Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Week 2 was a big week of revision and building blocks for VBA Wrangler. Using those forward cues we had established in week 1 we got a bit fancy and continued on our quest for the title of ultimate circus brumby, we went forward onto another podium, a bridge and a seesaw. Most horses panic or struggle with the first time over the seesaw, jumping off or moving around when the balance changes, but Wrangler didn’t even blink. Not once yet has Wrangler questioned or challenged me, but that isn’t because he’s an ‘easy’ or ‘fool proof’ horse. 14 days ago Wrangler knew nothing about humans, he had no previous experience of learning to be pushy or greedy, he had no predisposed ideas of where I stood in his hierarchy. Now Wrangler is learning about humans, he only knows what hes been taught, he only knows that if he moves my feet I move his. He see’s me as a part of his herd, I speak a language he understands and to him I have become the leader of our partnership and he has no reason not to trust that I will make decisions to keep us both safe.
Wrangler was introduced to the flag and his immediate instinct was “WE GOTTA GO ITS GOING TO EAT US”, then he walked into the flag and the flag walked away. Strange. Wrangler walked towards the flag again, the flag moved. Very strange. The predator (the evil teeth bearing flag) actually wasn’t a predator. Using our walk away and lead exercise we had worked on since day 2 Wrangler was able to move the flags feet and therefor had no reason to fear the flag and use his natural flight or fight instinct. Soon we were able to use pressure and release to put the flag over, under and all around Wrangler, draping it over his hinds and getting him used to the motion of what would soon be wearing his first rug. Using the skills Wrangler learnt with the flag, when we did put a rug on the next day Wrangler was confident and knew exactly what to expect… not only was he confident, he was also warm and thought rubbing that in VBA Cooper’s face that night was all to funny… if only he knew he was in hot pink.
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