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Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Michael and Honey - Week 14

Day 92: After Honeys dentist appointment last week, we had a nice easy session today. We started off with our normal warm up of a few laps walking around the arena. I am trying to concentrate on getting Honey attuned to where my body is asking her to go. Some days Honey’s responsiveness is great, and some days she is just dreaming about being back on the high plains of Kosciusko… Today she was very responsive. After some trotting and cantering (concentrating on keeping her at a steady pace) I felt she was reacting to my voice, legs, and weight well without using the reins too much, so I proceeded to take the halter off from her head and moved her off at a walk. Doing this on any horse let alone a horse that was wild only 13 weeks ago might sound a bit stupid, but I do trust this little mare, and I wanted to know how much she trusted me. I have been very thorough with use of my voice commands, and with the combined use of my weight and positioning in the saddle, Honey stopped and walked on responsively with nothing on her head for control. This proved to me she was really listening and willing. The session continued for longer than I was expecting, but we were having great fun. Honey gets till Sunday off to keep on growing!

Thought of the day: “All the way through this challenge has been about getting into Honeys head, I feel it’s easier to move a horse’s feet this way”


Day 93,94,95,96: All growing days for Honey. I hope she’s not wild again when I go to get her out the paddock on Saturday!

Day 97: The grass at Mona Farm is now green and there’s plenty of it. Honey had a couple of “I think I just want to stay in the paddock today, thanks any way Mick” moments. After a pat on the head she followed me to the gate and I brought her in with the intention to ride. Instead I decided to put Honey in the stable for an hour while I made a see-saw and a tractor tyre block. I’ve been meaning to make some obstacles for a while but haven’t had the time. So instead of riding, I introduced her to the new obstacles that I had put in the arena. Like usual, after the initial cautious “what is that thing”, Honeys proceeded to put all the objects in her mouth. After chewing everything she then had to tap everything with her foot making sure I had done a good job. After Honeys quality control check I hooked her up to the lead rope and started to ask Honey to put a foot on the tyre block. She obviously had no problem with this, but when asking for the second foot she was a little unsure. Persistance and reassurance (and a couple of jumps straight over the block) she decided standing on the block wasn’t such a bad thing after all. In fact, standing on the block was her new favourite thing because she gets to do nothing while she’s up there! We moved on to the see-saw and quickly figured out I had asked a bit too much when making it. It was too steep and not long enough, so back to the drawing board… I ended the session with a re-cap on side pass and backing up through poles.

Thought of the day: “I should really start planning what I am going to do in the freestyle event at EQUITANA”

Day 98: So after 6 days without a ride I was keen to get on Honey and do some work. After a few laps trotting each way around the arena I focused on getting Honey to relax in the canter. I asked Kristen to sit in the arena and watch to tell me anything that I could do better. Kristen is very good at schooling horses and picks up on things that I may not be aware of. I find it takes Honey a few strides to relax into the canter and not rush. This for me is fine right now because as long as she is picking up the correct lead and holding the line I want her to be on, then everything else with come with time. So far her left canter lead is nice and easy, yet she finds it a little harder to relax into the right canter lead. After a few circles and a couple of disagreements with direction, we were cantering at a very acceptable level and I give Honey 100% for effort (we have only picked up the wrong lead twice). Kristen gave me her thoughts on how I could improve on Honey’s flatwork, and I have soaked it all in for the next session. We finished off the session with a few pictures in her favourite place…on top of the tyre block.

Thought of the day: “Around 50 days till EQUITANA, I’m excited to show what this little Brumby can do!”

Thanks again for reading!

If anyone would like to come and visit Honey, please get in touch through Colleen at the VBA or myself through my Facebook page.

See you next week.


Go to Michael's week 13 ... week 15

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