Pony News, Views and Attitudes -- Vol. 2 Number 4 -- August 4-10, 2008 PAGE 1

Kitten Naming Contest

"Tinkerbell" is the kitten's new name!

Thanks to everyone who voted this week!

We tried all the names out on the kitten.

When the kitten was polled, the only name she responded to was "Here kitty-kitty-kitty."

Vote on this week's survey here -
How Much of the Wiggins Weekly do you read?



by Sharon

Back when I was still training for the public, I had a wonderful family as clients. Their daughter, 13 at the time, had an adorable little Arab gelding named Max. He'd do anything she wanted, and her wish was to show him in trail classes. In all other respects, he was a sweetheart, but was terrified of the Scary Blue Tarp....and that's pretty much de rigeur in a trail class. Come to find out, another "trainer" decided the best way to get him over it was to tie the tarp to his saddle and turn him loose in the arena. Yeah, that's gonna help. NOT. So, as you may imagine, he was not just scared, he was totally terrified.
They kept this horse at home, but I had others of theirs in training at the time. They wanted to know how to fix the problem, and I suggested the food on the tarp on their dry lot.

A week went by and the poor
little guy had eaten nothing. The dad told me they were going to give up and not show him in trail...and then he said the fatal words to me: "Nobody will ever get this horse to walk over a tarp. It's not possible, and can't be done." Talk about waving a red flag in front of a bull ;-)...I love a good challenge.

So I said I'd like to give it a try. We agreed on a time, and they brought little Max over to my barn. Tim, the father, loved to make bets and he said "Let's make it interesting. I won't even make this a bet....I'll *give* you $100 if you can get him to walk across a tarp". I said "you're on...are there any rules?" His response: "You have half an hour and you can't sedate him."

Enter Max. I needed to find out if his fear was visual or noise related or both. Turned out it was mostly noise...the visual concerned him, but hearing the tarp crackle sent him over the edge into total panic. I tucked him out of sight in a stall and laid the tarp out flat in the arena. Grabbed a barn towel, got Max back out and folded the towel over his eyes and tucked it under the edges of the halter.

I walked him and being the trusting little soul he was, he followed nicely even though he was blindfolded. I walked close to the tarp and stepped on a corner of it. He flicked an ear but had no real concern. We walked around the corners a couple of times, with me moving further in toward the center and Max stepping on the corners. Then I walked him onto the middle of it, backed him up, jumped up and down, walked him on and off it a few times, then walked to the center of it and slowly removed the towel.

I let him stand there and look, and I moved just enough to let him hear
the sound. He arched his neck, sniffed it, and I asked him to move one step forward. He did, and seemed concerned but not fearful. We walked on and off it a few times and he relaxed more each time. The whole process took about fifteen minutes. I turned to Tim and grinned and said "Will that be cash or check?"

P.S. Sharon says
"Please do not try this without professional help!"

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Club Pony Pals
16654 Soledad Canyon Rd. #382
Canyon Country, CA 91387

Page 2 Pam Letters

Page 3 Anna Letters

Page 4 Lulu Letters

Page 5 Reader Letters

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