Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Jack has been a little superstar this week.
We had lots of firsts this week. Introduced Jack to hard feeding from a bucket, which he worked out in no time! He’s getting a cup of soaked barley in some mixed chaff, keeping it simple, just increasing his fat intake as I really would like to see a little less grass belly and more weight on him, there’s not much of him under all that woolliness.
I’ve had a busy week so he experienced being fed in the dark and you would think he’d been doing that his whole life! He’s also picked up on the other horses calling out to me in the morning and at dinnertime and joins in.
Early in the week it became apparent that he was not comfortable with me coming into his personal space bubble and I couldn’t get past rubbing Jack on the nose, so I introduced him to my horsemans' stick as it allowed him to stay at a comfortable distance, while I could still teach him that being touched was ok. It also enabled me to make my asks and release for the try much clearer. We progressed quite quickly and I can now touch him all over with the stick, on both sides down his neck, shoulders, rump, front and back legs and belly. Once I discovered the itchy spot on his neck with the stick, it didn’t take long to progress to giving him a scratch and even though he was a little uncomfortable with the idea of me touching him, the scratch obviously felt really good. Benefits of woolly winter coat! I can now rub him all over his face and ears, chin, neck, back and rump, he is still thinking of leaving as I run my hands along his rump and shoulder to his legs so we are building toward that.
I also introduced him to the horsemans' string, rubbing him all over with it, as I’ll be using that to start asking for yields this coming week.
Goal for next week is to start working on our yields with the string around Jack’s neck and consolidate my approach with him as I really want to get him out of the yard and into a bigger space with some grass.