Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Brooke had a later pick up date so started training in week 2.
This past week has been one of the most frustrating, yet rewarding weeks I’ve ever had with horses. These Brumbies aren’t your normal horses; they are strong, sensitive and most importantly, fearful. I had a person watch one of my sessions with Chance and at the end they made a comment about him being naughty, it made me realise that to non-horsey people these horses look like they are being ’naughty’, but to horse people and especially Brumby trainers their behaviours only happen because they are acting out in fear, I can’t stress enough how important it is to remember and also understand that.
Anyway, let’s get in to how Chance is progressing. Our week starting off with Chance eating out of my hand while I sat on the ground and also standing up, he then got comfortable enough to stand roughly 30cm away without feeling the need to move away. At the end of that session he had allowed me to softly scratch his nose while he was eating out of my hand, I always like to leave sessions on a good note so I ended it there, by that time it was also pitch black.
Our next session – day four – Chance didn’t have any real obvious steps forward, this is becoming normal for Chance to have every second or so day where he isn’t very interested, I think it might be his young mind not coping with the work load. I find when he loses interest it’s better to end the session and just have some quiet time in his yard. To continue the session ends up with me being frustrated and him being anxious. Chance was however letting me stand close to him, it is very important to me to only ever ask a horse for a 1% increase, once that is achieved the session is done.
Day five and six were much the same, Chance getting pretty brave and also coming up for a sniff. The days got pretty stormy so we decided to put a tarp up to work as a wind break. Chance didn’t appreciate this at the start and refused to going anywhere near it, this meant that until he got that little more braver he couldn’t quite reach his food, he figured this out pretty quick and decided to put his big boy pants on and face the now not so scary tarp.
Day 7 was a big day! We achieved Chance eating out of the bucket I was holding and taking an extra step forward to brush his nose against my hand. This moment melted my heart and realise that even though day by day there looks to be no progress, when you look back to the start of the week til then you see the huge difference.
Day 8 he had the day off, it is very important that they get time to rest, be a horse, and take everything in.
So that left us with today, today I felt like a failure, I got so upset that after a whole week Chance still doesn’t realise I’m not going to hurt him, I left his pen before my emotions started to play any part in the session. I resumed the session about an hour later and started doing some hooking on. This was much better! I feel as if he is starting to learn my queues, when I click its to go forward, “woah” is to stop. He responded so well and started to face up.
A good friend of mine once gave me some good advice that ive been referring to when things aren’t looking up, I find it helps to remain positive, ill share it with you in hope it might just help you to.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day” – to create something beautiful you must understand it takes time.
That’s all for this week.Until next time.