Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Week 18 started off on quite the low and appeared like it wasn’t going to change anytime soon. I was having immense troubles with Ariat becoming highly strung and anxious, he was beginning to pull the lead and reins out of my hands on a regular basis over the smallest of things. Due to this I was starting to get very overwhelmed and was losing my confidence in myself and Ariat.
Even though I had lost confidence I persisted on working with Ariat to try and resolve the issues which were occurring. I spent hours lunging him over trotting poles, small jumps and even the tilting bridge, along with running through our basic ground work which he knew to desensitise him to create smaller reactions when they occurred. Unfortunately even with all the ground work we’d done the main issue of him overreacting which lead to him pulling the rope and reins from my hands didn’t appear to be getting better.
Moving into the middle of the week I had a break through with Ariat and things were looking like they were going back on track. I was able to lung Ariat at a canter with the saddle on for the first time, the transition from trot to canter was smooth and the canter itself was amazing, I was able to get a canter from him on both sides more than once. I then mounted and worked on our backing getting it smoother, along with getting a smoother transition from walk to trot and keeping a constant pace when moving across the diagonals. This session with Ariat definitely gave me the confidence boost I needed.
To finish our week off I was fortunate enough to have a one on session with local horsemanship trainer Wade Gillingham, this session with Wade was extremely beneficial for both Ariat and I. I was able to gather a better understanding of how to step up my training to the next level by picking up the energy levels and really pushing Ariat whereas I’d put him into such a laid back state that he and I didn’t know how to handle “explosive” reactions when they happened. Wade taught me that Ariat and I had a great partnership but the respect had been lost, so during my session with Wade he was able to help me regain respect. We worked on direct and indirect reins from both the ground and in the saddle, direct rein moving the front quarters and indirect rein disengaging the hindquarters, which will help in getting softer movement in changing gates and halting. By the end of my session with Wade, Ariat and I were able to do some light reining work, changed paces by the slightest rise in energy and even had our first canter in the saddle. The respect and confidence that Ariat and I gained for each other was amazing and the time with Wade was so beneficial.