Australian Brumby Challenge ©
VBA Bago week 12
As you may have read in last week’s update Bago and I came across some difficulties over the course of last week. I had jumped the gun letting him out in the big paddock (around five acers of it!). I decided after spending quite some time with him that he was not ready for this step. So, he moved into a makeshift smaller paddock to continue training. While Bago was not ready to be in the big paddock this showed me where the holes in our training are. Bago was not confidant with me approaching. This was masked in the yard because he had limited space to move around in. I also realized that while most times Bago can tolerate the rope being thrown over him and his halter put on he was not completely sold on the idea. So, with this in mind and Bago in a smaller paddock I started the week. My first goal was to be able to walk up to Bago at a normal to slightly faster pace, reach out and rub him on the wither. Goal accomplished in two short session. With horses you have to be willing to go back and revisit skills, because if you continue with a hole in the training it is going to show up on a larger scale down the line.
Just as it started to look like we were back on track, I returned home on Tuesday afternoon to find Bago out in the big paddock again!!! This little horse is quite the escape artist and during earlier weeks in the challenge he escaped twice. Normally this would not be a big deal as we where able to get him back in the yard, but with the clock counting down to Equitana I need all the time I can get. This week I also lost time as I had to spend Thursday afternoon in town, Thursdays are normally one of my Bago afternoons, so this was more valuable time lost.
But as time was lost this week, a little time was gained. Usually I do not get to work with Bago on a Friday afternoon but as if the world knew I needed the extra session I got a play in this Friday and what a session it was. While it was not a particularly long session a lot was achieved, I continued to work with Bago’s haltering and then we went out for a play with some obstacles. It surprised me how calm Bago was with the three different things I showed him. He walked up to the tarp and calmly stepped on it, walked up to an old exercise ball gave that a sniff, pushed it with his nose and even gave it a kick. Lastly, we had a play with a plastic bag on the end of a stick. He was most worried about this and had a little panic at first but then after I minute or two allowed me to rub him on the neck and shoulder with it. This was a great session and has caused me to feel a lot calmer than I was earlier in the week. It has also caused me to learn something interesting about Bago; he is not worried about stationary objects, no matter how unfamiliar they are but things that move and seem to be alive are more intimidating. This is not at all uncommon for horses as they are prey animals and if something is moving it could be about to pounce on them. I am looking forward to continuing work with these obstacles until will approach the most interesting and practical obstacle of all…. The float!