Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Great weather this week, I am so grateful. Great Brumby (VBA Alpine Daisy); it is great fun and the Victorian Brumby Association did a great job giving us a blank canvas to work with. Is it exciting? Yes. Is it easy? No. Daisy is still very concerned about new sounds and new activities. She’s a country girl in a big city now.
This week’s goals for Daisy were to learn the basic cues. A cue is a signal from the trainer to indicate the action required by the horse. For example; I raise my arm holding the lead rope and the buckle tilts forward. That is the lead forward cue. Daisy is learning to ‘follow the feel of the rope’.
Horses are sensitive by nature and can easily over-react if the pressure is too great. So with Daisy I am careful to apply pressure in small doses and reward every success with immediate release of pressure. It is this principle, pressure/release, that educates horses to the cues.
Clarence from Tangcla photography did a sensational job capturing the atmosphere of our training. Daisy still looks woolly and wild, and I love the photo with my red shirt and my Nungar Knots gear. Having a professional photographer made me feel like a rock star, even though Daisy was the centre of attention.
I am confident in my systematic approach, based on three essential principles. I developed The System with Lara Beth Poynton and will continue to refer to these three principles throughout my updates. (pressure/release is principle number 2)
Colleen O’Brien, founding president of the VBA, suggested feeding Breed N Grow to the Brumbies. By coincidence Breed N Grow and plain grass hay is the staple diet of our twenty Arabian broodmares. My general rule is to keep feeding plans simple.
My goals for week 3 are to soften the cues. In The System, every cue taught on the ground translates directly to the cue under saddle. Therefore, another week invested in refining Daisy’s education will pay big dividends further down the track.