I think it has started by having him at a nice quiet barn with lots of pasture time in a really good pasture. Both Toby and Ollie have super silky coats, lots of shine and all the signs of excellent health. Then I think working with James Houston on a monthly basis works well for me. James is patient, kind and very helpful at getting both Ollie and me prepared and ready to move forward in training. I can't begin to explain how helpful long reining has been for both of us..
James came in the week of Rolex 3-day. This is a tough weekend for me because we end up going to Churchill Downs (a 1 hour and 15 min drive) for the morning workouts from the Derby contenders, then spend the afternoon at the Kentucky Horse Park for Rolex. Crazy busy. Thankfully, the clinic organizer worked with me to fit me in. James came to us! Now this is an absolute exception but it's because I'm pretty committed to working with him on a consistent basis.
James was impressed at how Ollie was comfortable and accepting of working on the long lines. He noticed improved muscling in Ollie's neck and was upbeat about our progress. Woohoo! Ollie was great on the long lines. Then I got on. Ollie became anxious and we spent our time getting him to relax and understand that we're not asking much of him. We would trot for a bit then walk, then trot, then walk. Repeat and rinse. Ollie got better but the weather was unseasonably cold and he was frisky. So for the next few weeks, it's our project to get Ollie to trust me more and I ask him for simple things that he can become confident with doing while I'm on his back.
Here are some photos and a short video from our work:
If anyone is interested in seeing what I've been doing since this clinic including IMMEDIATELY after the clinic - just check out our photos!
Our Capture The Light Equine Photography Workshop
|Little Mike leads the field through the first turn in a wire to wire win in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.|
And the Derby and Oaks Weekend!