Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This week started with Magnus being worked on by our Equine Physio. Hayleigh said he is improving in his condition, strength and muscle tone. She found and treated tightness in his neck, (as I had found resistance in his lateral training) and dry needled him in his lower back and rump. Her instruction were to walk him in hand on Tuesday and on Wednesday ride him but only in a walk.
I am a strong believer in 'You can teach a horse to ground work by riding it but you cant teach them to ride by ground working it'. Essentially, I do ground because I don't want to do ground work! :) Meaning a broke horse should be saddled up and ridden. I've done minimal round yard work with Magnus, as it's something I don't enjoy doing a lot of with horses; I find the round yard environment is very unnatural for a horse. In past liberty sessions I have observed that Magnus is quick to 'leave', which is interesting as he catches me comfortably in a paddock. Magnus gets claustrophobic in a tight area compared to catching me in the paddock or working him in real horse environments so I decided to Liberty work him on Thursday to help him further adjust to the 'containment' of being worked in a round yard. I believe that this is a time thing and that he will learn to relax much more as his training goes on.
Following his liberty session, I rode him in the arena while it was being hired. Bush and wild horses never cease to pleasantly surprise me by how easy it is to keep their mind with you at all times... (I will broaden on this theory in a post in the near future). I walk, trotted and cantered Magnus around the other horses without him missing a beat. He then got lots of pats after by the ladies hiring the arena.
Riding is when Magnus and I are the happiest together. We are connected in the closest physical way we can be by riding and we can communicate with ease by being so close. He respects that I ask for him to work and learn and in turn he gets to move, travel, have new mental stimulation, see new places and boss cattle around! :)
In all the horses I train I try to make it very clear 'what means something and what means nothing' this is something that prepares them for dealing with energy around them and above them that's got nothing to do with them. Friday I rode out with a mate on a big loop of a trail ride with Magnus. We spent time flapping, banging, swinging ropes, hollering out and trying to mimic as 'wild' a riding as we could to see how much he could put up with and whether he got worried. My horses get to learn pretty quickly to put up with my sense of humour, and get to take pride in not getting frights when I'm trying to scare them under saddle with my antics. They learn when I'm asking something of them and when my teasing means nothing. Magnus is completely over my joking on his back and ignores my wild riding and behavior and is becoming a 'quiet' horse.
Friday night Magnus was bought home and turned out into a big paddock that had been locked up from grazing. He has our pony, Forest running with him and I plan for him to have one to two weeks off to spell in the mind, grow and freshen up. I'm very conscious of suitable weight bearing that horses should have. By rights I am too big for Magnus but I will prepare him for the big wide world out there as best I can for his sake, mentally and physically. I'll work and strengthen his body to ridden work and prepare his state of mind for his future. I estimate Magnus to be about 390 kg, I weigh 80kg plus about 20 kg of saddlery, this puts me out of the 20 per cent of a horses weight rule. If a client had booked Magnus in to be trained, I probably would have declined the booking on these terms. I owe my good mate Magnus the best start to human life though, so riding him empathetically is what I will keep doing and probably get Lauren to do a few more miles on him too.