Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Week 6

Day 36

After Coolabah’s 5 days off, I brought him back into the working yard and started where we left off. As soon as I got him into the yard, I saddled him up and went through all the controls. I concentrated on the separation of his body again. Head and neck, shoulders, ribs, and hind. I keep going through this and getting it like second nature to Coolabah so there’s no confusion when asking him to move these parts when I’m on his back. The more he understands my cues, the less reason there is to panic or fight. I ended the session with some more’ hopping up and down’ and leaning over his back. Like last week, he was a little concerned with me being above him at first, but after a few times he was happy and relaxed. That was all for today, we finished with a short walk over to Dillan and Brookes place next door.

Thought of the day: It may sound a bit strange, but I am almost waiting for Coolabah to say “get on” before I get on... It’s important that every horse that comes to Mick Masons Horses experiences the process of being ridden as easy and no fuss.

Day 37

Another big walk out in the bush for Coolabah. Funny thing happened that night, Kristen heard a horse out in the middle of the night and went to go see who it was. Coolabah had escaped his yard and decided to take himself for a walk around the property. He had loads of fun cleaning up bits of hay around the hay shed and found a couple of unopened lick blocks to open and bite chunks out of. Kristen approached him with her head torch on, and Coolabah didn’t run off, he was too intrigued by a strange light with a human voice coming from it… and he followed it (and her) all the way back to the stables and walked himself in. Easiest midnight horse wrangling on record.

Thought of the day: I’m starting to understand what a special little brumby Coolabah is…

Day 38

Day off for Coolabah after his heavy night on the lick blocks.

Day 39

Another day off for Coolabah as everyone was off the property all day. Coolabah got to spend the day off with his new mate Sav, the 16.3 hand thoroughbred. Coolabah likes to assert his authority with horses very quickly. Unfortunately for Coolabah, when he tried to have a go at Sav (ears back and all), Sav basically lifted his head out of Coolabahs reach, yawned at him, then more or less walked straight through him and started eating grass. What a great paddock companion for a horse with a slight bit of small man syndrome.

Thought of the day: I wonder how Coolabah would go in a paddock with our bossy palomino mare!  

Day 40

In the afternoon I took Coolabah into the yard to have some fun. Kristen was home and decided to come out and take some pictures and video our session. I started off by doing a bit more work above Coolabah, I did this by standing on the mounting block and just being very active above him. From the start he was great! Ahhh finally, he is happy with me above him and maybe today will be the day for a ride! I saddled him and continued with a bit of in hand work at walk and trot, everything was nice and smooth, and I was very happy with his attitude towards work today. I continued with the ‘hopping up and down’ and laying over his back a few times, then rubbed my foot over his rump. Coolabah was very happy with everything I did and basically said “You can sit on my back now” …. so I did. I got on and off a few times before sitting up in the saddle and giving him a scratch. He was calm and comfortable. Putting in solid foundations before riding is the way I like to start any horse. I wanted to know Coolabah was comfortable with me up on his back before I even got up there. If he is concerned about me being up there, the first ride will be bad… This is because if I were to ask him to respond to a leg or rein cue while he’s uncomfortable, his attention would be divided between the weirdo on his back (potentially lethal), and the job that I’m asking for. The less concerned he is about me up there, the more focused he is on what I’m asking, the smoother the ride and the more positive the experience... which is so important for a first ride! So we ended the session there, with a calm and comfortable Coolabah.

Thought of the day: Very happy with Coolabah and his great working attitude!

Day 41

Day off for Coolabah after the great progress yesterday.

Day 42

It takes me a while to write these updates, and even longer for Kristen to turn it into something everyone can understand! So, Fridays are always a day off for Coolabah, so I can get the update in on time.

Thanks for reading again everyone! Please like and share, and I’ll see you all next week.


Weekly Training Updates

Join Michael and VBA Coolabah on their journey !

Week 1     week 2     week 3    week 4     week 5    week 6     week 7

week 8     week 9     week 10     week 11     week 12     week 13    

week 14    week 15     week 16     week 17     week 18     week 19     

week 20