Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Playboy is working well under saddle as week three comes to a close. He enjoyed a day off and the rest of the week has simply been a short ride of about 20 minutes each day. Our rides are basic, focusing on getting his feet moving and beginning to direct that movement. I want him to be comfortable and confident carrying me before I start to ask him for too much refinement, As Tom Dorrance said, “First you go with the horse. Then the horse goes with you. Then you go together.”
Playboy is smart and fairly reserved with his energy – preferring to conserve it rather than move around more than he deems necessary. He tends to be drawn towards the gate or his last place of rest in the arena, hoping to find more comfort there. After 10 years of unencumbered freedom and autonomy it is not surprising that Playboy has a few moments of wanting to make his own choices! Arguing with a horse is not productive so I have to help him change his mind by teaching him that moving forward and following signals provide rest anywhere, whereas specific parts of the arena do not. He is improving on that with every session.
On day 20 Playboy and I ventured out of the arena and had our first ride across the paddock. We had a trot and canter and traversed some large logs at the walk and trot. It was our first time moving over obstacles under saddle and Playboy was confident and willing.
Playboy has been enjoying being out on pasture for the last two weeks. He is getting used to all of the sights and sounds here on the property and meeting a few strangers. He tends to be a little standoffish with people he doesn’t know but becomes inquisitive if given a moment to get comfortable with their presence.
I am looking forward to developing Playboy further and riding him out and about in the coming weeks!
For photos and videos of VBA Playboy’s journey please visit: https://www.facebook.com/nrequine
Thank you to Barastoc for supporting Playboy’s journey from Wild to Wonderful!