Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Week 13 update, VBA Galway and jess
Wow! Week 13 is here and we have less than two months before EQUITANA !!
To be honest, a lot of the time I feel like Galway and I are far from ready. In times like this, I need to look back too see how much growth and improvement we have had to keep the ball rolling.
With a complicated and unsettled week last week, I felt like I really needed to push Galway’s confidence as he has mine.
On Monday, I caught a sassy, high on adrenaline and rushing brumby. He wanted to either run or throw himself in the air and so I decided to give my best shot with what I had. I worked on many lead patterns, always changing if he started to anticipate me. I also used hind quarter yields to diffuse his adrenaline and forequarter yields to improve my personal space. In the previous weeks, a new habit he had was “herding” me when I lead him (using his mouth to push me around) so i decided not to fuss over his space and only give him a pat after a big breakthrough or session end. I’m very focused on teaching him that space between us (the end of the lead for example) is just as relaxing as being right close together. When he was more settled, I taught him the basic figure eight pattern (sent not lead) and I let him have breaks when he did parts of it correctly.
The next play we had, Galway’s attitude towards learning was much better. I tied him up to have his rug off and groom then I brung him to the larger paddock for some sending work. Although he was much better, his spacial awareness hadn’t quite “clicked”.
Later in the week I brung Galway to the arena again and he was incredibly better. I got out a tarp and within five minutes of seeing it, his curious character let him stand/ walk over it bravely. I also dragged a polly-pipe tube with sand in it next to/ behind him and he got really good with it. We worked on our in hand things for the pattern class (EQUITANA) which consisted of trotting in circles and straight lines beside me and lots of halt, back up then trot transitions. Galway is also getting super at other things in the squeeze game (sending between objects) and I was able to introduce a sideways and upward squeeze ( a jump) and he leaped over it beautifully and calmly yielded to a stop straight after. The most major break through for me was when I reintroduced the figure eight that I showed him on Monday, and WOWIEEE he did it so perfectly in a flow without needing any major corrections from me.
Overall I am super proud of brumby boy and happy with my work. I am also very excited for the weeks to come.
Have a great week, VBA Galway and Jess