Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Week 8

Day 50

Crazy winds here, so Coolabah got to hang out with Prince the fresian x quarter horse today.

Day 51

Today I had my second ride on Coolabah. After going through all my pre-flight checks, I hopped on and picked up right where we left off. I spent most of the session moving his different body parts, adding my leg as a cue. His feet were moving freely, but he seemed a bit bored with the whole thing. So I opened the gate and we went for a walk around the property, to try and get him moving with a little more purpose. Now I don’t usually go out the yard on the second ride, but Coolabah had been very accepting and soft so far, so we broke the rules this time. He was great out of the yard, we had a couple of conversations about going the way I want and not the way he wants, but other than that I can’t fault the ride.

Thought of the day:  As time goes by Coolabah and I will have our difference in opinions, and it’s how I deal with them at the time that will make all the difference.

Day 52

I was off the property all day, so Coolabah was again hanging out with Prince and his prized round bale of hay.

Day 53

90kmph winds today. Even if I managed to work with Coolabah I think I would have been blown off, so another day off.

Day 54

Ahhh finally, no wind and no work! Coolabah had my full attention. I did a session in the morning and decided to give Coolabah his first float loading lesson. (There is a video up on my Facebook page for people to have a look at). When leading up to the float, the cat jumped out of nowhere and gave him a shock, so he jumped a little at that. Then there was a camera looking at him the whole time and a parrot on the shoulder of the camera-woman (Kristen). He was happy and calm when we walked up to the float and it didn’t take long before we were back and forwards on and off the float with no divider. Next, I set the float up with the divider and asked him to self-load (where he walks on first, without me leading from the front). After a few times in and out, I asked for him to self-load, and on he went. Again, on and off a few times before shutting the bum bar and getting a big pat and scratch. I repeated the process a few times and he handled it all very well, so I decided to call it a day there.

Thought of the day: That is exactly how I like horses to load, confidently and calmly. It’s all made possible because he has been taught to lead and move his body parts independently. Oh yes, and the biggest part of our training… trust.

Day 55

Today I had my third ride on Coolabah.  I took him to the yard, did my pre-flight checks, saddled him and had a very short ride in the yard while Kristen saddled another horse. We decided to get Coolabah out where he felt most at home…in the bush! I walked him for the first few hundred meters to get the gates etc. He was a little excited to be out in the bush with his saddle on! I hopped on and he had an energy about him that I haven’t seen much of since he has been here. He wanted to walk off before I was ready, and I asked him to hold up. He was then trying to head off in different directions that I didn’t want him to go, and when I kept asking him to wait he threw a bit of a tantrum (now when I say tantrum, I mean he was throwing his head about and squealing...). I controlled it by asking him forward and turning him left or right. After a few seconds of disagreeing, he walked forwards nicely, and we got on with our ride in the bush. The main issue there was that he was too excited about being off the property, and he wasn’t fully listening to what I was asking him to do. At this point, I was thinking ‘third ride might be a bit too soon to be out on the trail’, but as we got further into our ride I knew it was the right decision, he was in his element.... After a minute or so we were walking out at a nice steady pace in front of Kristen, who was on our palomino mare Mica filming. We rode for around an hour and a half, through thick tea tree and scrub, through creeks, up some steep hills and down some more. We had a few trots along the way and finished up with a nice big creek crossing before heading home.  

Thought of the day: I am very pleased with Coolabahs progress this week. He is a brave, sure footed animal and I can’t wait to take on more great adventure with him.   

Day 56

As usual todays spare time was doing the write-up! So day off for Coolabah.

Thanks again for reading, hope you are enjoying VBA Coolabah’s journey.

Mick

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