Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Well I think it must be around week four of the challenge for each of the trainers but for me it is actually week one that I am starting to get to know my new Brumby. It was wonderful to come home and see him settled in the paddock happily eating away, huge amounts I must say, and ready for learning.
As I mentioned in my week one update my first goal was to start the taming process of this chunky boy who is rightfully named the Mighty Maximus. I have spent a lot of time building his trust in accepting me in his presence then eventually my touch during this whole week. He is very sceptical of anything the human does and very unconfident with having me on his near side. This means that my approach and retreat has to be perfect otherwise his self preservation kicks in and he will defend himself to get to where he feels safe. He doesn’t seem to have a long flight distance but would do whatever he feels right to defend himself if I was to put him in situation that caused him to need to escape therefore it’s important that I don’t cause him to go there. With this in mind the margin of error is VERY small with this horse, you go too quick or put on too much pressure and you lose not only him physically but mentally and emotional and it’s a big step back in the taming process.
It certainly tests my patience and trusting in the process of my training plan when developing such a sensitive horse, I have to use psychology, I cannot make him do something and I cannot just rush him to trust me. I have been doing lots of friendly tasks with touching him all over, starting to handle his feet, having him wear a rug then the bareback pad as this is all a part of accepting the human as a friend and as a leader. This is all comes before I ever think about the saddle and riding him, some people just go ahead and start riding a horse like this and never actually get them tame therefore will have confidence issues for a long time to come. My thought is that in November these horses are to find there forever homes and this may be with someone who doesn’t have years of experience like us trainers so it’s my responsibility to set this Brumby up to really trust and be confident in humans.
I have also started playing with him off another horse towards the end of this week so that he could learn how to connect and harmonize with another horse and follow a feel. He still gets worried about seeing the human above him but with consistency and repetition he was much more settled by my 3rd session ponying him around. He tries so hard to do the right thing and is always looking to me for leadership but is just still a bit unsure about the leader been a human at the moment. I finally got enough trust today for him to eat some chaff from my hand and be caught from walking up on the left side. Seems like little things but for this boy it’s huge in his development and trust in breaking down the prey/ predator barrier between us both.
Every day I am seeing such huge changes in him, slow yes, but his ability to try and understand this world is amazing. Stay tuned for more special things coming your way in the weeks to come