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 6

This week has been breakthrough week. At the beginning of the week I continued to work with the pole and was expecting much the same results as the previous weeks, Bago trotting around the yard without any obvious progress. Instead I received a happy surprise when he stopped and allowed me to rub him on the back with the pole. Within a few minutes he allowed the pole in almost any part of his body and I could even run it down his back legs. This was great progress and I was very happy to end on that note. The next time I came out to play with Bago I experienced similar results to begin with but very slowly with lots of persistence he allowed me to rub him on the neck and shoulder with my hand. It was freezing afternoon and he soon snuggled up next to me to try and stay warm. By the end of the session I was able to scratch his neck and shoulder while he stood calmly with me. Compared to the way he was last week, standing at a distance and only sniffing me, this was huge progress. Our final session for the week was again highly progressive. He was happy to be rubbed on the back and scratched on the wither. This was fantastic because I had to stand next to his shoulder to do this rather than in front of him, another breakthrough! In that session I was also able to step into Bago’s path when he tried to leave, he was able to stop assess the situation and then walk up to me.

A note I will be taking away this week to improve my horsemanship is that during the final session I could feel myself beginning to put the pressure on. Each time Bago progressed I wanted to push for more and I had to remind myself, and will continue to remind myself, that he needs release to know he is on the right track. While this is something I know and have known for some time I still need to remind myself to let him have time to process information and to provide release, particularly young horses. However, because I had acknowledged this I didn’t go too far, and the session finished on a good relaxing note, I picked up his bucket to refill the water and he walked over and took a drink from it while I held it. 

Over the last few weeks I have noticed that Bago is more confidant on his right than his left. I use this to my advantage by starting on his right and moving to the left. It is important that I insure Bago’s confidence develops on both sides of his body so that as his training progresses one side is not considerably more advanced that the other. However, by acknowledging where his confidence lies I can make challenging concepts a little easier. With recent progress I feel Bago is well on his way to wearing a halter and learning about pressure and release. Next week I will bring his left side up to par with the right, begin rubbing him with the halter and applying pressure and release with the pole.

I have also started a Facebook page where you can follow our journey it can be fond at this link or by searching “Holley Pickin and VBA Bago” on Facebook.