Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Week 14 update, jess and VBA Galway
A massive thank you to my sponsor The Royal Mane for suppling Galway and I with some beautiful, natural products to ensure VBA Galway looks super duper at EQUITANA !
This week was very pressured with time. As the last week of school before the holidays, I was out after school a couple of nights going to term wrap up etc.
Galway approached this week with a really sweet attitude, he was much more spacial aware and fluent in the patterns he knows.
On Monday, we hooked the car up to the float to play around with the concept of travelling. I didn’t have any expectations of loading, this session was all about getting friendly with the float. First, Galway and I did our yielding warm up, preparing him mentally for the session. When executing patterns, I am much more particular with the quality in preparation for EQUITANA and him knowing the patterns well enough to neaten them up. When sending, he not only understands the driving away aspect, but also knows he must step out with flexion through his barrel. Galway can also figure eight at trot and switch eyes smoothly. We approached the float and standing near we just had a couple minutes waiting and grazing besides it so he could get used to the presence of it. Then, I sent Galway between me and the float, when his nose was in level with my shoulder, I would disengage, wait, and go again the other way. I worked on this until he was relaxed and carrying correct flexion toward me. Next, I focused on “touch it/ send” and I send him toward a pile of hay on the ramp. I would send him, let him hang out/ eat there and when his mind started to wonder, I moved him away and reproached. At the end of the session, Galway’s confidence about the float had improved a lot.
Later in the week, Galway and I didn’t make it back to the float with only an hour each night, but we worked on moving his body with more “ridden” concepts. When sending, he lifted his barrel with slight flexion toward me, I can change his speed and it is his job to maintain it. This refinement will be reflected on him later in life when he is being ridden as a young horse. The opening of the rein, lifting of energy and pressure of the leg will mirror the response to pressure on the body language of the person and the pressure of the rope he is receiving now. All these things open doors for him. In patterns, thinking processes and physical movement. One more thing gal way learnt this week was learning how to be stopped with the steady pressure of a stationary object ( like a lone post or tree). I sent Galway (at a walk at first) around a tree with me staying on the other side. When he had reached the other side, he stopped gently from the pressure of the rope on the tree. Next, I slowly fed the rope back toward me to bring him back around the tree. He soon got the idea and was confident enough to trot, stop, turn and trot. Really moving his body and switching on his mind. Challenging him in being more aware of his own space and having the trust from me to have more space, he has grown much more mature and affectionate in his mindset.
I am proud of Galway and how willing he is to learn and adapt. I am also very happy to announce that I have been able to purchase Galway with the generosity of my parents and I am forever grateful of this magical opportunity.
Until next week, VBA Galway and Jess