' Wild To Wonderful '
Australian Brumby Challenge
Australian Brumby Challenge ©
I was excited to bring home another flaxen mare, I already own Sansa’s twin. After traveling well, and unloading as though she'd done it a million times before, I was even more excited to see how deep the similarity really were.
Sensible, sensitive and independent, are all words I use to describe Rain horse, Sansa’s look alike. By the end of week one I can comfortably say that all three now apply perfectly to Sansa as well.
I needed to be very careful this week, not to put too much pressure on my new friend. Approaching an untouched Brumby, is different to many of the horses I deal with day to day. Sansa was incredibly sensitive to my body language and my presence. The last thing I wanted was to send her over the round yard fence and have her lost to the Peninsula.
Join up and liberty work allowed me to teach my training principles and cues from a distance. Sansa's sensible nature, made teaching a breeze. I found that by giving her a little extra space, she would think through what I was asking for.
This work translated perfectly on Friday, when Sansa tried on her brand new Nungar Knots halter for the first time. Turns out Sansa the Barbie horse looks great in limited edition green.
As the weather went from rain to hail we took our training indoors. Sansa has been looking on, benefiting from Nigel's calm balanced approach to sensitising and desensitising her neighbor, VBA Alpine Daisy.
We have recorded videos of our first week, which are all up on the facebook page “Brumby Dairies with Lara and Sansa”. Most of these have been filmed on a nifty little helmet cam, supplied by Hastings produce for the challenge.
This week I have been using my favorite touch cue.
The cue involves holding out a motivator or hand. If Sansa doesn't reach for, or touch the target, I would look toward her hindquarter, Motivate and “move her feet”.
Sansa found Release any time she looked toward or reached for the motivator. As a reward I lower my energy and give her space.
This game was fantastic as she now looks to touch everything with her nose. Including photographer's, random objects even new people. With every touch she is noticeably more confident.
I am looking forward establishing leading, and foundation ground cues next week.