Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Weekly Training Updates

Follow Holley and VBA Bago on their journey!

Week 1     Week 2     week 3     week 4     week 5     week 6     week 7

WEEK 8     week 9     week 10     week 11     week 12     week 13    

week 14    week 15     week 16     week 17    week 18     week 19     

week 20      

VBA Bago week 13

 Over the course of this week Bago and I have taken our bond to a new level. Until this week we had been working together like colleagues, but this week we have become friends. Each horse is an individual and there are certain things they like, with my own horses I know one of them loves licorice and a quiet rub, while my other horse loves a scratch behind the ears. With Bago being a new to the group I did not know what he likes as a praise, but over the last week I have discovered that Bago loves to snuggle. He will stand happily for ages with me holding his head up and giving him a rub, sometimes he rests his head on my shoulder, other times he puts his head next to my stomach, but as long as he is close to me and has company he seems to be happy. After most of our sessions I spend ten minutes or so doing this, this is great for two reasons, 1. He really likes it, so it is a form of praise and 2. It allows him to get to know me better and build a strong bond with me. 

With regard to our training this week I had a strong focus on getting Bago really confident with me approaching and haltering him. I can now walk up to him, swing a rope above my head, then throwing it over his neck and back. I have put the halter on and off several times to get him used to the feeling and motion of haltering. I have worked with being clumsier rather than tip toeing around him because people will not always be cautious when they work with him. Once the halter is on Bago is easy to handle and his skills are continuing to grow. We have had lots of trips outside the yard, sometimes for a pick at the grass and other times for a play session.

I have worked on Bago’s forequarter and hindquarter yields, and he can now move away from a slight touch of my fingers or tapping from my stick. After his yields were in place I began to work on his circling. It was quickly apparent that Bago was a lot better at circling to the left than to the right. I have been working on the right circle to try to build his skills on that side. Bago has improved but still finds the left more natural. He can now circle one lap at walk in either direction without me interfering. Next week I would like to continue this and get him trotting on the circle.

This week we also continued to work with obstacles and Bago was able to step onto and walk across the bridge. This is a great step towards floating as he has to step up onto a hard surface and it makes a thunking sound as he walks. Next week I would like to start training Bago to load into the horse float. This is however assuming we can get the float out of the shed without getting bogged!

Lastly, a skill I have been working on with Bago and will continue to work on is picking up his feet. This is really important as Bago needs his feet trimmed. I can now pick up and hold his front feet for a short period of time, but this is something that will need more work. 

Also a reminder that you can follow our progress on Facebook “Holley Pickin and VBA Bago” or through the link