Australian Brumby Challenge ©
It’s been a very busy week for us what with moving properties. Two house loads and all the farm equipment and animals to go with it! So VBA moonshine did get Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off from ‘work’.
On the weekend however we did get some things achieved. Our leading has become much better, he will now come forward off of very light pressure and stay walking forward without any more. We graduated to the big arena where I used an old rug laid on the ground to help him build confidence in me and himself. Starting with it folded up into a narrow strip with about 1.5m between it and the fence, I lead him through the gap making it a little narrower each time. Before too long it was right next to the fence and he was stepping over it. Then, bit by bit I unfolded it, until he had no option but to put his feet on it. Occasionally he lost confidence and I had to take a step backwards, making it narrower or bringing it back out from the fence, but eventually he had the confidence to put his feet on it.
The next day we quietly loaded him and VBA Pandora. They practically loaded themselves and travelled with no problems to the new property. Apparently loving the new view they both settled very quickly in their new home.
Over the next two days we only really had time to go in to feed them and clean out the yards, but this in itself was good as they both got more confident with people moving around and banging about.
First day back at work and I decided to start the hooking on process. This involves asking the horse to go forward in walk, trot and canter (and is a good place to start adding in voice commands for the speeds you want), although I haven’t asked him for canter yet as the round yard is a little small for this, but we’ll soon make a bigger on. Then you ask them to draw in to face you and then go the other way. This is repeated until they are content to stand and face you. I’ve been very careful to make sure he lets down after each interaction. This for me is vital for the horse to learn and come to terms with what you are asking of them.
Then stepping around to each side, wanting them to stay facing you whilst disengaging their hind quarters. This has been a great step to take in order for him to get more comfortable with me in his right eye as he often tries to block me on that side. Eventually this leads to them following you around!
I went out today and was delighted to discover this clever little fella hadn’t forgotten a single thing and has stopped blocking me out. Not able to touch him on that side yet but I feel like it isn’t far away.
This week I have seen him rolling and laying down which makes me very happy. It’s nice to see that he isn’t finding his new life too stressful, despite all the very bizarre things being asked of him!