Australian Brumby Challenge ©

April Harvey

VBA Playboy                                                                       WEEK : 16

On the weekend Playboy accompanied me to another clinic. He is really getting the hang of traveling and being in new environments. He was an impeccable demo horse for the groundwork and ridden sessions. Last time at the same venue we navigated the trail obstacles in-hand. This time we rode through the course and Playboy carried me confidently and willingly over and through some challenging objects.

The highlight of our week was Playboy's first ride to town. Baddaginnie is only small however that makes it a perfect training ride for inexperienced horses. There are a myriad of unfamiliar sights, smells and sounds for any horse, let alone a wild one! Playboy strides out so nicely with his big walk, covering the 2km of country road to town with ease. Once we reached the outskirts we circled around through the more quiet areas of town to gradually introduce him to the very new environment. As we spiralled in towards the main street Playboy was feeling more confident. We took our time up the main street allowing him to observe and get comfortable with unfamiliar and intimidating objects and a surprising amount of vehicle traffic. Playboy remained sensible and attentive to my cues despite his uncertainty and thrived off my reassurance. He walked home wonderfully relaxed on a loose rein.

During the week Playboy had a few days off to enjoy some time turned out in the big paddock. I believe it’s really important for a horse to have downtime in alignment with their natural state of living. It's heart warming to see him out grazing, drinking from the dam, napping in the sun and mutually grooming his buddy Magic.

Playboy is responding well to the bit after a slow, low-pressure introduction last week. I have continued to refine his responsiveness and begun lateral movements and some basic trail obstacles that we had only ever attempted in the hackamore previously.

Seven year old Carlissa and her five year old sister Eliza came to visit and were very excited to meet a horse. Despite having a number of domestically born and raised horses nearby I actually felt that Playboy was the perfect horse to introduce them to. He is so sensible and his size makes him far less intimidating. The girls loved giving him pats and we talked about his life in the wild. He thought the little humans were pretty interesting too, gently approaching them for some inquisitive sniffs.

The wonderful diet of Barastoc Complete Performer and Groom has Playboy in terrific condition. He looks healthy, strong and is starting to shine as his winter coat falls away. Such a transformation from the fluffy little brumby I met in June!

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