Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Weekly Training Updates

Join Damien and VBA Moonshine on their journey !


Week 1     Week 2     week 3     week 4     week 5     week 6     week 7

week 8     week 9     week 10     week 11     week 12     week 13     

week 14    WEEK 15    WEEK 16    week 17     week 18     week 19     

week 20    


It has been a fairly easy week this week, which is likely to be the last of it’s kind now that we are in the run up to Equitana. We’ve had a little bit of an issue with magpies! Not being from Australia I was unaware of this unique problem of magpies swooping and dive-bombing people. The paddock where Moonshine has been is lined with trees and some magpies have made their nest there and see me as a threat. I’ve since been told that I could’ve fed them prior to nesting time and they’d have left me alone. But since they seen me as a threat, every time I went near the paddock one would come and try see me off, so every time I went to feed, catch or turn Moonshine back out we’d be getting attacked! In turn this unfortunately made Moonshine really jumpy and spooky. He would want to come to me in the paddock but was understandably worried about it. I have now changed where he stays and thankfully he has settled back down to his usual quiet self.

There has been a lot of work going on around the property as the arena has finally had it’s surface put on so I can now begin to school Moonshine in preparation for the pattern class and free style. My aim will not be to get him to do really fancy things, but rather educate him in a step by step manner so that his knowledge can be built upon easily with his next owner. The first thing being to balance the arena up, not have him wanting to be somewhere he isn’t. Almost all horses without exception are drawn to a particular place when in an arena, normally the gate or the direction of their paddock, so this will be the first thing I address by having him work hard in the area he wants to be and resting away from that place. Over time this will lead to him being happy to work anywhere in the arena and issues like dropping in on one side of the circle and falling out on the other should hopefully be non existent.

We went for a dip in the dam yesterday as the weather was nice and warm. He obliged me in that he went in pretty deep but was clearly a little worried about going deep enough to swim. As the weather gets warmer this is something we can work on, not because I need him to swim, but because it pushes him out of his comfort zone and this is important for building his confidence.

I can feel the pressure of Equitana looming. I never entered this competition with the intention of winning or even doing particularly well but for the opportunity to train a wild horse. I need to remind myself of this now and do the best I can for Moonshine. I’m positive he will be ready for it, I just hope I can do this fantastic little pony justice.