Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Weekly Training Updates

Follow Holley and VBA Bago on their journey!

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week 20      

VBA Bago week 18

As I said last week Bago and I attended the local agricultural show early in the week. This was a great chance to put Bago in a challenging situation and see how he coped. Well, the trip to the show went smoothly and upon arriving, Bago was surprisingly calm. Within minutes of Bago getting off the float he was able to trot up in hand, circle and back up. I was really happy with that, so I decided to take him down to the ring. This decision was a bit quick and not terribly well thought out. The way that I intended to take Bago onto the oval meant crossing paths with the high-level jumping horses all of which were cantering around the arena. This proved to be a bit much for Bago and he quickly started worrying and forgetting some of his training. To stop the situation from getting out of hand I decided to take Bago away from the stressful environment before he made a mistake. Having realized that jumping in head first was not going to be successful I decided to take it one step at a time. I worked with Bago taking him around the long way, so he would have a chance to see the show from afar rather than walking straight into the chaos. Each time I felt him get tense I would encourage him to eat some grass. This is good for horses because when their heads are low it reduces adrenaline. After quite some time of doing this we where able to walk onto the oval, through the warm up arenas, to where we worked near the show rides. I was surprised by the fact that the noise from the show rides and all the bright coloured moving show rides didn’t seem to bother him. It was all the other horses running around and jumping over the 1.2m high show jumps that put him on edge. This is not surprising given that Bago was not a domestic horse 18 weeks ago, this is not a situation that a wild horse would ever have thought they would see! The extra time I put into allowing Bago to get used to the environment paid off because once we were in the arena he was calm and able to do all the things that he could do at home, as well as trying out a few new things. This was a really impressive outing and has given me a great idea of where we are at and what we need to work on.