' Wild To Wonderful '
Australian Brumby Challenge
Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Humans say it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe it takes a mob to train a horse. Choose carefully the mob you allow to train your horse.
Magnus came back into work out of a spell , for a short but intensive training week. Magnus ran with Forrest, our pony during his spell, who is as humanised and people loving as any horse could get. I like the effect Forrest had on him, as the combination of his mental break, and Forrest’s influence, I feel like Magnus’s energy about him had softened a little and he’s becoming calmer and having a more relaxed state of mind. Magnus put on weight and has grown just a little I feel. With spring weather setting in here, he’s also malting, which I’m a little sad about, as I may never see little Magnus in his hairy, wild looking state again.
Magnus floated calmly by himself back to our training facility and spent a few hours in the bay watching me work horses around and near him. I felt when I put him out in the paddock without actually properly working him, that I should have given him a quick ride and put him in the paddock immediately on arrival. Although waiting around and not knowing when or how he would be worked is good discipline to prepare him for the unknown, it was probably too much for his fresh mind and body being contained for so long.
At work Magnus gets paddocked with nearly all the horses in work, at some time or another, he settles well with all horses and is not bossy, but is gaining a lot of confidence too. He respects my geldings if they see the need to train him, and moves his feet for them without any arguments. I watched proudly though as one day I turned a Clydesdale cross mare in with him… I thought she would love on him a bit, but her spring mare feelings got the better of her and she rushed him to try stamp her new authority. Magnus stood his ground and double barrelled into the air in her direction, stopping her in her tracks, I called out to her, “You’re not dealing with a stable raised pushover, sweet-heart”.
I ground worked Magnus to bring him back into work. I left him bareback and did lots of very slow walking, in hand and sending him out and around me on a loose rein at a walk, always waiting for him to lower his life and lick and chew while moving, before changing to anything else. I also did lots of jumping around, running up and hugging him and crawling all over him. The last thing I want to train is a horse that needs to be worked down to be relaxed. I’d love all my horses to be relaxed while fresh as possible, and use their energy for something useful.
The next day I stepped his ground work right up, getting him to really speed up and reach out of his turns, and engage his hinds as deep as possible in his circles. Again though I would then let him out on a loose rein, walking, to process and lick and chew. I then rode him in the arena and asked a lot of him: Walk trot and canter into small and large circles, concentrating on keeping his hind connected to the bit for increasing lengths of time. Setting him up to consistently pick up the correct canter lead in straight lines. Getting him to bring his hinds more under him into his stop. After one huge try for a stop from a canter, I dropped the reins and let him stand and process and for a good 10 minutes. It was on this nice win I unsaddled him, washed and rugged him quickly, and turned him out with a young gelding for the weekend.
Some friends were watching and asked if he feels like a big horse to ride. It was a question that came with an obvious good eye for a horse, because he does feel like a big horse to ride with his lovely, big movement. I train some huge moving horses, with a lot of heart and try, Mighty Magnus holds his own for his size, for his balance and expressive movement gets me to ride and train to my full potential to do him justice. If you can’t tell already, I’m immensely enjoying the journey my mate Magnus and I are taking together.
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