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Podium Perfection.

A cut down pallet makes an ideal podium.
However a word of caution - choose wisely.
Some pallets have been treated with chemicals,
avoid any with the letters MB.
Make sure there are no rusty or protruding nails.
Replace broken slats.
The podium will need a flat top.
It will also need a non slip surface.
Use screws instead of nails.
They can be HEAVY and may need the assistance of a sack trolley to move them.
Podium requirements.
The handler should halt the equine in front of the podium - the handler must step up onto the podium - facing the equine - the handler should then step off backwards, remaining facing the equine - the handler should then "invite" the equine to step up and into the space they have just vacated. Front feet only. The equine must show immobility, before the being asked them to step gently back off.

Podium Practice.
First make sure your podium is sited on level ground, with plenty of space around it.
Walk your equine in a circle around it.
Allow any interest shown.
Nose before feet.
He will want to touch it and investigate it with his nose.
If he wants to use his feet - allow him.
He needs to gain his own information about it - is it safe ?
Take him for another walk around it - there is no hurry.
Come back to it and halt just in front of it.
Step up onto it yourself.
Jump up and down and bang your feet on it.
Before you ask him to step up, check your breathing, breathe out, sigh and relax.
Let him know it's no big deal.
Now step backwards off, remaining, facing him.
You are now going to ask him to step up and into the space you have just vacated.
Front feet only. (most important)
By standing in front of him you can use your own body language to block him and prevent him from walking over it.
Project your energy towards him - keep your eyes soft, watch his facial expressions, be aware of him showing any concern.
Allow him to relax before stepping towards him, and asking by touching his shoulder, to gently find his own way down and step off.


Sharon Pulizzi

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