Australian Brumby Challenge ©
It’s been another quick week! It feels like I haven’t done a whole lot with Moonshine this week but when I look back I suppose he’s done quite a few new things. Last weekend he went on his first outing to a clinic my host, Georgia Kolovos, was holding at a local indoor arena. The preparation I put into getting him to load well paid dividends and traveling there with two other horses in the float was a non-event. He was definitely a little anxious when we arrived which was to be expected. New places, different horses, got put in his first stable, first indoor arena etc. But he still listened to me and did what he was asked which I was pleased about. When we went into the arena I started off how I do pretty much every session, by giving him a groom and he settled down a lot. Then had the luxury of time to do a lot of groundwork with him and he really got to grips with the sidepass. I did more work sitting above him on the fence and desensitising while moving. When everyone was having lunch I decided to have a ride which was his first ride in a lot of space. I worked on getting him trotting without stopping and even got a couple of strides of canter but it was pretty worried so I’ve been focusing on getting him to canter more in the ground work and establish a solid voice cue so that it’s less of an issue when I ask for it under saddle. He loaded up and traveled home perfectly as well. So his first outing went really well!
Other than that I have been getting him used to doing all sorts of different things, such as leading off of another horse. It took him a little while to understand what I was asking of him as he seemed very cautious of the horse I was riding, although he’s very well trained and knows his job so he needn’t worry, but that can be hard to get across sometimes! So far have only worked on one side but will certainly do more of this as it will help build his confidence in all manner of things. I took him off one day for a nice long walk and did plenty of groundwork along the way, most importantly sending him out in front of me to help him trust me when I ask him to go places he’s unsure of when I’m on his back instead of leading him. Aside from this I have taught him to lead off the quad bike and he now comes along and does the rounds with me when I’m checking paddocks and feeding horses. He also had his first ride out in the open, just up and down a little laneway, he had a lead horse but this soon proved to be unnecessary as he was happy to go in front himself!
So actually had he a busy week with lots of new experiences! I want him to do a lot more now, not in terms of work although a few long rides are definitely in the pipe lines, but in terms of just being around, tied up watching other horses get worked, just come around with me as I do different things. Hop on and off as I go from one place to another, that kind of thing. Exposure and time are really important to get him to be well adjusted and happy. I’m looking forward to see what next week will bring!