Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Sansa has built up confidence this week, for me to walk straight up to her and pat her face. I must say that the first few times I patted her head she was less than impressed.
The solution was, teach Sansa to bend her head and neck toward me, then pat her until she looked 1% happier. When her nostrils were a little less scrunched up, I would reward her with release of the pat, release of the bend and then walk away.
This week Sansa is learning to associate all pats with the release of pressure.
I had to be mindful in early stages of training, not to run in with a pat every time Sansa found a solution. A pat would have been inadvertent pressure right at the moment when she needed time to think through her response to my cues.
Sansa has also learnt to "follow the feel” on the lead. This is the beginning of next week’s goal of being able to independently train Sansa’s head and neck, shoulders, ribs and her hindquarter. Once I have full control of these components on the ground, translation of the cues to riding will be made simple.
The repetitive, short sessions with Sansa have been captured so well by Lisa Sultana Photography this week. From first cuddles to first leading session out and about. Check out all the best shots at “Brumby diaries” on Facebook.
Nigel and I have noticed that every now and then we walk into the brumby stable and it is almost as though my Brumby is right back at square one, “forgotten me". My support team, experienced and patient people, remind me that it is ok to take a few steps back, start again and not get greedy. Nigel and I are definitely finding that a consistently patient approach gets results.