Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Wow what a big week of wild weather and a couple of firsts.
Levi started off the week with just having an easy day Saturday then Sunday we got back into the real work. Preparing Levi for his first wither touch has been my main priority. Getting him confident to stand along the rail with me beside him and then teaching him that he can decide when I am to back off by looking at me or touching my stick with his nose. Sunday we had him going along the fence really well and starting to be comfortable with me closer to his side.
Monday was a day of ok weather so we did a lot of the same as Sunday getting him comfortable with me being closer to him and then again building his trust to reach out towards his wither. We had a few big breaks through and although I could have quite easily touched his wither he just wasn’t quite ready for it.
Tuesday started out as a nice day and we were planning to get our weekly shots that day. I worked with Levi very briefly in the morning and he was giving me all the green lights to progress and we got our awaited wither touch. He felt it and ran forward but just as soon as he realized I had backed off he faced up and followed me to the gate, licking and chewing as he does when he has a big mental break through. I left him there and thought I would be out again in the afternoon to see where he was at again.
Well let me tell you. The afternoon was horrendous, pouring rain and some of the worst winds so we ended up leaving photos till later in the week.
With the bad weather saw my round yard half blow over and a few fence panels coming off. This resulted in me coming home early Wednesday morning to find Levi in with a couple of my project horses. My round yard being a little to damaged to fix that day and put him back in it I decided that I would move him to my smaller cattle yard. I didn’t want to work with him in this yard cause it can be very wet and slippery and it is quite small putting a lot more unnecessary pressure on him that I didn’t want. Having been able to confidently touch him in the round yard and then get our first wither touch out there I wasn’t as bothered as I would have been if this happened a couple of weeks ago. It just means he will be more in the action cause it is much closer to my house and where I tack all my horses up for when I’m about to ride them all. It’s the hub of my property.
Thursday after he had settled into the yard we just did some small work getting him approaching me again and then getting him comfortable and confident with my hand being on his nose. Because the yard is much smaller, it took Levi a little while to come around again to being comfortable and confident with me. He has a very high flight drive and if he isn’t 100% confident that I’m not going to come at him like the predator he still half thinks I am then he is just going to get out of there. VBA Esther my last challenge horse was a little different. She was more confident in her fight response and would come up to me and half challenge me if she thought I was going to be a threat. This made her come around a little more quickly cause she very quickly realized I could give out a mean face rub, where Levi is just a completely different sole.
Then comes to Friday and we have had more wild weather so our sessions have been really short. My main objective now is to be able to enter his yard and have him approach me to be touched and work up our touch time. Friday he did just that. When entering the yard he would approach and I would back off, and then I would confidently walk up to him for a head touch and I would wait there until he relaxed a bit. I felt by the end of Friday we made some massive progress with him being more confident with touching me and wanting to run off but fighting with himself to stay close.
I’m really happy with the progress we have made this week and feel we are on the brink of a proper break through. Can’t wait to give you more updates.
Until Next Time,
Briar and Levi xx