Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Week 6 VBA Zazu
Zazu has had several good sessions this week, along with a couple of days off. As always I mix my riding between arena and trails.
I am starting to notice significant improvement in Zazu's strength and fitness. The area is hilly and in the earlier days of riding Zazu would often find it a little tricky getting me and herself up the hill. She is now willing and freely loping up the hills.
Mid week I took Zazu for a ride along a quiet road, with the aim of exposing her to new sights like houses, cars, animals etc. We did come across a car with a very courteous driver that slowed right down to pass, I almost felt it was unnecessary as Zazu barely payed attention as they drove by. Along this road with the long open stretches I was really able to open her up and let her stretch her legs, we went for a nice long (fast) canter. She came back to a walk nicely and walked along with her head and neck stretched down.
Whilst I want Zazu to be able to lope along nice and slow and balanced, I feel that a green horse needs to spend a lot of time cantering and if that means a little fast then that is ok - horses need to gain confidence in all paces and they can only do that with practice in all paces. It is no good me trying to get Zazu to lope slowly in the arena or on the trail by constantly 'checking' her when she isn't strong or balanced enough yet, she just needs to travel.
I also spent some time giving lessons off of Zazu. These times are fairly relaxed for her as she only has to poke around and give the occasional demonstration of how something can be done. It is still time well spent, as she learns when she can switch off and relax and when she needs to be alive - she does really switch off and just about naps on the job.
In one arena session we had a couple of dirt bikes come screaming up the road (the arena is fenced along the road) I was down the road end and I thought this could be a time when things really come undone. With not a lot of time to react I picked up one rein and kept Zazu bent as they flew past. I was truly expecting Zazu to react in some way, I even cringed at the noise of the bikes. But no, Zazu stood quietly with no tension that I could feel and just continued on as she was.
She is truly a special little brumby that is so affectionate and willing. I enjoy all my sessions with Zazu because she, like me, wants to be there.
FB: Amy Eighteen Equine Services