Australian Brumby Challenge ©
It doesn’t seem possible that the time is going as quickly as it is! Moonshine has been working hard this week and has been learning loads! His schooling is coming on really well. He’s soft, he’s balanced and he’s finding his rhythm. It’s very easy to work on the things that he’s good at, because we both seem to enjoy making them happen. His side-pass off my right leg is getting really nice, so this week I’ve had to start working much harder to getting him to yield better from my left leg. I reward a movement in the right direction. So if he moves to the right he gets a release and a pat. Once he is consistently moving to the right when I put my left leg on, I ask, release then ask straight away again. Then I get two steps without a stop in the middle. I take the same approach to pretty much everything I do. The next morning I bring him out and I’m back to getting one step again, but that doesn’t matter, I just keep working in incremental steps and before you know it things carry over from one day to the next.
Cantering in the school is something else we’ve been working on. Moonshine tends to want to pick up the left lead more often than he wants to pick up the right lead and tends to be a little more rushed in canter on the right rein. His ability to pick up the right rein will improve as my left leg begins to mean more to him and I can effectively move his hind quarters to the right and keep a right bend in trot just before asking for the canter. This will encourage him to take off on the right lead. When coming out of canter on the right rein he tends to rush in the trot so to help with this I’ve been cantering, transitioning to the trot and then putting a bend in his body until his trot settles to a steadier pace, then I release the bend and let him travel straight, if the trot stays steady then we stop, have a little breather and a let down, then go again. One day he will come out of the canter and into that steady trot without me asking, I just have to be consistent. It’s really quite addictive.
The other thing we have been doing a lot of is obstacles! It’s the Brumby festival this weekend and I hope to enter some of the classes. I’ve been teaching him to drag things, open and close gates, walk over bridges, through scary things, over little jumps etc. It’s been good fun and on Thursday I set up a full little obstacle course to try out. Moonshine tries so hard and I was so impressed at his efforts. The full video can be seen on my Facebook page. Looking forward to seeing how this weekend goes!