Australian Brumby Challenge ©
It’s been another great week with Yani. More riding and more relaxation with a rider and maintaining her balance through turns. I can shift her weight from one shoulder to the other much better now, and Yani is also seeking a soft contact on the reins instead of avoiding it. Her mouth is very mobile and she can adjust her head carriage according to where I ask her to have it, stretching long and low when I ask, which I do at regular intervals to help develop her back muscles, and then in a nice even height for some of the work.
Friday Yani was still a bit cautious about me getting on and she would walk backwards a few steps when I put my foot in the stirrup so I spent some time helping her with this, then getting on and off a few times and helping her to understand it will be ok. It is one of the few things I need to remind her off each day to get her to stand calmly, but that is ok for now.
Friday I also rode Yani out of the round yard and into the dressage arena, by ourselves with no other horses. She was calm, but there was a little bit of unsettled head tossing which I think was her now being in a more open area but she settled again soon and didn’t take her long to listen and finish with some nice walk and trot. I was very impressed and pleased after this.
Sunday (today) we went for a ride out off the property and out along the highway. We have a large grass verge so most young horses are quite ok with the many various vehicles that pass by, buses, trucks, motorbikes and cars. Claire and Mel rode out with us for some support and it turns out that Yani was the best behaved out of the horses as the two “experienced” horses decided they were full of beans! (Great!)
Just as we turned out the front gate and set off down the nature strip a bird flew out of the bush and startled all the horses and I made the comment “I’d better not fall off or Yani will gallop off to into the bush free again!” But all went well and the cars didn’t bother Yani at all and she even was happy to lead and then to drop back a little and then have a trot to catch up.
We only went a small loop out of the property and once we were back the other girls rode in the dressage arena and Yani and I headed for the jumps paddock to look at some poles and jump wings to see what Yani would make of them. She trotted over the poles easily, and seemed to enjoy it.
Yani felt so comfortable and calm I asked her to canter, which she did with a little head toss, and then settled nicely. Even choosing the correct canter lead.
I so impressed I tried the canter in the other direction and other canter lead. Yani went on the wrong lead at first, I brought her back to trot and asked again and she chose the right one. A couple of loops around again both directions and perfect lead strikes off both times and I was happy with that as I felt that all the ground work and balancing her at walk meant I could help her to pick up the correct lead, and she is understanding me.
A few times over the past weeks I have thought Yani and I might have been a bit behind, but I stuck to my beliefs, “It takes as long as it takes”. I really was expecting to be at the stage we are by the half way point, but now it feels like we are progressing with some leaps and bounds, I can relax and enjoy our journey and Yani can take it all in bit by bit. She really is fantastic!