Over fifty people attended a fabulous evening with Jason Webb, the founder of Austrailian Horsemanship, on Saturday 7 March at the Avon Riding Centre near Bristol.
Jason started the evening working with Spring, a three year old Exmoor pony. Spring was a typical youngster who had her own opinions on how life should be and was just pushing the boundaries a bit as to what she was and was not prepared to do.
After an uncooperative start from Spring, Jason asked Spring to move her quarters away from him by using a mixture of body language and pressure/release techniques and within a very short period of time Spring was starting to get the message.
Soon Spring was happy to stand in her own space or come forward and move away and eventually was happy to move around Jason on the end of the line (the start of being lunged!). Jason finished his work with Spring by teaching her to tie up and stand still. Spring was happy to be tied up but was a 'fidget' but again, with patience and the correct signals she was soon happy for Jason to walk around her whilst standing still.
The day after the demo Spring's owner, Charlotte Forkes, said: "Thank you so much. I have tried the techniques that Jason used with Spring and there is a big improvement in her behaviour."
The second part of the night saw Jason work with BHS Regional Development Officer, Julie Garbutt and her horse Zac. Jason focused on showing the audience the different types of seat a rider can use for security, fine tuning and freedom.
He then worked on helping Julie to get Zac more responsive to the leg aids by using a light aid backed up by a stronger aid if their was no response. In between Julie was asked to keep her legs very still and not 'nag' Zac with her leg - one aid, one response and then take of the pressure.
Very soon the difference was clear to see and Zac was moving between the paces with the lightest of touches from the leg. Julie commented: "Nagging a horse with your leg is a bad habit that we can all get into (I have) but with what I have learnt from Jason tonight I can feel a big difference and will certainly carry on using this technique."
The night finished with getting Zac used to the audience's applause, which he thoroughly enjoyed!
Our grateful thanks to Jason for presenting this wonderful evening and to Mr John Forkes for acting as official photographer for the night. Funds raised from the night will be donated to the BHS fundraising appeal for 2015 which is raising money for castration clinics throughout the UK.