High winds and shipwrecks in the wild west of Ireland
By: Mary Bermingham | Published Friday, December 21, 2012, 11:08 AM | Updated Friday, December 21, 2012, 11:08 AM
3 yr old Connemara cros
There are high winds and a strange, warm, misty rain like the end of the world. It is shipwreck weather, with two Danish sailors rescued off the coast of Cork in gale force winds and a haul of silver worth 127 million found lately off the coast of Galway. We have been cowering inside by the fire most of the week.
I have made some progress with the three year old pony and can now get him out to the arena and back into his stable. I had to divide the arena into two with white electric tape to keep him away from the gate and he is now lunging on both reins and turning when asked. He is also happily wearing the breaking tack and side reins. The first day he felt the girth around him he catapulted his two back heels high into the sky and I thanked the Almighty that I wasn’t on board. The quality and athleticism of the Connemara pony originates from Spanish bloodlines. When the Armada was wrecked off the rocky Irish shore in 1588, the white Spanish horses (something like today’s Lipizzaners) swam in and bred with the tough little native ponies. A Spanish person called Carlos also washed up on Island Eddie, the tiny little Island in Kinvara bay and the family became todays Corless'. __________ Read more:
As he is so wild when you take him out of the stable I decided to try the Monty Roberts technique on him. I you tubed Monty doing his famous ‘join up’.
The horse is meant to run around and the human chases him. You keep your body square to the horse and keep looking him in the eye. We did that very well. I kept looking, he kept running. Eventually the horse starts to flick his inside ear towards the human. Amazingly this did happen after a few minutes. Then he is meant to slightly turn his head towards you as he goes around. He did as predicted- how easy was this… He should then start licking and chewing, like a foal and drop his head in a sign of submission. I couldn’t believe it when he started doing exactly that. At this point you are meant to become passive and turn away at a 45 degree angle and drop your gaze to the ground. He should then walk over to you and start following you around like a dog. You can then put the saddle on and jump up with a bond that will never be broken as he is so desperate to be your friend, you can ride him bareback, backwards etc etc and he will willingly do whatever you desire.
Only he didn’t walk over to me. I kept repeating all the steps but when he is meant to ‘join up’ he makes it quite clear that I am an impostor and he does not want to be part of my herd. He stands cemented to the ground shaking and looking terrified. I tried standing and waiting, walking away, putting the rope on him and pulling him towards me. No way José. No join up! I feel flawed. He did the horse bit right, it was the human that couldn’t speak the right language. I had visions of him following me around, with ribbons in his long black mane, bowing and lying down like a circus pony. He obviously has different ideas, mostly about getting back into the field and eating grass with his REAL friends. Maybe trying to join up with the whole world collapsing around us in a hurricane was a bit ambitious; I am trying not to take it personally..