Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Magnus achieved a lot this week and dug deep to give both Lauren and myself some great work. A picture says a thousand words, Like and check out our Facebook page, Daniel-Tessari Horse Reflections for lots of photos of Magnus. The most rewarding part of this week was seeing Magnus make a great friend in a new little human that came into his life this weekend. A 12 year old dedicated young horse girl came and fence sat our 2 day Horsemanship clinic we hosted, she helped all weekend and doted on Magnus from when she first met him. I was instructing, but Lauren said Magnus warmed to the girl straight away and loved her back. With Magnus’s reaction to her and her care for him we offered her a ride on him with her parents’ permission. On the 2nd day of the clinic, when we started the cattle work for the weekend, I led Magnus off Ricochet for his first kids ride. He was cool about the whole experience and I felt he was completely safe for the girl, as he cared for her and worked for me at the same time. There were other horses in the clinic that were not so cool about working with/around the cattle so it was a great example of his strengths in his temperament and training. She got to spend a lot more time with him through the rest of the day, brushing and rugging him and giving him a lot of well-deserved love.
I did a range of work on Magnus this week including flat work in the arena, working cattle, flat work out in the open paddock and he was treated by our equine physio. Also Lauren spent 2 days with him during the clinic; ground working him, riding him, mustering the cattle into the arena for the cow work part of the clinic, and cutting out on him.
The challenges he presented to me this week was working on balancing and slowing his canter. He transitions into his canter easily, but is a little rushed and is inconsistent in picking up the correct lead. I don’t expect a huge change in him as I put it down to him being quiet small for my weight, and therefore the canter being t hard to slow and keep the controlled engagement. I will work on advancing this part of his training, but will not “drill” him and expect it to be perfect anytime soon. He’s young, small, still strengthening all his riding muscles and in the scheme of things, only in the very start of his training life. True collection should be training that takes years to set foundations for, to work with ease when the horse is ready.
I have been training Magnus to back circles and serpentines also. A do a lot of backing latterly in the early stages of a horses life as it’s a very disciplined movement for a young horse to do and sets some great foundations to keeping the horse between yours hands and feet at all times. A good back is also great foundation for a good stop.
It was great to get Laurens feedback on Magnus’s strengths and challenges too. She said his ground work is cool and precise and he’s always “with” her in the mind, no matter what is going on around him. Under saddle she said he is pretty good, but still definitely in training. She said there are moments of softness and try, but there are sometimes that he gets stuck in movements, or is more forward than slow. Forward to me is everything in a horse, and when they are alone in an arena this is positive thing. When you are in a clinic environment for example a horse may have to learn how to be slower to work in group and it’s a great time to find what and why different things need training.
I ride young horses nearly every day, so training all these things that take time are second nature to me. It is great then to get feedback from a competent rider who mostly rides broke horses, with some tips on what I would have to work on to help Magnus more.
Magnus was happy tired by the end of the clinic and it was great to see him enjoying all the love and more “cute” name calling. Summing up Magnus’s training is easy, to put his personality, which is his most likable nature into words is hard. As Magnus grows in confidence a little bit of cheekiness comes out every now and then. Not any spoilt or undisciplined rudeness, but just sometimes in some ways he expresses something he either likes or dislikes. Like the funny look he gives you after you scratch his chest and neck (his favourite spot) or when he’d like me to take his bridle off quicker so tries a little head shake, although he knows he’ll have to soften and give before I let the bit lower out of his mouth. These are traits some pictures capture, but meeting him is the best way to see him for who he is. He is going to have a week’s spell this coming week. It will probably be his last spell before Equitana I’m thinking at this stage. Some green spring grass will be just what his growing and strengthening body needs and his mind has earnt a rest.