Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Throughout this week Ariat and I have been able to gather an understanding of each other along with trust. I’ve been working Ariat in 3, 10 minute intervals each day keeping them short and sweet. We started off week 1 by doing some join up and face up activities, teaching him to move around me at different paces, to turn in towards me instead of turning his rump towards me, along with coming into me when I face away from him. At the end of this week Ariat is confidently walking up to me and standing by my shoulder without freaking at the slightest movement.
As a part of our training I introduced to Ariat what I call an arm extension, which is a pole with padding on the end which I can use to touch him without being within his kick zone if he were to respond negatively to it, starting at his withers and working to his rump, hind and fore quarters, chest, neck and face. Due to the curiosity he showed earlier in his training he has been quite responsive in a positive way to the extension to the point where I can now rub all over his body without him running off.
I found that Ariat has more confidence on his off side then on his near side which I have been working to improve. I can now run my hand on his off side from his shoulder to his cheek while he stands in a relaxed position, on his near side I’ve only just started running my hand on his shoulder due to the lack of confidence he displayed.
As Ariat was showing incredible improvement I introduced a halter and lead to him, leaving it in his yard lying on the ground and hanging from the rails. By doing this he has been able to touch it in his own time and get use to the idea that it doesn’t hurt him. We’ve gotten to the point where I can carry it around swinging the lead, throwing the lead so it lands within a meter of him without him moving away from it or holding his head in the air. He’s been much more relaxed then what he was at the beginning of this week.