Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Last weekend Lauren and I hosted a 2 day horsemanship clinic away from home, with the travel with our horses and horses in full work during the week I didn’t get to write a week 17 update I’m sorry folks.
Magnus is going well though. I plan to plateau his training from now on and not introduce anything new approaching EQUITANA. He has come such a long way in his life and experience since being with us and I want him to solidly feel like life should be easy, even if sometimes it’s hard work, and what he knows and does is appreciated. I use the same theory for some horses I start: Some can be advanced in their training right up to the last day with me, some I plateau their training in the last couple weeks, or sometimes even back right off and work them under what they are actually capable of. Results in my opinion are always a by-product of how the horse feels about itself. If I owned Magnus, I feel the best thing to advance his training now would be to turn him out with a mob of well-mannered, broke horses for a minimum of 6 months or so before working him anymore. This is a competition with an end result goal however, so I will work with a practical sense with how to prepare Magnus as best I can. From the day we picked wild Magnus up, I have never had the mindset that this Brumby Challenge is a competition, more-so a chance for this horse to advance on a different journey than the one he was born into. I’ve built a close mate and working relationship with Magnus, and together we have worked on preparing him for the big wide world who awaits us both. When we arrive at EQUITANA, I’ll only be showing my work horse to a few people watching. Magnus and I are a team who have positively influenced each other as beings and every now and then we see our biggest competition… In the mirror, on the arena wall.
Magnus had a set of hobbles put on for the first time the other day. If I introduce hobbles early in horses training I usually emphasise yielding to pressure with leading them by the feet etc to prepare them, but Magnus has the foundations needed for hobbles without specifically training for them; He softly respects a feel, patience, trust and independence. He wore the hobbles with no dramas.
Friday before the clinic Lauren and I loaded her mare, Harmony and Magnus up and headed down the freeway and through Adelaide. There was a bit of movement in the float with passing trucks and in heavy traffic, they were fine, but were just a reminder that they are still youngsters and getting used to the world. When I often tow my “fall asleep” old geldings, it’s apparent the youngsters take time to always feel relaxed. After the two day clinic on the way home late Sunday night… there wasn’t a sway the whole way. A good-tired horse is a happy horse.
Magnus enjoyed the clinic. He was the demo horse for showing what I was explaining many times but also spent a lot of time waiting patiently tied or just hobbled in the middle of the arena while all the horses worked around him. Great patience training and reinforcing that energy around him is not always directed at him. He also spent two nights in a new place with Harmony and ate and drank till he was full with no hesitation.
I had another lesson with a Coach, Sally Engelhardt. She is familiar with freestyle competitions and is thankfully helping choreograph our freestyle from what she sees our strengths as a team are. I’m not giving her as free rein as she would like me to with the flair she would like to include, as I’m sticking to: Keep it simple with a show of solid foundationsJ. I was very relieved when I asked some other trainers on Facebook if they had their freestyles organised yet and a common reply was no. I’ve been waiting to really see what Magnus’s solid strengths were going to be before officially choreographing it, and now I feel is the best time.
Magnus is very fit and is in fit condition to look at, which I like for a work horse, as they are more agile and are less prone to overheating during hard work if their body fat percentage isn’t t too high. I’ll be trying to put some extra weight on him over the next few weeks before taking him to Melbourne however as he may lose some condition with the trip and a new place.
I have no set plans for Magnus this week apart from practicing our foundations and flowing with the journey that presents itself to us. PD