I'm so happy with how TamLin is coming along. He's such a sweet pony and is so keen to learn. He's really pleased to see me when I get to his field and has started calling out, although that could be anticipation of his bucket at the end of our lessons :D
His first two and most important lessons are to lead properly and to be tied up. He's handling them very well, but I can see his stress levels rising when he starts trying to self-soothe by chewing things, anything he can grab, in fact! The lead rope and my arms are usually coated with either very smelly shower gel or most recently saddle soap as he became too used to Avon roses, haha!
Now when I see him looking for something to bite, I relax the pressure and back off for a bit. He really appreciates this approach and as a result is learning very quickly.
Sadly, Tam is the sort of pony that an inexperienced or heavy handed trainer would find very easy to abuse. He turns his emotions inwards and unless you can see the signs as his stress builds, an outburst would come as a complete shock. This is one powerful little stallion and I'm very keen to encourage his trust as we play and work together. I'm also trying real hard not to fall in love!!!
Progress so far: Tam can step back at a light touch to his chest, he will step over if touched on his neck or stifle and he can be loosely tied for a very short time, although I can't leave him yet. That's a target for a few more weeks. He's also unhappy to have his tail fiddled with, which is something I must deal with if we are to expect a vet to get close enough to geld him at the appropriate time!!!
The heavy rain and wind may mean that progress in the coming week is very slow indeed. I may not be able to do a great deal other than visit and talk with Tam, but that's not always a bad thing. If you're interested I'll let you know more about his progress :D