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Last couple of times out, before our Vet Adventure, he was dragging along behind with me trying hard not to pony-club-kick him along. Today we were back to our deceptively relaxed, rhythmic walk, leaving his poor friend Specs trailing behind and having to trot to catch up. OK, a few things to iron out of course, in finding our forward we’ve lost sight of our halt rather, and backup is a bit of an discussion, and maybe there were times when I had a leetle bit too much “energy” but we can deal with that.

Another great thing – roughly 2 months into me taking over trimming using the Maureen Tierney approach – he’s so sound he’s rock crunching. AND for pretty much the first time ever he’s tucking his hind legs under him going down hills instead of having them out behind. Result!! I’m a bit shy to post pics of the hooves on here because they are transitioning and look a strange combination of neat toes and chaos from the quarters back, but it’s promising. Over the weeks I can see the hooves changing, false sole sloughing off, stretched white line closing, hoof wall thickening… most interesting. Oh, and his toes are well neat! I’ve got to say thanks to the trimmers who’ve helped me on this learning journey and given me the courage to take over, they’ve all been great.

After we left our friends we were trundling down the driveway and a smart pace when I realised we had a little ginger companion about 5 metres ahead – Ghengis had come to meet us, and was trotting along, looking back every now and then to make sure we were there. He was waiting at the barn for me and got a lovely meat feast as a reward. Interesting behaviour for a wild and wary feral cat. He knows if I see him at the barn he gets fed. Who would have thought that he was also aware that I was on top of the big ginger thing, about half a mile from the barn?

Gave Celeb a good scrumbling of the face and back then turned him out. (He loves a good scrumble!). Then another rather nice thing, he stayed with me. Normally he goes straight off to chase Fin (Kick the Cat syndrome I think), but this time he hung about for a scratch kiss. When I scratch the right place on his shoulder he turns to lay his face against my cheek, which I reckon is a pretty awesome kiss to be given. Then he walked across the field with me. Then he went for a roll. Then he came back… Wow! Just love him to bits.

(And of course I love Tee Pee and Fin, and had to give them their own slot for scratching and scrumbling because they looked at me with those sad, left out eyes and I couldn’t just up and leave could I?).

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Kas Fitzpatrick is the founder of Exploring Horsemanship. She has been the clinic organiser for Steve Halfpenny, Tom Widdicombe, Amanda Barton, Dave Stuart and various Parelli Natural Horsemanship instructors at different times. She lives in UK with her beloved horses, Celebrity...

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