Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Week 5 / VBA Galway and Jess
Grey clouds swept over the hills earlier this week with uninvited wind gusts and downpours. On Monday, Galway and I had a session in this weather, mainly focusing on focus and preparing him for our first walk outside his paddock. He was quite flighty at the beginning, with plenty of baby flinches and inverting his spine (sending adrenaline to the brain) so my main goal was relaxation and tuning in. I haltered, brushed and rubbed him, reassuring him that everything is ok. One of my most used strategies for creating relaxation in a horse is done by slowly applying steady pressure to the poll (which only needed to be very light for Galway) until he lowered his head. Take the pressure off every time they lower their head and ask a little bit more every time. This stretches out the vertebrae in their back and releases calming endorphins (hormones) to relax the horse. After I had practiced this a couple times throughout the grooming session, he started to blink, doze and yawn. I was very happy with his progress and finished the session.
Tuesday was wonderfully exciting. Galway greeted me at the gate to get his halter on and have a brush and my riding mentor came to visit. While I warmed up Galway’s mind (with yielding etc.) She went to get Galway’s “over the fence” neighbour Taylor. I lead Galway out of the top gate and we plodded (mentor, Taylor , Galway and I ) around the big paddock above his yard. We had plenty of eating and/ or sniffing strange things breaks and Galway was very willing and comfortable. We ventured out of the paddock up to the arena and ate grass next to the white fences. I was very pleased how he showed relaxation and was not at all too attached to the other horse.
Wednesday Galway was his normal adventurous and brave self, going out into the big paddock without anyone else. When I was leading my lovely , confident little partner around I really realised how far he and our relationship had come. He has the confidence in me to take him places, but best of all, with him relaxed and happy. After our walk, we had a big grazing break in the middle of the paddock to soak up the sun and enjoy the day.
Thursday was an easy restful day spent grooming for an hour or so after our lovely day the day before. I decided it would be best to serve as a “mental rest” day for us both and we just enjoyed each others company.
And Friday we spent more time exploring the top paddock.
Overall this week we covered :
Running hands down back of hocks
Holding his tail for longer periods of time
Spine stretching and yawning
Adventures out side of yard
First plaits in his mane (pretty mr Galway )
Haltering more and more fluidly
Go check out these media platforms for more footage:
Facebook page: VBA Galway and Jessica klein – gibaud
Till next week,
Jess and vba galway