' Wild To Wonderful '
Australian Brumby Challenge
Australian Brumby Challenge ©
It’s been a week of ups and downs. After such a busy week last week, River had four days off in a row from our ‘official’ training sessions. Even though I didn’t catch him and do any work, I still did random visits to pet him and feed him little snacks of lucerne hay. I don’t want River to think every time he sees me approach him it means work.
I did think that after a four-day hiatus, River might need a bit of a refresher and he did scoot off from me as I first approached to halter him. But after getting him to face up, he let me halter him and then spend our whole session in the roundyard (not using the smaller catching yard at all). This was the first time we’ve done this. We did re-cap, then moved onto doing some movement desensitisation – this involved tossing the rope over River’s back, around his back legs and around his front legs until he can stand still and relax. Surprisingly he was fine with the rope around his back legs, but was not at all comfortable with the feel of the rope on his front legs. But he was very sensible and just moved around and lifted his legs – didn’t panic and try to race away, I was very happy with this response.
This was a great session until …….. I came back later in the day to re-rug River as I had to go out. I was under a bit of time pressure and not paying as much attention as I should have been and River got a bit worried, side-stepped and the rug slipped off and got caught over the lead rope. Now it looked like rug was chasing him so River took off, hit the end of the lead rope and his head yielded around but his body didn’t, so he fell. It was soft sand and he didn’t hurt himself, but I was so disappointed in myself for letting it happen.
We spent the final day of the week working on re-gaining some trust and doing Rug Training #101! I think we’ve made a come-back, it is humbling how forgiving these Brumbies (and most horses really) are. It’s been a timely lesson for me to stay in the moment and pay attention to what’s going on – not just focus on an end result!
For more pics and details of the week, please check out my FB page : ABC 2016 – Sally Adsett-Brown