Australian Brumby Challenge ©
After Rafs week off it was straight back into work. I was really happy with him this week, he seemed to remember almost everything, so I could pick up pretty much where I’d left off.
I felt pretty special when I walked out into the paddock after I got back from my holiday and I was met with Raf who had come right up to me and stuck so close to me I couldn’t move without him being just there. I think he missed me as much as I missed him. He stood with me for about an hour, and he followed me around wherever I went. I’ve never seen him enjoy a scratch from me that much, but hey, I wasn’t complaining.
We did it! Finally after all these weeks we finally got to take Raf for a drive in the float. He was amazing. We took him for a small drive Friday, and a bigger one on Saturday, and both times he was super relaxed. We kept Maggie, the buddy horse with him for both of these trips as a confidence booster, and she’s done an awesome job, because Raff is the best floater!
A huge thanks to Leanne Wilson (www.snapshotsbylw.com.au), who come out on Friday morning to take some fabulous pictures of Raf for the Horse Wyse summer magazine, who has so kindly offered to do an article about my journey on the Challenge. He wasn’t too keen on putting on a pretty face for the camera, but he did everything I asked for and put his best foot forward, especially when he got to jump. Leanne also gave us some tips and tricks on how to better prepare him for EQUITANA, like stable toys so he won’t get bored and restless, or leg massages to take some strain off his legs from standing on concrete all day. You can see more of Leanne amazing photography on her website, snapshotsbylw.com.au.
This week Raf and I have been having a lot of bonding time. I’ve gone out to the paddock several times where he’s just been laying down, soaking up the sun, and I’ve gone and sat out there with him and given him a cuddle. It seems to have paid off, because it’s like he’s finally realised that I’m his ‘safety blanket’ now, and not another horse. So now he’s always happy to see me when I walk out to the paddock, and every time he’ll walk over to me, not just every now and again.
In the coming weeks I hope to introduce lunging, so he has a way to let out all his energy, especially during EQUITANA, as well as start to put together my final and revise over everything.