Australian Brumby Challenge ©
I am starting this week's update with a note about last week. In case anyone wondered why teaching to tie up wasn't part of float training, he wasn't tied in the float. Given some of the things I had to work through, tying him for a 3 hour trip would have been detrimental to him. So he was floated without a centre divider, window covered and untied.
Anyway this week, as promised, has been boring..... and productive. Aussie has learnt approach isn't scary, ropes aren't scary and reacting is ok but not necessary. These things will become second nature to him over time.
Saturday he had improved so much with approach that I could take his lead off. I have a short lead (cut to a safe length with no clip) that is safe to leave on a wary horse. He was responding to my voice. Although he would instinctively walk away when I approached, as soon as I started talking to him he would stop and walk to me. We also practiced having a halter on and off by putting one over his.
Sunday he learnt that he could be touched while picking. Before this if I walked toward him or touched him while out picking he would lift his head and stand still. For him to continue to eat was a big deal. He had his halter taken off him in the yard today.
We were lucky enough to have a grader and roller parked out front over the weekend. They were doing work Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Aussie and I walked up and down the road past them until he no longer noticed. I would focus on a point further down the road, if I didn't acknowledge them why should they concern him. Once at this point we picked some grass around them.
Aussie and I do a lot of training while walking down the road or when out picking. I incorporate things he likes with pockets of learning for a couple of reasons:
He is more engaged when walking out. It is hard to teach ½ halts and emergency stops when they just follow. If we're out he walks with me.
He is calmer when picking. I can move ropes around him without him feeling the need to stand to attention. Please note I did start rope work in a yard for safety reasons.
We also should acknowledge that being out and about is when he needs to use these skills.
Everything I teach my horses has a basis in safety and they are all trained as if they will be kids horses. I mean what is a kids horse: a safe, reliable, solid horse you can do anything with. Why is it as adults we don't expect the same thing for us? We should.
Aussie is progressing Great, everything new he has learnt well and everything he had been taught is improving. He tries so hard that I know with lots of repetition his foundation will soon be strong.
So, next week...... lots more boring stuff again. We will also work on getting our feet cleaned out and hopefully l can trim them.
Thanks for your time
Aussie and Jenny