Paul is an 18-year-old Haflinger gelding who came to me in 2016. He was still very green then, and easily stressed. He was generally anxious and did not trust people.
We got along well on the ground and in the saddle. Especially by training lateral movements he found better body awareness and confidence, and so he felt safer. His pronounced crookedness got better, and he began to trust people in general, but especially also the rider.
Two years ago he began to feel less willing when ridden. The cause was beginning arthritis in the left front fetlock joint. Because of this diagnosis I decided not to ride Paul anymore. I did not want to make his condition worse by putting my extra weight on him. We did a lot of groundwork, but I did not know how to help Paul improve his posture and movement. I did a lot of research and found Babette’s videos on YouTube. I was thrilled to see the beautiful movement of the horses shown, and I knew I wanted to train my own horse this way.
First clinic as auditor
In August 2019 I participated in a Babette clinic as auditor. Even though I was already familiar with lunging with a cavesson, I still needed her instruction so I could achieve the same results as in the saddle. Babette showed me a way to train lateral movements from the ground, without pressure. It was so touching to feel Paul’s eagerness and joy when we got the first steps of travers on the lunge. He had always liked to show travers, and I had now found a way to let him do it from the ground. I am so very grateful to you, Babette!
In October 2020 we were active participants in a Lunging Course clinic for the first time. We mostly worked on lateral movements from a distance. We had so much fun!
Paul can still get stressed in situations where he is expected to learn something new. I was very comfortable with Babette at my side. She never asked too much of us/him, but found exactly the right amount of challenge that improved our performance.
I am so looking forward to our next clinic in the coming year!
Here is a wonderful video of Ann-Sophie and Paul
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