Australian Brumby Challenge ©

April Harvey

VBA Playboy                                                                       WEEK : 14

On the weekend Playboy had his third float trip. He travels very well despite being a little unsure about being locked in a strange, noisy, box that moves. He was my demo horse for the morning session of a clinic I was facilitating. An enthusiastic teenager put him through his groundwork movements to get a feel for the manoeuvres while I worked with her horse. It was the first time a stranger has done groundwork with him and he handled it well.

During the ridden part of the day Playboy was patient and relaxed while I rode amongst other horses and dismounted numerous times to assist riders from the ground. He met lots of strangers and was happy to stand and be led and held by them.

After the clinic we explored a nice set of obstacles. It was a windy day and there were a few obstacles with flapping/moving parts but with a little reassurance Playboy navigated everything willingly. He even jumped up onto some higher obstacles with only the slightest hint of encouragement from me. He is so intelligent and willing once he gets over any fear.

During the week he had his first full bath. Up until now he has only had a few hose downs when he became a little sweaty on warm days. He was a unsure about the full hose down to begin so I took my time and by the rinse phase he was confident enough to stand nicely with his lead rope hanging to the ground. His coat is developing a beautiful, metallic shine, except for his fluffy little belly that hasn’t shed yet.

Another first this week was Playboy receiving shoes! My father, Neil Harvey, has been a farrier my entire life until retiring earlier this year. It was so sweet that he came out of retirement to put some shoes on my little brumby! Playboy handled the experience well for his first time. My dad likes to teach the horses to stand quietly without needing to be tied up. Playboy was a little uncertain about the shoeing process but it didn’t take him long to figure it out.

Last week I had to make the final, and very tough, decision regarding if I would be purchasing Playboy. He has carved out a big place in my heart over the last 14 weeks. It has been an amazing journey so far and I feel such a beautiful connection with him. However, despite some tears, practicality has overruled. Playboy will be available at public auction at Equitana in November. He is a VERY special little horse and it’s VERY important to me that he finds the right home. He would excel at low impact activities/disciplines such as Mountain Trail or gentle recreational riding. Being an extremely intelligent, older and previously wild horse he is best suited to a confident, consistent and aware rider who can pre-empt and support him through any uncertainty he may face in the domesticated environment. Stay tuned for a more in depth bio and assessment coming soon.

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


Thanks to my dad for helping Playboy out with shoes and for always being so supportive and encouraging!
Thank you to Barastoc for supporting Playboy’s journey from Wild to Wonderful! 

Weekly Training Updates

Follow Tamara and VBA Nugget on their journey !

Week 1     Week 2     Week 3     Week 4     Week 5     Week 6     week 7

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week 14    week 15     week 16      week 17     week 18     week 19     

week 20