Australian Brumby Challenge ©
VBA Playboy WEEK : 11
Each week I feel Playboy developing more strength, suppleness and balance. He executes our established training exercises with increased ease and willingness. We are playing with some new elements this week and Playboy is trying to give me the correct answers despite being a little unsure at times. He still communicates via a cranky little headshake to let me know when he finds a new request difficult or confusing. Once he figures it out, both mentally and physically, he is much more obliging.
Playboy is very clever. A horse doesn’t survive ten years in the wild without adaptability and intelligence. He is quick to pick up new things and has a tendency to anticipate what I am going to ask and offer a response/manoeuver before I request it. These traits are wonderful and can be advantageous in the training and development of a horse however, if not managed appropriately, it can lead to undesired outcomes. Horses are constantly observing, learning and adapting and if we are not paying attention or discerning with our actions they can unintentionally learn behaviours that, from a human perspective, are considered “wrong” just as easily as they can learn those behaviours that we want!
Float loading is the next step in Playboy’s journey. We have a few outings planned in the next few weeks and I want Playboy to feel comfortable and confident whilst travelling. Float loading can be a big deal for some horses and people, but it doesn’t have to be. If approached correctly it can be easy and stress free. Investing the time in the trailer loading from the beginning can set a horse up for success for the rest of their lives. Today was Playboy’s first session with loading. We took our time, allowing him to observe and get comfortable in proximity to the float before asking him to gradually step up and in. He was insecure to begin with and reluctant to enter however with time and patience we were able to end the session after he walked on and backed off sensibly a few times. We will do more practice with this over the next few days before taking him for a drive.
For photos and videos of VBA Playboy’s journey please visit:
Thank you to Richard Baron for the photo!
Thank you to Barastoc for supporting Playboy’s journey from Wild to Wonderful!