Australian Brumby Challenge

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Sally and River - Week 2

It’s been an interesting week, we started off continuing with the approach & retreat method working towards to touching and haltering River and seemed to be making small but consistent improvements over the first few days. 

By Wednesday River appeared a lot more comfortable with me standing close to him, I was able to touch him on his nose and muzzle and I started working on bringing my hand closer to his neck/shoulder with a view to closing that gap and eventually touching him.  I did notice when moving my hand closer to his neck/shoulder, River would quickly turn his head to follow my hand.  I didn’t feel particularly threatened by this behaviour, but did take note of it.  I did get close enough to touch the hairs on his neck and he took off like he’d been electrocuted!

Due to other commitments, River had Thursday & Friday off so on Saturday I intended to continue on as I had earlier in the week but River had other ideas … as soon as I entered the yard he was spooky and rushing around like he’d never seen me before.  We went back to the start and got the facing up happening, then onto offering my hand and touching his muzzle as per previous days.  When I tried to progress with touching him further up his face he shook his head and stamped his foot in a definite “NO” response.  While I didn’t feel threatened, when combined with the previous head turning I thought I should change strategy a bit and separate the touching and my proximity to see if that helped him cope a little better. 

We spent the rest of the days’ sessions working on being touched with the lunge whip from a distance.  Things got a bit messy initially but we ended up in a better place with River being able to cope with being rubbed along his back and rump with the whip.

Unfortunately River now is much more suspicious of me and could only just bring himself to take a morsel of lucerne hay from as far away as possible.  This coming week we will work on building that trust back up as well as the ‘touch’ component so that hopefully I can get him haltered before the finals!!!!For more pics and updates, please check out my FB page  ABC 2016 : Sally Adsett-Brown

Go to Sally's Week 1 ... week 3

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