Last week whilst we were away in Cyprus for a friend’s wedding, our friend’s Sue Brennan and Jade Clark from Brennan Equestrian had Olly on a schooling livery.
Being as I’d started re-schooling Olly before we went away I didn’t then want to leave Olly in a field for 12 days doing nothing as we would be back to square one, so by sending him to Brennan Equestrian I knew that they would keep him ticking along whilst I was away as well as see what he’s like as they will be giving us lessons shortly.
When Sue and Jade came to pick Olly up, what I thought would be an easy few minutes to load him into the lorry ended up with Olly being very upset and really not wanting to load at all. We tried everything from lunge rein’s to a bridle and eventually we managed to coax him up the ramp and into the lorry.
Olly travelled well but once at Sue and Jade’s yard he bashed about in the box a bit then came bouncing out of it a lot quicker than what he had gone in. He was dripping in sweat and had obviously got himself into a bit of a state. Once out he stood like a statue looking around at his new surroundings.
Sue and I put him into his stable which was to be his home for the next 12 days and I sat with him for a bit to make sure he was ok.
It was then I thought about his behaviour. He was never like that before when I had owned him before so it’s obviously a fear or habit he’s got himself into during his 4 years in foster homes with Blue Cross.
Now I’m not in any way going to blame anyone for his behaviour but what I do have to do is work with what I know of those four years away from me to determine what his experiences must have been.
I know he’d been in four homes in the four years of being under Blue Cross’ wing. I know he’d been unsettled in most of those homes except for the last one. I know he’d never been a problem to ride in the four homes and was even one of the horses in an equestrian centre but for some reason or another he had not settled on a yard or even in a stable.
Going on what I have been told I can only presume that Olly’s anxiety in a stable, on a yard and being loaded onto a trailer is fear. Fear and uncertainty of where he’s going to end up next. Fear he’s going to be pulled from the friends he’s got to know in his yard and field and fear of a yet another new owner who he has to learn to trust.
Well, thankfully this fear will be quashed once and for all because as long as I have breath in my body Olly is going to stay with us and we are going to get well together in mind and body and with any luck we may even travel the length and breadth of the British Isles and have some fun along the way.
Whilst I was away
Olly was both good and bad for Sue and Jade although lunging him at the beginning of his stay had been a test of respect for him to learn as he’d been trying his luck with Jade, but he soon learned to get on with his job. When Jade did finally get on him he was ok and he worked up and down his transitions well.
I can’t wait to get straight back at it.