Australian Brumby Challenge ©

April Harvey

VBA Playboy                                                                       WEEK : 10

It’s been an easy week for Playboy, consisting of a couple of days off interspersed with some light sessions. I feel it’s important that Playboy has sufficient rest for his mental and physical health and well being as the days pass and EQUITANA approaches. Playboy really tries to please and is very consistent day to day. Our rides are short as I don’t want to keep asking more of him when he naturally gives so generously. It’s important that I encourage willingness in my horses rather than burn them out.

We introduced Playboy to a few new obstacles this week and he characteristically took it all in his stride. Sometimes new objects and experiences can cause him to be unsure and frightened. If I introduce unfamiliar elements, exposing him to them in a way that supports his confidence, his sensible nature is quickly engaged and shines through any initial fears. Given his wild history, there is just so much that is foreign to him in this human world.

I feel he loves our gentle rides out around the property as much as I do. Enjoying the Spring weather and watching beautiful sunsets feels like easy, quality time with a good friend. He seems to enjoy the adventure, being in his element out in nature.

One of the highlights of my week with Playboy occurred during an evening when I fed the horses by moonlight. After checking Playboy over I left him to eat. Walking back through his paddock I stopped to sit on a log, taking in the moon and the beautiful clear, starry night. Playboy was about 50 metres away and left his feed to join me. I maintained my stillness as he came close, touched me with his nose then retreated a few metres, beginning to yawn profusely and shake his head. This triggered me to yawn and we spent a moment yawning together catalyzing a gentle unraveling of the mental and physical tension I was holding. Playboy returned to stand beside me, lowering his head to within inches of mine as we sank into a deep stillness and relaxation. I felt incredibly held and soothed in his presence. After a few more minutes his energy shifted, he lifted his head, arched and stretched along his entire topline, yawning and placing his forehead directly against the centre of mine. Time seemed to dissolve as we stayed there, forehead to forehead. I was enveloped in his warmth and deep sage-like energy. We breathed in unison under the moonlight.

The horse-human connection can be so much more than we normally allow ourselves to experience. There is beauty, harmony and a deep sense of meeting beyond words that can be found in stillness, breath and a willingness to open our heart. Playboy is such a sweet, deep soul and I feel so grateful for the beautiful moment we shared.

For photos and videos of VBA Playboy’s journey please visit:


Thank you to Barastoc for supporting Playboy’s journey from Wild to Wonderful! 

Weekly Training Updates

Join April and VBA Playboy on their journey !

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week 20