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Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Nigel and Alpine Daisy -  Week 17

This little mare is so much fun to work with. She has validated so much the importance of principles I write about in our book, The System: Always judge carefully how much pressure you use, and refine your timing of the release of pressure. Her wild nature demanded that I be so careful and precise in teaching the lessons.

Daisy also required a lot more effort each day because we always do short lessons, but often two or three lessons each day.

‘Less is more.’

I have to admit telling Lara Beth in the early weeks (one and two) that I wasn’t sure how this would all pan out in such a small time frame with such a busy schedule. If it was just a matter of trail riding or a single discipline it might be easier, but to expect any horse to prepare for 4 disciplines (patterns, roundyard, trail, obstacles) and concurrently prepare an entertaining and technically impressive freestyle is a big ask, especially a green horse, and even more so a wild Brumby!

Thankfully we have had some great support. Lara Beth has been fantastic with training feedback, questioning my questions and forcing me to think harder, and even rode Daisy and organised training when I was absent. Nungar Knots has supplied some terrific rope halters, rope bridles, and other fantastic gear. Believe me; I wouldn’t use the equipment on a wild Brumby if I didn’t trust it. Their products are durable, reliable and look great. A winning combination.

Hastings Produce has attended our Brumby demonstrations and supplied feed and motivation when we most needed it. Rob and Darren from Hastings Produce contacted KER and Ridleys and got everyone on board to support the Brumbies and trainers here at Tubbarubba, my breeding/training centre.

Working towards EQUITANA is a huge deal for me. In a lot of ways it is like a dream come true, since I always wanted to work with a wild Brumby and I also wanted to compete at EQUITANA.

The freestyle event is exciting because it is an opportunity to show the trainer’s ability, the horse’s potential, and the bond and trust that has developed over the past four months. We are working to music, trying out costume ideas, and have some basic choreography happening which, according to other riders, is just hilarious. We might not be technically great, but we’ll just have fun and hopefully we can all have a laugh together.

‘If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life!’


Go to Nigel's week 16 ... week 18

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