Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Weekly Training Updates


Join Michael and VBA Coolabah on their journey !


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week 20


Week 17

Day 115

Today I took Coolabah to the local showgrounds for a ride where he would be doing a demo the next day for pony club. We had a walk around, a few trots and canters, and focused on keeping Coolabah nice and straight and responsive to my cues. There was a blue banner/tarp he was a little worried about, flapping on the outside of one of the yards we were working in, but after a little investigating he decided it wasn’t so bad and carried on without any more hesitation. I’m very happy with him being out by himself and so confident, he will be great for tomorrows demonstration.

Thought of the day: The final few weeks will be all about fine tuning and exposure……oh yes, and trying to figure out what to do for my freestyle at EQUITANA!

Day 117

We arrived at pony club and the atmosphere didn’t disappoint. There were cars and floats going back and forth, and mums and dads getting their kids and horses ready for the day. Coolabah, like usual, was busy saying a loud hello to every horse possible while I got him saddled and ready. We started off with a talk, where I spoke to everyone about how Coolabah came to be with me and in the Australian Brumby Challenge. While I was talking I had all the kids sitting around the yard on their horses, which was a great bit of exposure for Coolabah and he didn’t get distracted at all. After the chat I headed out of the yard onto the big show ring, and had a walk around with all the kids on their horses for a warm up. This is the first time Coolabah has been in such a big group and he handled it like a pro! We carried on with a bit more chatting, where I explained a few basic horsemanship principles we use at Mick Masons Horses. After our demo myself, Kristen and Coolabah decided to stick around and join in on the games and stockman’s challenge. The kids were very kind and didn’t laugh at me too much! This was Coolabahs first attempt at a stockman’s challenge and we found some more areas to work on before EQUITANA… We had to walk over a tarp, into poles, back up, bend poles, carry the chaff bag from barrel to barrel, go over some jumps and through a curtain of pool noodles. He stalled at the tarp and was fine with the chaff bag when carrying it in his mouth, but not too keen when I draped it over his neck to start with. He was quick to accept that it wasn’t going to hurt him, and on his second attempt he was great. We let Coolabah have a graze on the nice green grass while we watched the kids go over the cross country coarse.

Thought of the day: I had a great time at Braidwood Pony Club today. Everyone was very welcoming and had nothing but kind words to say about Coolabah. All the kids had a ball and gave me a big smile as I watched them, all without a care about anything else but the horse they were riding…..which is exactly how it should be.

Day 118 and 119

These were both days off while waiting for my new saddle to arrive.

Day 120

My new saddle arrived and it fits Coolabah beautifully. I rode today with the plan of not doing anything too strenuous, just working on his body parts to make his side pass and back up a little smoother. He is still a little stiff when I first ask for a certain movement and gets a bit confused from time to time. This will all iron out as Coolabah becomes more sure of what he is doing when I ask for it. That was it for today, as I had to go make some jumps for our next bit of training!

Thought of the day: Coolabah may not be the quickest at ‘getting’ new parts of training but as soon as he has ‘got’ it he doesn’t forget!

Day 121

I didn’t have the jumps finished off yet, so we went to the big open paddocks for some hill work (for muscle build up) and practised our canter circles in a nice big open space. I like working in big open spaces as you can really see how much the horse is listening to you and not just on auto pilot like some horses get in an arena. We worked for about an hour and warmed down with a good walk back down to the stables.

Thought of the day: I will be stabling Coolabah a bit in the coming weeks as he needs to be mentally prepared to be in a stable for fairly long periods at EQUITANA.

Day 122

As usual, this was a day off for Coolabah.

Thanks again for reading and see you all next week.

Mick