Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Alpine Daisy is a smart and willing student. She is small and cute and I am big and scary. To build her confidence I lower my energy and pat her a lot. To build her trust and respect we practise a series of exercises responding to my cues. The exercises are structured in The System to develop a horse that is soft, yet responsive to the cues. Daisy is very intelligent and has understood the cues very well, but her instinctive ‘flight response’ occasionally takes over and the cues go out the window.
20 years ago, the old me would have strapped a saddle on and cracked the stock whip. These days I am very technical about The System (written with Lara Beth Poynton), a system of horse training founded on 3 essential principles. This is especially important for a wild Brumby like Daisy who is still very sensitive. However, the principles are the same with a racehorse as with a Brumby. The difference with Alpine Daisy and a domesticated horse is that she often requires only the tiniest ‘pressure’ and yet she requires a huge ‘release of pressure’ by me walking away to the other side of the yard. Some eager young riders spent a day patting and brushing Daisy, all learning to approach slowly and then she was very happy to have them around. (www.facebook.com/TubbarubbaArabians)
I have a passion for writing and our first book about horse training is currently at the publishers. Now, with VBA Alpine Daisy assisting me, I am taking notes and writing my next book (in collaboration with Lara Beth Poynton) about starting wild horses.
Currently we are working on directing the 4 components of the horse with our system of cues. The 4 components are: head/neck, shoulders, ribs, and hind quarters.
Our nutritionist from KER suggested we transition to LGI cubes (Low Glucose Index). I feed LGI cubes to my Endurance team (www.victoriantopteam.com.au); slow release, no energy spikes and no sugar rush. The Endurance horses love the large pellet. Daisy just stares at them, confused. Towards the end of the week she had a bite and soon became a big fan. Maximum condition; here we come.
So far, this has been a lot of fun. Tangcla professional photography, Hasting Produce, and Nungar Knots have been very supportive and we are very grateful.
My goals for next week are to introduce the equipment and begin to educate one rein close contact from the ground. If that goes well I might even have a ride.