Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Week 3 – Jessica and VBA Galway
This week kicked off beautifully for Galway and I. On Monday my main goal was to halter Galway calmly and easily, so I continued rubbing with the halter, asking for flexion and touching his head. At first, he was quite resistant and kept walking off. When that happened, I followed him gently and rewarded when he stopped or strode towards me. As I worked with him the more in tune he became until he stopped, yielded and let me put the halter over his nose. I was so thrilled with how the previous week’s work payed off so much.
I let him ponder around his paddock getting used to it, then I came and clipped the rope on. I wanted to start teaching him to lead by moving his front legs. I would face parallel with his rump and walk off, with a slow and even feel on the rope. As soon as his forequarters followed I would release. After I had practised that, I asked for one direct step forward. Galway, my wonderful partner took a big step forward, so I rewarded him with a release and taking his halter off.
Tuesdays play with Galway was a breakthrough. I started by brushing him for half an hour, detangling his mane and finding some shine in his dense winter coat. After he finished breakfast, I revised my preparation for the halter as I did the day before. After one yield, I released by walking away to the centre of the paddock. To my surprise, Galway followed. I offered him the halter, holding it so he could put it on easily. He glared at me for a minute and then put his nose in the halter, patiently waiting for the knot to be tied. In awe, I fussed over him. Getting his favourite brush and grooming him for a while. I continued educating him about leading. The most special moment was when I took his halter off at the end. I was expecting him to waddle off. Proving me completely wrong I held out my arm and rubbed his face. He leaned against me and nuzzled my cheek, it was so beautiful to know he trusts and appreciates me.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I continued to advance Galway’s education in catching and leading. If he is ever nervous or worried I spend time to groom him and talk to him. He has really softened to my company and is more willing to receive a pat from other people.
Overall, this is what we covered this week:
Detangling his mane (he didn’t like the crackly sound)
Lifting two front hooves
Beginning of leading
Brushing hind legs
Brushing legs with confidence
Discovering many more things about each other
Goals for next week:
Going for walks/grazes outside of the paddock
Fine tuning our back up (reversing)
A massive thank you to the sponsors of this wonderful event! They support and care for our journey and it wouldn’t be the same without them. Thank you to the hard-working committee behind the VBA for making it all possible.
Go check out our social platforms for extra footage and insights of our journey Instagram: vba_galway / j_h_t_equine Facebook page: VBA Galway and Jessica Klein-gibaud Until next week, Jess and Galway J