Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Aussies confidence is improving daily. Although he still reacts at certain times, these instances are becoming less often. His ability to stop, think and return how he was in an instant, is a testament to how calm and confident he is becoming. To top it off he is rarely a statue these days.
I was so happy on Sunday when he decided to disagree with me. I know that sounds strange but if a horse is confused, stressed and worried it won't disagree. That takes confidence! (Please note I mean DISAGREE NOT Fight Back). He simply said No I want to stay here and eat.
We were going to work on his feet this week and we did, to a point. I can pick out his front feet and lift his back ones. But getting a horse prepared for and comfortable with trimming isn't just about picking up feet. You need to be able to:
Rub between front and back legs
Rub under their bellies
Walk under the neck
The horse must be comfortable with you being underneath him
But most of all they need to be relaxed
While working through these things it became apparent that the first, and more important lesson this week was rectifying the statue. The thing about statues is that if the trainer isn't aware of the situation then the pressure will build to an explosion. Explosions should be avoided at all costs (detrimental to everyone💥). So, although I have been slowly working on fixing the statue problem since I met him, this week I needed to step it up a bit. Therefore this week he learnt to lunge.
My idea of lunging is probably different to some. I don't chase a horse around until it settles. I encourage the horse to be settled from the start. Lunging should be done calmly, the aim to stretch (warm up) the muscles, to teach the horse to work from behind and, to use back and neck effectively. Also in Aussies case we can add moving his feet.
He learnt how to move off calmly when asked, how to stay out on the circle and, how to stop when asked. We did everything only at a walk and will not progress to trot until he has completely mastered walk. I was very happy that it didn't take long for him to Naturally stretch his head down and provide slight flexion. He also naturally over steps.
Other than this we have been working on normal foundation stuff. Aussie is now comfortable enough to let me walk around him, both with and without, touching his rump.
Next week we will work more on feet, on lunging and getting him used to new things approaching him.
Oh, this weeks photo happened when we were picking in the back yard and I had to pop inside to grab something. Our dog Nick decided he would help by minding Aussie for me. I thought it was too cute to leave out.
Thanks for your time
Aussie and Jenny