Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Week 7 was yet another rollercoaster on this crazy journey. At the start of the week Wrangler and I were still not a partnership, I was still stuck in my own head rather than thinking about Wrangler and what I needed him to do, taking his emotions personally. Wrangler was the most gentle he had ever been on the ground, getting cuddles from everyone and wanting to be around anyone hanging out at the stables, but as soon as the pressure came on he was aggressive and defensive.
It was then that we discovered the issue, it wasn’t that Wrangler didn’t understand my cues or that he didn’t want to learn anymore, our issue was that our desensitise and sensitise weren’t clearly distinguished enough, Wrangler ran from the pressure because he thought it was an easy option and then got angry when I told him no. We worked on this for 2 days, patting and then equally moving Wranglers feet with the motivator until he was calm and enjoying his training sessions again.
This week went from feeling stuck to something special, having our first ride this week. Wrangler didn’t put a foot wrong under saddle, waiting until Week 7 to have our first ride all paid off when I was able to hop on (after putting weight in the saddle/stirrups a couple times) and both of us knew exactly what would be coming next. Exactly as Wrangler did the pyramid on the ground is what we did under saddle, he already knew the exercise and his confidence sky rocketed. Bending rein, move the hip, open rein to walk out onto a circle, bending rein to a halt.
Wrangler you are such a journey and I am so grateful for how much my little brown brumby can teach me, not just about my skills as a horse trainer, but my emotional journey.