' Wild To Wonderful '
Australian Brumby Challenge
Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Final week, leading up to Equitana.
Well, this will be our last weekly update for our journey with VBA Yani going from wild to wonderful……. So time to reflect back on our journey and how Yani has transformed.
When Yani arrived I couldn’t touch her, and even once I could, touching her with two hands was a big deal for her.
We moved slowly towards wearing a halter, then moving off pressure to then leading which she never did by just following, always by her shoulder with a clicking cue, and then happily following after weeks of trust building.
Next came desensitising, then accepting weight and then a person on her back. (wow!)
Riding her was the next step with a lot of back ward steps in between, with bad weather and family, and just Yani being wild and then expected to accept humans. All contributing factors to a slow progression towards a ridden career for Yani but not necessarily a bad thing.
Using passive techniques of introduction, supplying a comfortable option and this was always the answer I was looking for Yani to take with every training session.
Yani is still to this point in the training not convinced the saddle cloth isn’t going to eat her, so each and every time I take the time to show it to her until she is ok with it. The saddle is fine with, and mostly everything else to do with handling, brushing, etc.
As I have mentioned before I find the balance of a horse through it’s shoulders and being able to shift a horses weight from one shoulder to the other very important and also good safety control of a newly started horse under saddle. Yani is very mobile with her front end and moves her weight easily when asked to.
Yani’s introduction to a bridle and bit is also a very important part of the training as a mobile jaw and swallowing action of a horse promotes relaxation and suppleness to the whole body. This is something I have learned only in recent years after having a friend introduce me to Classical Dressage. The importance of not restricting the mouth, or head position and helping a horse to build muscles to be able to carry a rider and promoting longevity of a ridden horse and this is not just applicable to dressage horses but to every horse of every discipline and conformation. A common sense approach to looking after all our equine friends in my opinion. I wish Yani a happy and long life training and educating her humans where ever she may be.