Great lesson with Charlie


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
The boy has done practically nothing for a year, so as he is off to school at the end of March I felt motivated at least to get him used to some of the things that are going to happen to him!

He has never had anything around his belly except rug straps, and he hasn't worn a rug for nearly 2 years. So yesterday in my lesson my RI and I:

* wrapped a rope around his middle, pulled it tight, pulled it one on each side, moved it down his belly
* got a sheepskin half pad and put it on his back, moved it to and fro, took it off over his tail, dropped it, tied it on with the rope
* got a surcingle without a girth and put it on his back, held it down with one person each side, moved it around

He was so good. I think he actually enjoyed all the new experiences! He sniffed the half pad for about 3 minutes (he'd not seen sheepskin before) and walked about a little bit when we put tit on him, but only a few steps and then he stood still.

We were working in my shelter with the gates shut. He was loose, but had his rope halter on and we had a rope just in case. I think one reason it went so well was that I had given him and Mattie extra grass in the morning, and he was so fat and contented he wouldn't have minded if we let off firecrackers next to him! Anyway, it was lovely seeing him so curious and happy to try new things, and when we were done he didn't go back to Mattie and the grass, but followed us about to hang out. Sweet!

At one point I heard my RI mutter., "4 weeks with the trainer and he'll be good at walk trot and canter" and I said, "He'll only just be 3, I only want him sat on at that point!". She looked pointedly at his broad chest and mighty shoulders but then he opened his mouth and showed his baby teeth and she said, "It's hard to believe he's not even 3 yet until you see those teeth."

My homework is to do more of the same and build up to wearing his surcingle with a numnah under it. I'll have another lesson in January to start introducing the bridle and probably a bit too. He loves to nibble on metal things (the surcingle buckles got a good going over) so I think he might be interested in being bitted!


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
Such a good boy ? he’s highland cross isn’t he? I don’t think I’ve seen a picture in a while, maybe I missed them? I keep looking at Niko thinking he’s never going to be big enough to back by next year but that’s probably the Arab in him.
I can only hope Niko is as well behaved for the first tack? I actually dug out a suitable bit, an old poly pad, surcingle, lunge roller and breastplate for exactly this purpose last week, next time there’s a decent day I shall crack on.


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
Yes, his mum is Highland x Cob and his dad was a big broad-chested TB. At the moment he looks like an overgrown Highland apart from his head - alas he has inherited his mum's rather Roman cob head, though he has his grandsire's pony ears. His coat is amazing, shiny and silky like a TB's but really thick and waterproof.

No photos for a while because he is always absolutely fithy with his huge mane and tail in gypsy braids and I am ashamed.

The last one I took was in October, of him playing with his neighbour Tonto:
IMG_0736 3.JPG
I keep promising him a groom so perhaps over Christmas I will take some up to date pictures, if the weather gets better.

This morning he raided the hay store, I have no idea how he reached in to it but when I got over there he had pulled out a bale and was completely covered in hay. I think he is a Thelwell pony at heart!
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