' Wild To Wonderful '
Australian Brumby Challenge
Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This week I listened to the different needs that Magnus was telling me. I teach people that the most successful training approach to take with your horse is to listen to them. I’m not one for systems or step by step training, although they positively help many humans help their horses. Magnus was telling me he needed a few different approaches this week and will throughout the whole time I have him.
One thing I already know is Magnus will need a mix of his own “horse time” in his training. That may mean he will need a whole week off at times. He has been all horse for 6 years before coming into human and training life, he is going to need horse time to help him adjust. In my experience with all horses, but especially with wild and bush horses, spelling them is essential to advancing them, and time and time again it has proved to be a faster way to progress their training. During spelling they process their teachings, freshen in the mind and body and come back into work stronger, more confident and more willing and eager for mental and physical stimulation. Note; spelling means turned into a paddock with horses and left alone. If they are being rugged daily, or stabled at night etc, they are in training.
Magnus’s day by day training.
Monday: After a big weekend of exposure in our horsemanship clinic and a week of new physical work, I left Magnus alone in his yard and kept a horse next to him at all times. I started rotating different horses for keeping him company while he was in the yard. Socialising them with all types of horses is an essential way to get horses ready for the big wide world.
Tuesday: I ponied Magnus off Laurens warmblood mare, Harmony. I wish I’d got some pics as the contrast in horse sizes would have been amusing and pretty cute. We ponied out down the road a little way where I would ride Magnus out. I like to expose breakers with company of another horse before I ask them to boldly venture out. Magnus learnt to march along to keep up with Harmony’s walk and trot. I then got on him in the Arena with the gate open and rode straight out, down the driveway and he broke into a nice trot that took us a couple km's down the road. I then turned him around and asked for a couple short canters on the way home. On arriving home I pulled the saddle off, led him out and turned him loose into a paddock at our training facility for the first time. (check Instagram for a short clip of all this experience).
I turned Harmony out with him for some company. In true Brumby nature, riding out and getting to move and seeing some sights was the most pleasurable experience he’d had since he’d been here. It was 4 days later than he’d deserved to have this experience, but in horse form, he forgave me.
Wednesday: I led Harmony into the lane way with Magnus following and caught him there. I wasn’t sure if he was yet quiet enough to catch me in the paddock and didn’t want to create a habit of running away if he wasn’t. He then spent a few hours tied in the bay next to the arena with horses and people coming and going. I patting him all the time and he saw horses worked and felt energy around him to learn it has nothing to do with him, teaching him to relax in all environments. Lauren spent a good hour loving on him and feeding him there too. I then planned to give him a gentle ride in the arena with a bit for the first time. He was telling me in his ground work though, that he was far from happy and my gut was telling me he was a little work sore in his body and he needed a little time off. I turned him loose in a paddock with a couple nice client’s horses and completely left him alone until Friday.
Friday: I again caught Magnus in the laneway and by the time I had him in a bay, I could tell already he was so much happier, having freshened up and having some time to think. He told me he was more than quiet enough to saddle him up tied in the bay for the first time. We then did some float loading training that flowed with ease before leading him out into a big paddock and getting on for a ride. We walked, trotted and cantered around the paddock, around trees and over logs. He then came in, was unsaddled, had a rug put on for the first time (purely for education reasons) and turned back out with his mates.Next week Magnus is loading up in the float with another mates horse and we’re heading North, up out of Marree for a week’s contract mustering. I’ll be riding other broke horses there also but the little trooper is going on the pay roll! Watch this space for more #MightyMagnus adventures.