Week 14.. what a rollercoaster this one was
VBA Wrangler stepped back up to ridden work, bending and moving his hip, but also freely walking out and happy to change direction and work off each rein, also willing to halt off both reins, listening to my ‘walk’ seat and moving or stopping his hind legs. Finally it seemed like these last few challenging weeks we had finally come together as a team, nothing could stop us now. Until, Wrangler decided to do his end of session release, every single time.
Each time Wrangler walked off calmly and freely, I would get off and end the session to reward his tries. One thing I have learnt about Wrangler is how extremely intelligent he is, more than any other horse I have ever worked with, once Wrangler gets release, he will do whatever had gotten him that release over and over again. If I let Wrangler loose in the arena he wont stand next to me, instead he will go and step on the podium (getting on and off again as many times as it takes to get my attention), push his ball, or look for any other solution. So now that Wrangler had associated walking with release, as soon as I had weight in my stirrups he was off! It is really important no matter where, when or how I mount my horses, I have control of their feet, including when their feet move, not just where. So it was time for me to do the opposite and taking Wrangler back to basics.
Since Tuesday I have gotten on and off Wrangler, bending him each way, then ending the session, these sessions only last 30 seconds sometimes, but this is the best way for Wrangler. At first I tried to teach him not to move, when to move and where to move from the beginning in one session and this resulted in an aggressive Wrangler once again. He couldn’t understand what was getting him release anymore, everything he did seemed to be wrong because once he got one solution, I gave him another and another. Now Wrangler is happy to do one thing at a time and break the exercises apart, instead of everything being 1 big exercise that continuously gets harder and harder, he sees it as 3 small exercises that effortlessly go together, exactly how they do on the ground.
Baby steps all the time for Wrangle Dangles the baby brumby.
Australian Brumby Challenge ©