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Monthly diary — February

Lucinda Green

My teaching trip to New Zealand and Australia went well although there was no chance to be smug about their summer – it was wellies for nearly every clinic. In New Zealand I did two demonstrations with leading behaviourist Dr Andrew McLean.

He is gentle, straightforward and makes things so simple. He believes that before anything else a horse must have a signal to go and a signal to stop. Taught initially at walk, the reward is always the release of pressure. It's not magic but when done well, achieves so much without any need for force – something we both believe is too prevalent in some areas of equestrian sport. Using this principle, Andrew guarantees to load any horse into a trailer in around 10 minutes. Working together, we both learned plenty and found we shared many ideas. We hope to do more joint projects in the future.

My only regret from my trip is that despite staying close to where she was racing, I missed seeing sprint phenomenon, Black Caviar, in action live (19 wins from 19 starts). Hopefully I'll watch her at Royal Ascot instead.

On arrival home, having checked all was well with Cry Freedom – still in Mendip country doing hill work – we collected a new addition to the household. Sadly before Christmas I unexpectedly lost my Norfolk terrier cross, Bisto (see Dec 2011 diary).

Earlier I had sent him to meet a friend's lovely Norfolk x Lhasa Apso bitch, Pumpkin, but Bisto had seemed unimpressed. Then in January I received a call, out of the blue, to say four pups had appeared and Bisto was the father. Our delight as a family was huge, and so 14-week-old 'No Name Yet,' has arrived – he's gorgeous and entertaining and it's so wonderful that, unexpectedly, Bisto lives on…

Look out for Lucinda commenting on the Olympic action from June 2012.

Don't forget to visit the archive to find out what Lucinda got up to last year

Lucinda Green Signature