Jack and Jill are back on my farm for the winter. Jack and Jill are Cleveland Bay-Saddlebred crosses owned and bred by John Hammond of New Hampshire. These two came to my farm last year for "phase one" of their training. Last year included lots of doting in the barn while separated from the herd and learning to cross tie. This may seem basic to some, but not for horses whom are truly raised in a herd. Continuing after that was a lot of desensitizing and acclimating to change. The horses were both saddle broke while at my farm, but not ready for anyone to ride. After that I sent them home to mature a little and take a break.
So far this winter has been a repeat of last year. I wanted to build on a strong solid foundation. Ultimately, we want Jack and Jill to drive as a pair so there is no need for rushing training or skipping steps of learning. Good preliminary driving skills of the horse and driver have to be instilled for safe driving to come. Jack matured a lot over his time at home and Jill has always been a steady horse. Jack is smart, he just likes to over react when he doesn't like a situation. He has finally learned to think through a situation before he gets upset. This can be seen from the cross ties all the way to him pulling a drag. My time for Jack and Jill has been interrupted by other engagements and I feel bad about the gaps in time loss, but I also know that repeating steps after time off is very important to ensure no gaps in the training. I am very happy with the horses' advancement in their learning even with a week off here and there.