Bughill Chocolate Chip, aka Charlie. To start with I'm going to copy or import or link to my earlier posts, and then I'll add other things as they happen.

Good idea @newforest ! I should have kept one for Ziggy - it's hard to find the story trawling back through all of my posts.

In case you're wondering, I once employed a young lady called Charlette Charles (she had married a man whose surname was Charles) and we all called her Charlie. And Charlie Charles is euphonious and that's just what he's ended up being!
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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newforest

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Awesome.
You can look back as his coat changes.
His first etc etc.....

He's 12 months older than what mine was.
 

newforest

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Really? Do you mean Jack?, just 6 ,months old? Baba!
Oops sorry. That should have said 12 months younger.
Great start to the diary, my mess up will be here for eternity. :oops:

Jack was fairly untouched 3 year old.
Tilley was well handled 2.5 years with a temper.
The vet that visited still remembers her when she was in horsepital, the she's such a sweet little lamb, changed to it took three of us to do xyz. Ah bad manners but she's on the mend.
 
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newforest

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This is what you said in my diary. We still had the nh instructor back then, but had changed the following year.

Funnily enough I read a few posts and I think I was probably completely nuts!!
One post says about being allowed to be turned out for an hour, after what looked like ten weeks of being stabled.
I remember the vet saying I could start backing her and laughing.
I wrote "I am lightly backing her from the stable to the field as she's not ready for the saddle yet. I obviously wasn't ready for any common sense getting on a youngster that's only getting one hour of turnout!:eek:

 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
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This is what you said in my diary. We still had the nh instructor back then, but had changed the following year.

Funnily enough I read a few posts and I think I was probably completely nuts!!
One post says about being allowed to be turned out for an hour, after what looked like ten weeks of being stabled.
I remember the vet saying I could start backing her and laughing.
I wrote "I am lightly backing her from the stable to the field as she's not ready for the saddle yet. I obviously wasn't ready for any common sense getting on a youngster that's only getting one hour of turnout!:eek:

Oh that's funny. Funny to be reminded of my dream, and funny that you should back Tilly that way!

I don't intend to back Charlie myself, that's for sure. I think he may be quite big and I'm just not a secure and consistent enough rider.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Well, today Charlie and I had a lesson with my instructor Sarah.

Since last time he's got much better at "parking" and standing still where I have put him while I move away. This time I wanted to focus on two things: the first is my inability to concentrate on something and to prefer hopping from thing to thing, which doesn't help himself understand at all! The second was a tendency I've observed for Charlie to resist through the shoulder, especially the right shoulder, when he doesn't like what he's asked to do or doesn't understand - even to the extent of, once or twice, striking out with that leg.

We worked on leading and getting him up and moving along with me, and then we worked on the right rein. Sarah could immediately see the difference. She asked me to send him on a circle around me, which I failed to do as before because he got enough rope to go backwards and did that instead. So she showed me how to circle him on a short rope. He was not keen and resisted a lot, and she bumped the rope on his shoulder until he yielded it and moved away.

I worked on this for a while too. We gave him lots of breaks and he was thoughtful and licked and chewed, and he showed a lot of improvement. Sarah explained a bit about resisting through the shoulder and how it shows itself in babies and told me what to do if he went as far with his resistance as rearing: (1) keep yourself safe, (2) as soon as you can, ensure that there are consequences with a strong downward jerk on the halter. I felt a bit oo-er about this but she is very safety conscious.

Anyway, we thought we would finish up by walking him around the perimeter track (we'd been working in the school). This was at the end of a 45 minute session and we soon learned that he had had ENOUGH!

He walked nicely as far as the bottom of the track proper, when you start to move away from the shelter and school. As I turned to walk up there what did he do but jib and lift both feet off the ground? I was astonished, but administered the downward jerk as instructed and he came down and walked obediently for another 5 metres. Then he started to pronk about like an idiot. I got him back but Sarah and I agreed that he must have had more than enough and we needed to finish, but that we should finish on a reasonable, obedient note, so she asked me to circle him once in each direction. Left rein - no problem. Right rein - he kicked out! Nowhere near me, but very stroppy. I sent him back with a waggle of the rope and asked again: he complied this time politely so we led him back down to the shelter and I went to take his head collar off.

