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"Ann and BB"

        BB was an untrained 2 year-old pony when I bought her. She had been spoiled by kids, and would barely even lead. I worked with her on my own, and taught her to lounge, and to lead. I had experience training 5 horses, with show experience since my teens. This pony was the most difficult equine I had encountered. Our next step was to teach her to drive. I bought a harness, and started ground driving her. She was very brave, and did fine as we went all over the neighborhood. So, I tried to hook her into the cart. The harness was not adjusted right, and before I could readjust the breeching strap, she bolted. The cart was hooked only by the traces. BB ran in circles, spinning tightly until the cart and pony tipped over. I had to undo the harness to get her out. The shafts were bent, and I knew I would never be able to hook her up again without major help! We first tried a conventional trainer, who specialized in training to drive. We did more lounging, and more ground driving. We had to stop the training when BB developed locking stifles. She had surgery, and a one year rest. Then, we resumed her training. But she was still very frightened of carts. The trainer was knocked down when BB reared as I brought a cart near her. I knew we needed another method. BB got another rest while I looked for someone who could help to desensitize her. We found Paul Esh, and good things started to happen. His method of teaching BB to tolerate scary things really made the difference. We worked her on obstacles, including plastic. He taught her to lead without pulling. He did more ground driving, but this time over obstacles. It was really amazing when we hooked her to the cart, and she was not afraid! BB is gaining confidence, and is much nicer to be around. We have even had my disabled son in the cart now, and I feel that soon we will be able to drive off-property. This is the pony that may have been turned into a breeding mare, or worse if she hadnít gotten the proper foundation. Now, BB has a full life ahead of her, and may be a show pony in the near future. Our thanks to Paul for his gentle, patient and effective training methods.

-Ann Heinke


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