Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Weekly Training Updates

Join April and VBA Playboy on their journey !

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

week 8      week 9     week 10     week 11     week 12     week 13  

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

week 20

April Harvey

VBA Playboy                                                                        WEEK : 8

Our rides remain short and low impact, continuing to develop and refine the basics. The objective being to create a soft, supple, balanced, responsive and relaxed horse. The foundation isn’t discipline specific but it will set Playboy up to be an enjoyable horse to ride and train in any discipline in the future. I am using exercises and movements that are just as familiar to the dressage world as they are to the western and stock horse. His softness and responsiveness is becoming more refined and I have noticed a lovely change in his balance over the last few days.

Since the beginning of the challenge Playboy has been stronger and more balanced to the left. His off/right side is progressing and the deficit becoming less distinct as the weeks pass by. The last two weeks I have noticed a considerable change in the muscling along his topline. His rump is rounding out and changing shape too. He is getting stronger with the exercise and the wonderful nutritional support of Barastoc Complete Performer and Mcdowell’s Herbal Equigesta-Pre is evident.

This week I introduced Playboy to some simple obstacles. His confidence and the control established of different sections of his body ensured he was able to navigate everything with ease. We have also had some relaxed rides out across the paddocks. Playboy really enjoys getting out and he has a lovely relaxed, yet purposeful, walk. When Playboy steps out nicely it reminds me of my grandfather who was a stockman. He spent his days in the saddle riding many miles and really appreciated a horse with a good, ground covering walk.

Last week Playboy was getting more comfortable around other humans and now he is seeking out the company of strangers. He is happy to approach on his own, follow at liberty and has given a few cute whinnies to people. He still finds the human world a little daunting at times and can get frightened by things however his reactions are getting less drastic and he is quick to settle.

Playboy’s hooves were large and flared to the outside when he arrived and I have been gradually trimming them to restore his feet and assist his locomotion. This week he stood well for another trim and his hooves are looking much better.

I am so pleased with his progress. He really is a special soul.

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


Thank you to Barastoc for supporting Playboy’s journey from Wild to Wonderful and McDowell’s Herbal for sponsoring the Australian Brumby Challenge.