Australian Brumby Challenge ©
It’s been another fantastic week with Moonshine. He’s had his feet trimmed for the first time last Friday and I was delighted to find he stood quiet the entire time like he’d done it a million times before. This goes to show the importance of preparation. I’ve been handling his feet everyday for quite a while now and have been putting them in the positions they would be required to be in, in order to be trimmed and holding them up for longer amounts of time, tapping them and pulling at them. By doing this when it came to the real thing it was a non issue.
The weekends weather was pretty shocking with the wind and rain and did not inspire me to go out and ride my horse, especially as the ground was so sodden, so Moonshine had a few days off. However as the week has gone on the weather has picked up a lot so took advantage of the drier ground and started to do some schooling. Mainly working on circles and figure eights, turns on the haunches and turns on the forehand all while maintaining a nice soft bend. If I lose the bend I’ve simply been reinforcing this by going back to bringing his head around and disengaging his hindquarters. So when he gets lost or confused we can go back to step one to remind him of what the rein and leg means. All this work requires him to use his hind end and to round his back, in short bursts and without undue pressure from the reins. In turn building his muscles and athleticism in incremental steps . Learning to round out his back and work from behind is essential to a long and healthy career with a rider as his back will be much stronger for carrying people. We are still waiting for the weather to stay dry enough in order to put a surface on the arena, so all the schooling has all been happening in a huge open space and you can certainly notice how much your horse is drawn to particular places as a result. Hopefully this will work well in the long run as he can learn to stay with me no matter what he is attracted to.
I have broken up his schooling sessions with rides out, alone and with other people, all while keeping him independent and listening to me regardless of what the other horses are doing as I find this is an extremely important stage in his training where he will learn habits that he may well carry for the rest of life and I want them to be good ones.
Just this morning I gave him his first bath, the hose was a non event and he was drinking from it as if it was a straw. His tail will probably need another wash before I can see it’s true flaxen colour but with the winter coat shedding fast it shouldn’t be too long before I can see him in all his glory.