Australian Brumby Challenge ©
What a wonderful week it has been for Max and I, the sun has shined just about every day and the lovely feel of spring time is slowly coming upon us. I finished off last week with Max accepting the saddle for the first time and also having a couple rides under saddle. Well this week it has been a wonderful continuation from this, he is getting much more confident to not only walk but now I’m getting some lovely trotting all around the large arena and he is learning how to follow a feel and suggestion from the rider above. Max is what you would call a Left brain horse so he can be quite dominant and pushy with his nose once he is confident therefore he found it hard to respond to following a feel from the rope hackamore when asking him to turn at times. I just took it slow and really gave him time to think about what I was asking and used phases so that he didn’t feel like I was putting a lot of pressure on him to yield then he could start to figure it out. I would normally start riding the young horses with a carrot stick, a tool used as an extension of your arm both on the ground and in the saddle, so that when they don’t understand how to follow a feel I don’t get heavier or pull rather I support the yield with the stick to help push the turns however Max was still a bit worried about seeing the stick from above him. I did a little bit each day with having the stick in my hand and letting him see it then putting it down. By day four he could finally relax and trust me enough to walk and trot off nicely without the worry he had on day one.
Pretty quick the arena got boring for Max so it was open the gate and out we went. What a difference that always makes with young horses, giving them a purpose and somewhere to go as it really helps to create the confidence in the young horse to want to move out rather than the rider having to push the young horse which you see so very often. We have been riding out with other horses and by himself all over the farm and in turn he is starting to develop a lovely connection to my seat and legs. He has a wonderful, active trot and is really enjoying our riding sessions out and about.
I love how the simple, yet very important, things are getting very good with Max now and its only week 5 for us in our partnership journey. Things like I can go to his large pasture of a morning and he walks up to me to be caught, he can be rugged and un rugged at liberty, stands to be washed all over his body and loving the water sessions, all four feet trimmed and rasped again and he is also now accepting having the bit in his mouth as a friendly game. With all these things going so well it is a lovely indicator that the taming process, before the starting him under saddle, has been successful and I have earned the trust and confidence of this lovely young horse.
Remember you can follow more updates and videos of our journey together on my facebook page Rachel Clarkson ( Parelli Instructor) and for my upcoming clinics and outings with Max visit my website www.rachelclarkson.com J