Sarah said, "When you've been working against their instincts for a while, they can go a bit ballistic, so it's a question of light blue touch paper and stand clear." I did stand away and as expected, he bounced off and had a caper, buck and fart, dash in and out of the shelter and then galloped back up to us.

He's got lots of character and Sarah thinks he is inclined to be dominant, so I need to be extra-sure that he doesn't push me around without my noticing it. I think I need to be prepared for more tantrums! We've also agreed to stick to half-hour lessons for him for now rather than blow his tiny mind.

I think I am still ok with all this.... :oops:
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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Second trimmer visit was much more eventful than the first.

Charlie was good for his fronts and fine for the left back, but Jo got to the right back last and by that time he had had enough. He started to move, barge, bite me (well, he tried) and in the end kick out. Jo was quick and strong about correcting him, and you could see him thinking about it, but it was as if there wasn't any space in his head for the lesson to go in.

I tried taking him outside and doing a few things he could do easily, and he was good, but when she tried again to finish the right back (she hadn't rolled the toe) the bad behaviour started again. He was really angry and stroppy. In the end we decided to forget the toe, took him outside and did little tiny things until Jo could lift the foot, pat him and put it down. Then we stopped.

She agreed that he is really getting to the stroppy teenager stage, saying, "You can't make me."

I'm feeling that while he is like this I have to:

  • Keep myself safe and be seriously cross with him if he threatens me. He really doesn't like being told off, it makes him thoughtful
  • Keep sessions for learning anything new short (less than 30 mins and ideally 10!). Only teach him new stuff when I have an instructor with me - he is my first baby after all
  • Keep him interested by taking him out, even if it's only for a very short walk, rather than practicing leading in the field
  • Make sure I spend plenty of time with him enjoying his company so he doesn't associate me just with work.
I think it will help if I get him to be ok with going up to the nearby school so that we have a neutral space (without any grass) to work in. IIt's hard for him having to concentrate and stop doing what he likes in his own field - he is noticeably better out. That is quite a big task as although it's only a 5 minute walk away it's a 5 minute walk through a private yard, crossing fields, so I think it may take us a few tries to get there!
 

Jane&Ziggy

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This reminds me that when Parelli-Sarah (so confusing having 2 instructors named Sarah!) came last week, although Charlie was stroppy being led he did offer a beautiful circle around me, which he had struggled to do the week before. So he does think about things when I am not working with him - stuff takes time to settle in that baby brain
 
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Jessey

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Just like with physical exercise, the recuperation time is just as important as the work out, they def do seem to learn in the interim :)

I've thought about you and Charlie a couple of times the last few days, one thing I absolutely would never fail to teach a baby (in addition to all the normal things) is to lead by the forelock/mane, it is such a useful tool to have in your bucket :)
 
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domane

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The off hind is a horse's flight foot, so if there are going to be problems with a youngster its usually that one. Don't worry, he'll outgrow it as he matures. In the meantime, use a bucket of feed to distract him. Don't make it a fight, keep it pleasant.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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The off hind is a horse's flight foot, so if there are going to be problems with a youngster its usually that one. Don't worry, he'll outgrow it as he matures. In the meantime, use a bucket of feed to distract him. Don't make it a fight, keep it pleasant.
He had hay (and I was helping him with it) but I think we just got to the worst foot at the worst time, right at the end, and it was all too much for him. The trimmer and I both worked hard to find him doing the right thing so we could praise him and give scratches. Soldier on!
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Just like with physical exercise, the recuperation time is just as important as the work out, they def do seem to learn in the interim :)

I've thought about you and Charlie a couple of times the last few days, one thing I absolutely would never fail to teach a baby (in addition to all the normal things) is to lead by the forelock/mane, it is such a useful tool to have in your bucket :)
Such a good idea. Ziggy and Mattie both do it but I never thought of teaching it. Maybe one for the clicker training!
 
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