Australian Brumby Challenge ©
VBA Zazu Week 3
Zazu hit some big mile stones this week, with her first ride being the biggest.
I started the week with refining our long reining, initially in the round pen before moving out into the paddock. Zazu started out still quite unsure of the ropes behind her back legs and although she knew to follow the feel of the halter for her turns, she would do so in a rushed and unrelaxed fashion. I resolved this by doing more work with ropes around her back legs, something she would accept easily at the stand still but not so much with movement. I Then went back to having the long reins on, Zazu would automatically pick up the trot so I would continue to do lots of turns instead of allowing her to following one direction, within a short time she was relaxing into the turns.
I now felt it was a good time to get her out of the round pen and long rein her in the paddock. This process helps me a lot in preparation for riding, as Zazu is no longer able to follow me but has to lead whilst following my direction. She was nice and forward in the paddock without rushing. I was very pleased with how she handled given there were trees being felled across the road.
By Tuesday and with how soft and responsive Zazu was feeling I felt it was a good time to introduce a rider. I had the assistance of my mother to help move Zazu forward if she was to become stuck - forward movement is very important when starting horses.
I started by jumping up and down next to her and putting weight in one stirrup, I did this until she was calm enough to put a leg over. Immediately when I got on Zazu I took to flexing her, not only making sure she was soft in the face but also giving her an exercise to do that she was familiar with. After a couple of minutes of this and I was able ask Zazu to turn and walk out of the circle. Most of the pressure came from my mother - driving her forward from the ground and Zazu just being able to feel my weight without any direct pressure. We did a few turns and a couple of trot circles each way before it was time to call it quits. I was proud of how calm and soft Zazu stayed throughout the session.
Unfortunately I was not able to do any further work with Zazu for the rest of the week, however I look forward to working more with her this weekend.
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