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Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Michael and Honey - Week 9

Day 57: Today I wormed Honey for the first time. Being a young horse, she likes to put everything in her mouth. From brushes to hoof picks, lead ropes to saddle blankets, everything in Honeys eyes has to be tested… by her mouth. So as you can probably guess, the worming tube went straight in. To let the wormer do its job, I let Honey have a few days off to clear her system.

Thought of the day: “I hope the wormer makes her feel a bit more comfortable”

Day 58 and day 59: These days where made up of dissecting Honeys poo! As disgusting as it sounds it is very interesting. I had been checking her poo since she got to Mona and hadn’t seen any obvious signs of worms, but seeing what finally came out was amazing. There where around 5 round worms that I found nearly as thick as my little finger and between 10 – 15cm long! The next thing out was around 25 bot fly larvae. You might think talking about this is pretty disgusting but it just shows how important it is to keep on top of worming your horses. Over the next few days Honey seemed more sharp and curious, and much brighter.

Thought of the day: “After seeing all that I might go worm myself just to be safe”

Day 60: I just took it easy with Honey today as she still looked a little bloated. On Thursdays there are usually a few riding lessons here being taught by the very talented Bec Lindwall of Talisman Sport Horses. So with it being busy with riders it’s always a good time to do some work with Honey. I just worked on getting the walk to trot to walk to stop nice and fluid. After she was consistent and smooth, I then went on to trot/ stop transitions. This didn’t take much to get smooth, she was also a lot softer to the pressure of the halter which we were having issues with last week. Like I say in a few of my posts, if she isn’t doing what I ask – then I am not asking her properly. I also believe horses just need a bit of time to think sometimes. After around 30 mins I took her back to the stables to untack and brush down. This was also good for Honey as there were lots of people and horses around, walking backwards and forwards giving Honey a new experience. 

Thought of the day: “Honey is still improving every day, the less backwards steps the better”

Day 61: Today was a busy day on the farm so I didn’t get to Honey till around 4.30. I had the horse truck pulled up next to the stables for a clean out, so I thought I might see how Honey is around the truck. I went and got her from the paddock and brought her to the truck. I walked her to the ramp where she did nothing that any other horse wouldn’t, she stopped at the bottom of the ramp. I like float/truck loading as I think it is a HUGE ask to make a horse go into a box on wheels and really gives you an idea about how much trust there is between human and horse. So after the stop at the ramp I stopped and looked at Honey before I carried on. I just needed to see why she stopped – scared, confused, physically unsure of how to get up there etc. I figured out by her not backing off the ramp (of course she had a nibble on the rubber), and not snorting or being over alert, she was just a bit mentally stuck. I asked her to walk forward and she did a small shuffle with her feet and leant back like she was going to jump up. I stopped her there and gave her pat for a good try but not quite what I was looking for. I got her to try again until she had a paw/ dig at the ramp, and that’s fine. She came up to the ramp and put one foot up and did a hop with her hind to get up the ramp. I was happy with that and we went and stood in the truck for a while I gave her a pat. We continued with this 3 or 4 more times making sure on the exit to take it nice and easy. There is nothing worse than getting run over by a horse rushing down a ramp! After she was going in and out the truck nicely, I then took her in and put her in the position to be able to shut the gate. I repeated all this, then moved on to tying her up and shutting the gate. That was it for float/truck loading today and I put her back in the paddock.

Thought of the day: “She trusts me, and only because I’ve given her no reason not to trust me”

Day 62: A short session with Honey today. I saddled her up and intended going out for a trail ride, but started out in the arena. I just walked her around to get her warmed up and as we got to the mirror at the end of the arena, Honey had a good long gaze at herself. Honey sees humans riding horses every day, but after looking in that mirror it felt like something clicked. She was more responsive to me asking for walk and trot. I also trotted her around some circles with good momentum and a nice head position. I am not saying something magic happened when she looked in the mirror, but it sure did feel like it. I walked her to the gate, opened it from her back and rode her back to the stable. Half way back to the stable she thought a hay net was going to end her life when it blew so gently in the wind, so she did a very nice roll back which I wasn’t expecting. She spun that fast I had to pick up my stomach and eyeballs up on the way back past. On the second pass of the hay net she (and I) was ready for it this time. The wind did its job and flapped the hay net again. This time she spun the opposite way so fast my right leg came out the stirrup and I ended up in the same position as I would be if I was half way up getting on the horse! Finally, back to the stable I unsaddled Honey and gave her a good brush down while thanking her for the fantastic ride and the thrilling ending.

Thought of the day: “think I need a bit more desensitising to flappy objects, and of course… hay nets”

Day 63: Day off for Honey…again

Hope everyone is enjoying the journey so far. Any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

See you next week.



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