Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Levi has grown in confidence this week. Things that were setting him off just a couple weeks ago don’t seem to be too much of a challenge for him now. He still has moments of not understanding but thinks through situations now instead of just trying to run away.
Mostly this week I have really been going through my riding cues from the ground and making sure they are solid. So I make sure we have a good go forward button, turn the forequarters, yield the hind quarters, move the whole body sideways toward and away from me and our back up. He was quite stuck with the go forwards at the start of the week with me walking beside him, so I would just go back to the cue that he already knew and then put in the new riding cue. He was progressing so well with all of this that I really started to work on him getting confident with me being above him and then seeing me out of his other eye. This has been a big deal for Levi until Thursday.
Thursday I walked out to his paddock and instead of me having to go up to him he walked right up to me. This was such an amazing feeling as he had been going good with allowing me to walk up to him in the paddock but he hadn’t ever really initiated that contact first. So he followed me up to the yard where I went through all our riding cues from the ground and he was great. So I then decided to do more lay over work, the first lay over I did I saw him look at me out of the other eye and instead of tensing up like he usually does he was just calm and relaxed. This made me so excited so I quickly had to go and get my helmet. I did a couple more lay overs just to be sure and each and every time he was completely relaxed with it. So I started jumping next to him preparing him for me to jump up more onto his back, he was also completely fine with that as well. All lights were going so we took the leap of faith and jumped up onto him and he was so great. When horses get to the stage of me jumping up onto them I start moving around on them a lot. Patting them all around where my legs will go and also moving my legs so they get used to the movement happening on both sides. I then like to be able to move myself so that both my legs are up and on the top of the rump and I’m planking on them. This I the stage right before I swing my legs down and start to sit up properly. Levi got to the stage where I had my leg up and on his rump and he got a little worried about this movement. I could feel him getting tense and worried and he started to walk off so with my other leg I just asked for hindquarter yield, which he did, and then I immediately slid off his back. When Levi does a hindquarter yield I want him to know that that movement is his communication tool to tell me he is uncomfortable and worried. Little by little I can expand his comfort zone but for the first few times I don’t want to get greedy and push his confidence to far, if I do this then he will go right back to using his flight response rather then his thinking response.
Friday we did one tiny little session because he had done so well with Thursday. I did exactly what I did Friday which he was again so great with that I decided to leave him there and will over the next few days get him ready for me to finally sit up on him and really start his riding career.
You may see in the photo that he has no gear on at all and this is because I still plan to give him his first real ride without any tack on at all.
Thanks again to all the sponsors for making this event possible. I really think McDowells Herbs are helping balance all of Levi’s inside functions with the help of Dynavytes Microbiome support.
To follow Levi’s journey a little more closely you can find his updates on my facebook page Briars Brumbies or my instagram @Briars_Horses
Until Next Time,
Briar and Levi xxx