Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Scarlett travelled home quietly and unloaded calmly and sensibly. However, she didn’t eat very well for the first 24 hours. My plan was to put VBA Bush Hero next to her on Monday but while observing her on Sunday, it dawned on me just how scared and alone she was feeling, so I moved Hero in next door at about 3.00pm Sunday. They introduced themselves through the rails politely and Scarlett immediately began grazing on the little grass growing in her yard so I fed Hero just outside and moved Scarlett’s hay to near the fence and she immediately settled into a good meal. By Monday morning, there was hardly a sign of hay left.
When I fed them on Monday morning, I gave Hero his just outside the fence and Scarlett’s a little way into the yard. That really was not good enough for Scarlett, she walked over to Hero and asked him if she could share with him, so I had to move her hay close to Hero for her to happily enjoy her breakfast.
By Wednesday morning, Scarlett had realized that Hero would eat near her and was not going to leave her alone, and has settled to eat her hay a little more into her yard. Wednesday morning was also the first time she was comfortable to approach her hay while I stayed nearby.
On Wednesday afternoon, a low flying small plane flew right over her yard, inspecting the power lines. While Hero ran around a bit upset about it, Scarlett hardly reacted at all to it, not lifting her head out of her hay.
Thursday morning Scarlett was far more relaxed with me in her yard. She showed more calm curiosity than snorty, wide eyed fear. I was even able to take the wheelbarrow into her yard to clean up without her panicking and trying to escape. Up to now, I have only been able to poo pick using my pooper scooper. Thursday evening she allowed me to sit on a bucket about 2 metres away, while she calmly ate her dinner. She is becoming more relaxed with me in close proximity and we are making slow but steady progress.
I haven’t started doing much formal training with Scarlett yet. This week has just been a settling in period. She has had a lot to deal with, after being taken away from her family, a long trailer trip, meeting her new family and learning that the monster tractors, cars, motorbikes and B doubles that frequent our road are not going to come into her yard and eat her.
My plan for Scarlett is to train her using positive reinforcement and only doing things at her pace. At this stage, she is still very wary and scared of the unknown ie, the intentions of this human who keeps coming into her living room. She has quite a large personal space bubble around her and is still quite stand offish, not wanting me in her space at all, although that bubble is getting smaller each day.
Photo shows her the morning after arrival.