Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This week has been a short three day week for Max and I due to my work commitments however the few sessions we had together have been excellent with high productivity in developing our partnership. Last week I finished off with him showing much more confidence with new objects and his surrounds however you might recall that he was still slightly sceptical of seeing me from above him therefore not enabling me to go much further towards getting on his back.
So again this week I focused more on ponying him around of the other horses for more confidence and also did some more active games causing him to move his feet freely out on the line. I did this playing with some circle game over small jumps and up and down new areas on the farm that cause him to want to think and go forwards rather than me having to increase my phases it’s about using psychology to cause him to want to go. He now has a better understanding of how to slow with energy in front of his drive line and speed up with energy behind without feeling the need to react to energy that is directed at him, he is thinking his way through my use of body language much more confidently. He is now able to trot around with rhythm and relaxation without wanting to check out or do his very quick, spin and run action that he is clever at doing at times, mostly when he is feeling playful, which is nice to see J (Yes I have done some grass skiing a couple times)
Finally on day three I got the green light I have been working on this past 10 days taming Max, the permission for me to move to having him accept the human on his back. I did a lot of laying all over him, bouncing up and down on both sides and sliding off his back before committing to a leg either side. Once I was up and rubbing him all over I felt the second green light, him blowing out. Yep he had really turned loose to seeing me up there and I was even able to lightly initiate him to move his feet and much to my disbelief he confidently walked straight over to the large green ball( which he was petrified of three sessions ago) and just walks up to it and nudges it a little. Wow, I was certainly so pleased with the mental change in this horse in just a short couple sessions to now be in this position. It is so easy right now to keep asking for more as it feels so good however I made sure I did less than 3 min up there and I was off him and giving lots of rubs and time for him to soak up all that wonderful things he just offered me. The biggest key to learn here is that, yes I could have made him accept me on his back and just did it last week, however I would then just be proving to my horse that I really am a direct line predator. I want to win his heart and therefore have him trust and accept this process so that in the next couple months we can progress together in a partnership with confidence and respect that will also help to keep myself safe as the trainer and also for my horse to feel successful in our journey together.
It has really made Max feel like one of the everyday horses we have here now. He is learning to be lead up from his paddock of the Kubota bike, loud and noisy, comes in through small holding yard spaces and into the sheds and is now confidently standing wrapped off on the rail with no worries as other people and horses pass by during the day. I am excited for next week as I can now move onto step two in the colt starting skeleton, accepting the saddle placement and girthing up process