Day 8: Sunday 21st January

We were on route to The British Equestrian Trade Association (Beta) International event at the NEC, Birmingham today for the majority of the day before going off to my mum’s pub for dinner in Warwickshire. So I had to quickly make up Olly and Eddie’s buckets and feed them in the field first thing in the morning which was all good with no dramas. It was pretty miserable outside with non stop fine rain; Olly was soaked through his rug as the reproof was obviously no longer working [Note to self – when buying secondhand rugs to remember to reproof them BEFORE using just to be sure]. I remember being told in the past to never take a soaked through wet rug off as it could cause a chill to the horse, however upon asking for help on social media I was inundated with advice and assistance. Apparently it can cause a chill to leave the wet rug on and so it is best to take it off so the horse can become accustomed to the cold air and if they roll in mud this also provides a type of protection for them. Luckily I have not clipped Olly and he has grown quite a woolly coat however being a TB its not the thickest coat on earth. I was unable to remove the rug that day due to being on route to the event when I was told to remove the rug and with him being kept on a private residence its not as if I can ask people to go and do it for me. So he had to wait until the next day.

Day 9: Monday 22nd January

It was a nice sunny morning, not too cold. I removed Olly’s rug and left him to dry all day. Lunchtime came and I caught him lovely, brought him in, fed Eddie on route out the field and walked with Olly to his bucket just around the corner. He ate lovely and Toffee didn’t escape (for a change). Once Olly had finished his treat he paced around his bowl a little. We went about doing our job of taking his bucket back to his stable. Olly walked in and out, not scared at all but certainly not with intention to stay in there. I then had to tie him up outside his stable to put a new rug on which has been loaned to us whilst I save for a brand new one. He was fine, a bit fidgety but generally OK. Once all snug in his rug we walked back to the field and off he went galloping with the other boys to the other side of the hill.

Day 10: Tuesday 23rd January

Olly was golden today. He came in from the field and keen to eat his treat. When he finished his bucket we walked down to his stable doing the stand/walk exercise just lovely [such progress]. Once at his stable we managed to walk in, around and out nice and steady, not rushed or bolshy. For a change we turned right out of the stable towards the paddock and the end of the stable block; he stood and walked on lovely again. We then did another U-turn towards his stable, we walked in, around and out the stable lovely for a second time. Didn’t want to push it so we walked back to the field. Once in the field he went over to the salt lick, sniffed it but then moved on.

Eddie however had a lick of the salt lick for a minute or so then Toffee followed suit. I have decided today has been an excellent day.

Day 11: Wednesday 24th January

Today Olly was good to catch. He came in lovely and ate his food. There was a quad bike on the farm somewhere which made him really attentive to the noise. We walked off towards the stable block, did a turn in the stable, he could hear a dog barking and got a little agitated yet interested in what the noise was. Soon as we started to return to the field I could feel him pick up speed in his walk, felt like he was keen to investigate. Olly wouldn’t work with me doing the stand and walk exercise because of the dog so I gave up and we kept walking. Once he caught sight of the dog (new puppy to the farm) he walked past the dog snorting (which was being held by the farm worker). Once he was the otherside of the gate from the dog it was like he was being brave and wanted to investigate the dog again, pricking his ears and sniffing the air. Eventually we got back into the field with Eddie and Toffee who then all cantered off towards the water trough.

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Day 12: Thursday 25th January

Today I caught Olly from the field and we got out without any trouble from the other two. After feeding Eddie we walked over to our normal spot where he ate his food lovely. The farm workers were working in a shed nearby, clearing out some rubbish and Olly was distracted. He did eat his food but not for the want of pacing around the bucket. I stayed still and after watching some Warwick Schiller videos on youtube last night I decided to try one of his methods. When Olly pulled away on the lead I pulled sharply on the lead and walked in the oppostite direction. Not to hurt him but more to give him the nod that I was the leader and not him. Its not acceptable for Olly to be bolshy sometimes on the ground as this displays no respect towards me and so he needs to learn not to be disrespectful towards me and be bolshy.  This action worked enough for him to eventually stand and finish his bucket. When he was done we walked down to the stable block, he snorted past the shed where he heard the men working in but did carry on walking by. Once at the stable we walked straight in, round and out again just fine. We turned right out the stable again and he stood when asked. Then we did a u-turn and walked back in, round and out the stable again but this time we stopped immediately outside his doorway. He did it! [PROGESS]. That made me very happy so off we went back to the field doing the stand and walk exercise, he was listened and obeyed all the way to the field. He was wonderful!!! Today was a very very good day.

Day 13: Friday 26th January

Today I had an appointment to go to at lunchtime so I had to quickly feed on the run. I checked them all over including their rugs and even took Olly’s neck off his rug as he seemed very warm (remember he’s not clipped and quite woolly) and I removed Eddie’s rug (at his owners request) and left them to it. No photo today as busy busy busy.

Day 14: Saturday 27th January

Today was an awful day with fine rain showers all day. I was out and about for most of the day and soaked through so I chose to feed the boys on the run again. After checking them all over including their rugs, I gave them their buckets and off I went. A nice hot shower and a mug of hot chocolate with the children was calling me….about 10 mins later the heavens opened up and thankfully we were in the car on route home. Tomorrow is another day.