Australian Brumby Challenge ©
To begin this week off I decided due to the fact that the warm weather was beginning to set in throughout the days that I would introduce the hose and water to Ariat in preparation for washing him. I started off by simply introducing the hose (no water) to him so that I could see how he’d react and to get him use to it moving around him. Ariat responded so well to this that I turned the hose on so that I had a slow flow of water coming through it, immediately he showed curiosity towards it and shoved his nose into the water and I have to say he wasn’t happy that it went up his nose. Though I’m happy to say I can wet Ariat’s hooves and lower legs without him being worried, he also now drinks from the flowing water and has learnt not to shove his nose into it. I believe I could’ve wet down more of him but decided taking it slowly would be the best thing for him.
Throughout our time together I’ve been really impressed with Ariat’s response and attitude towards vehicles such as semi-trucks, tractors, cars, floats and motorbikes coming in and out of our property, but I very recently found out once he is in a closer proximity to the vehicles he begins to panic. As a result of this discovery I have started working him while having someone drive the motorbike around us, coming in close, revving the engine, reversing and all sorts of things while I keep him focused on me and our training, teaching him to block the vehicles out and acknowledge that they aren’t a threat to him which he is slowly starting to understand.
As I mentioned last week about Ariat’s great escape, I wanted to test a theory about whether the jumps had to be at a certain height before he’d put effort into them. My theory turned out to be correct, Ariat won’t jump anything under 40cm in height.
In regards to our riding I’m really happy with the progress that he’s making, we’ve been riding out in the round yard, he’s really started understanding my leg aids for changing direction and disengaging his hind quarters, we’ve also really gotten into the flow of being able to change our pace by my seat instead of having to tap him up with my feet and stirrups. As for our trotting all I can say is that I’ve been extremely impressed with the progress he’s shown, he’s still a little uncertain about some aspects of the trot but is definitely improving. I also started doing more side passes throughout the week which he has learnt very quickly.
We have continued on with our float loading and are making incredible improvements. Ariat can now self-load into the float while I stand at the tail gates, I haven’t locked the tail gates in place yet but believe I will be able to do so soon.