Australian Brumby Challenge ©
After just four short sessions (the longest being about six minutes, the shortest around 90 seconds) of working with Scarlett in the smaller yard, she allowed me to walk up to her and stroke her on the neck and withers on her off side, while out in the open. She has discovered she adores cheek scratches and is now accepting my touch on her near side, under her thick, matted mane, almost all the way to her withers, so we are one step closer to untangling the birds nest hanging off her neck and adorning her long, black tresses with pretty ribbons and bows. Scarlett is so very feminine and pretty she is bringing out the feminine side of me, something that would make my own mother laugh. No one has ever accused me of being a girly girl.
We have made huge inroads this week. On Wednesday, I was able to put a soft rope over Scarlett’s neck and, although she was concerned, I felt she handled it quite well. After a couple of minutes of gently working with her, I then made a makeshift halter out of the rope and put it over her nose and just let her walk around the yard with it on. I didn’t put any pressure on it as, at this stage, I just want her to get the feel of something around her head and face. It is interesting how the noseband affected her proprioception . When I offered her a little bit of hay, she had some difficulty pinpointing exactly where my hand was in space and how to take the offering.
On Thursday, she told me in no uncertain manner that she really did not want to know about the rope or have anything to do with it. I didn’t let that upset me; I just put the rope away and went back to working on her accepting my touch. Tomorrow is another day.
Friday certainly was another day. Lovely sunshine, for the first time for a week or more, instead of freezing winds and clouds (that haven’t brought any decent rain). Within about five minutes of going into Scarlett’s yard, I again had the soft rope on her AND, even though I wasn’t asking for anything, she seemed to be getting the concept of giving to the small amount of pressure the rope put on her neck and head. J
Scarlett is far more relaxed and settled now. I am not sure if she has actually grown a bit or, due to being relaxed, has better posture but she is looking taller. When she first arrived, she looked to be “bum high” but now she appears more even from withers to croup.
Every afternoon, when I let her out into the paddock she walks out of her yard, has a couple of bites of grass, then turns and comes back to me, to see if I have a treat for her. Of course, I do always have a little something to give her, just to let her know what a good, clever girl she is.
So far, I have just taken things as they come and worked with Scarlett as she has been capable, not set any particular goal or timeline so this is the first time I have said I have definite goal for the coming week and that goal is to have a halter on Scarlett before next Friday.