' Wild To Wonderful '
Australian Brumby Challenge
Australian Brumby Challenge ©
How I rate if a horse is safe and quiet for a capable rider other than myself to get on is if I feel comfortable for my fiancé, Lauren to ride them. Magnus was treated with Lauren's soft and empathetic feel this week and they worked nicely as a team. Lauren is a handy rider and can ride a young horse as well as a finished product. Getting on rough horses is not her idea of fun though, and for her safety and confidence, I'll only advise her to get on horses I'm very confident she will handle with ease. Magnus is definitely stepping up in his training.
Lauren noticed that Magnus will very subtly test the waters to dominate her on the ground. Dominate is strong word and it's not like he's laying his ears back or coming at her, but small things like waiting an extra moment to move, to see if she really means it, when he would have instantly moved for me. Every person on earth has a different feel and a horse will pick up on this probably within a minute of working with a different human, and will know exactly where they are at in their knowledge of horses. Just like anyone who spends any time around a horse, Lauren trained Magnus with her own feel, and taught him with respect and trust to work to her expectations. She did a great job ground working him, and riding him in a forward, straight, walk and trot.
I worked my own horse with a fair bit of life at the same time and Lauren maintained Magnus's mind and had him with her the whole time.
Magnus's fitness levels are increasing and I can feel his freshness in the form of working with ease when I'm first getting on him. His willingness to work well, and stay with me, while being fresh is a credit to his good state of mind. I don't mind how fresh and "fed up" a horse is, if they keep a good attitude. I don't want to have to work energy out of a horse to have them with me. In early days I was hoping Magnus wasn't quiet and obedient just because he was tired.
With his strength and fitness increasing, I started training lateral suppleness with Magnus this week. On a big strong horse I may have introduced lateral movements much sooner, but I'll always work within a horses physical and emotional needs.
I believe without expecting a horse to step up, they may plateau in their progress. When advancing training we all may accidentally push it too far sometimes. There's been a couple times Magnus has let me know I've asked a little too much of him. He has just slowed and stopped trying. Some horses, if pushed over a limit, may have all kinds of behaviour; bucking, bolting, emotionally shutting down etc. Magnus's reaction is very commendable, and I respect it by backing right off and straight away doing other things he finds very easy, to keep "training the try". We both then move on like nothing negative ever happened.
Another week off for Magnus to spell and process will be on the cards again soon I feel. Two very obvious signs I believe that a horse needs a spell is if they either plateau in their training, or if they increase their try and results massively. I think Magnus is about to do the latter. Letting a horse be a horse is the best reward you could ever offer them.