On day two, the weather was much more amicable, albeit quite windy.
I spent the morning with a lovely woman from Achill Sound with 2 horses, a lovely big cob, and a connemara. Both were highly excitable and very disrespectful.
The owner herself was lacking a bit of confidence, and had a lot of “what if” worries. I coached her on positive thinking, and how to stop worry about things that haven’t happened!
The horses themselves were quite a handful, but after about an hour with each, they were both completely changed. I then spent time with the owner helping her develop her own confidence and rope handling skills, as well as teaching her some general exercises to maintain the respect and obedience, and ultimately calmness in her horses.
Then back to Orla for a beautiful connemara with a fantastic gait and jump. He was a stunning example of the breed. This poor horse was so lacking in confidence, he was shaking at the slightest scary object. I only had about half an hour with him, but in that time I was able to teach him how to approach and sniff various scary objects.
I was particularly pleased when he was willing to put his nose to a tarp tied to the arena fence that was madly flapping in the wind! We then went and sniffed things around the yard, such as a traffic cone, rubbish bins and a stack of shaving bales with flappy black plastic. He is by no means “fixed”, but a few more sessions and he will be a changed horse with exceptional potential.
I look forward to returning to Achill to spend some more time with these fantastic animals!