Whilst I was out of action with my RSI injury, Pip didn’t work Bronson in the menage at all. I’d been working in the menage most of the time, so instead she got him out and about in the world and did all his schooling work out on their hacks. As Bronson is a rehabilitation horse, Pip has been working with him to help him overcome his issues. Due to a previous bad experience he wouldn’t load when he first came to Pippsway and if he was asked to load he would just start rearing. Pip worked with him and in a surprisingly short time he was loading with ease.
Having reached this point Pip took him out for weekly training hacks on the Quantocks. She was able to ensure that his first experiences were positive ones, as he needed a lot of support to keep him together. Being inexperienced, this level of riding is presently beyond me, so Pip is working with Bronson to ensure that by the time I come to ride him out he will be relaxed, happy and familiar with the experience.
After numerous successful hacks with company, Pip asked Bronson to move away from the other horses and riders. At first he was very nappy and would react strongly to being asked to leave the group. He also became very upset if they needed to go near water. Pip was able to work calmly through these moments. So despite Bronson rearing, shying and generally trying to evade, Pip just sat quietly and calmly and helped him to work through it. As a result he is no longer rearing, his fitness and confidence have improved dramatically and he is really enjoying his rides out.
This is the joy of Pippsway magic. Pip doesn’t baulk at extreme behaviour. She understands why the horses are behaving in this way and supports them so that they no longer have to respond to stress in these ways. With the issues he had when he first came back to Pippsway, many people would consider Bronson to be a dangerous horse. But Pip understood what his issues were and how to address them. I’m so glad that Bronson came to Pip and that she has been able to change his life. It has been amazing seeing the changes in him over the year and a half that he has been in her care and we work together so that I don’t experience his difficult behaviour, as Pip is always working ahead of where we are at and ironing out his creases before we get there.
All this rehabilitation has been done without using tack to ‘solve’ problems. Instead Pip has worked on Bronson’s confidence, self esteem and pride. After all, all behaviour is communication and when horses are properly understood they no longer need to resort to dangerous behaviour. That is Pippsway magic!