Flicking the lunge whip at his ‘ankles’ got a result. He attempted to hide behind me, which mostly just resulted in his shoving me out into the road. Dad found the solution. Sadly, Toby is a very smart horse, and Felix a rather dim one, so I’m not certain of the success rate. The neighbour imparted some more traditional advice: a simple dressage crop to the bum when he stopped unasked. I don’t have a dressage crop, it was lost somewhere between finding it in the horse float and putting it in a safe place. However, I found that the lunging whip worked just as well. Flicking it at his ankles was just as effective, if somewhat unwieldy. I tried this latter technique to get him walking and trotting in-hand. He wasn’t too impressed by the whole ordeal, and managed to portray on his little horsey face such a look of betrayal that I felt quite guilty. It was some effort to scoop up the marshmallow of my heart and carry on, but thoughts of ribbons steered me on. It was only today that I realised I’d been going about it all wrong. Dad took a bucket of food scraps and cooked barley down to the piglets, and he cut through Felix’s field on the way back to the house. Well! If Felix didn’t hold his tail high, pick up his feet, and trot beautifully after that bucket one end of the field to the other. There may be hope for me yet. Felix’s first outing will be showing in a local A&P – agricultural and pastoral – show in Oxford, NZ. And after that, the next stage: starting under saddle. I have a bridle, I have a saddle, and a carefully thought out plan. Wish me luck, I think I’ll need it. About The Author - Katie Haggath K atie H ag g ath ( 2 0 ) lov e s w riting and hors e s . S he liv e s in N Z on 1 0 acre s w ith he r p are nts and a p e tting z oo’ s w orth of animals . W he n atie s article dropped into the email in-bo in the of ce it was one of those can t stop reading this moments. ere was a young rider and writer who publically admitted that she knew very little about handling a young horse, yet has the desire to learn and can see the humorous side of this learning e perience. ll horsemen and women have had to go through the learning process at some stage in their lives...but not everyone has the writing ability, humour and guts to share this journey with readers of a national equestrian maga ine. atie has recently taken on a young horse, with the aim being to train him from scratch and to break him in herself ne t year so, be prepared to share all the errors and the successes as we follow atie and Feli over the ne t twelve months in their journey of learning hors e mans hip . I TR U I Illustrator ay Thornton, a very talented artist who was one of the many who responded to our Facebook enquiries for someone to illustrate this series. See more of ay s horse illustrations at her Funny- orse- artoons page on Facebook.