Following on from the previous blog, Diva and I were taking part in a clinic held by Lisa Dixon of Freelance Equine – Trick Training and Horsemanship at Truesdale Equestrian Centre.

Lisa had instructed us on which exercises and apparatus to use before we picked which ones to do.

Black horse

The first exercise I asked Diva to do was walking over a pair of raised poles in a figure of eight pattern. She was careful and lowered her head and neck to concentrate on what was being asked of her. We then did some bending and spiralling exercises, again over poles to focus both the equines and handlers.

Black horse

I then took Diva to a line of apparatus that she had to walk over. An arched bridge with AstroTurf was our first obstacle and she marched over it boldly. She was a little too bold on the next piece which was a narrow raised walkway. At the first attempt she got both front feet on but not the back ones. After a little guidance by Lisa in how to ask Diva to do it correctly, the pony got the hang of it and happily walked along it in both directions. The next was a seesaw which moved as the pony walked along it. She didn’t bat an eyelid at that and got it right from the start.

Black horse

We then went up to the other end of the arena to have a go at the pedestal. In this exercise the pony puts their front feet on the plinth and stays there for a little while to stretch the back and shoulder muscles. The pedestal was over Diva’s knee height but again, under Lisa’s expert guidance, Diva soon stepped up on it. She made me chuckle when she realised the extra height it gave her meant she could see outside. She would have happily stayed on there for the rest of the lesson, I think.

We had such a good time that we are planning to book into the clinic in April. But the question is: do we do another PT session or try our hand at some trick-training? Which do you think we will opt for?

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