Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Ariat and I spent majority of this week going out on adventures, getting in as much floating experience as we possibly could. I’m pleased to say that Ariat has been travelling amazingly, he does paw at the floor while we’re parked but quickly realises its getting him nowhere and stops. When being unloaded I’m very strict on having Ariat wait for a few seconds before coming out, this is to avoid him rushing out and causing himself or others harm. So far in our travels Ariat has taken all the new experiences and surroundings in his stride which I’ve been extremely impressed about.
Some of the new experiences Ariat has come across over the past week has been big crowds and loud noises. I was fortunate enough to be invited to perform in a demonstration with local horsemanship trainer Wade Gillingham. This opportunity exposed us to a crowd of about 35+ people and gave me a good understanding of how Ariat may handle the crowds at Equitana, he took some time to adjust to the people but within minutes didn’t even blink an eye at them, his focus was entirely on me and he performed like a master. As for the loud noises we encountered cheering crowds for the first time, a stock whip being cracked and much more which I can say Ariat didn’t care about.
Our riding over the past 2 weeks has made huge leaps and bounds since the energy levels were picked up and I regained Ariat’s full respect. Cantering has become second nature to Ariat, his fore and hind quarters have become easier for me to manoeuvre and his willingness to now want to experience new things is amazing. I’ve kept working with obstacles and doing different things such as riding him at all paces while waving a ribbon around, side passing along the fence and even standing up on him so he can have adequate exposure to multiple experiences before Equitana.
Looking back at the very beginning of this challenge where Ariat was the shy brumby who stood at the back of the herd to now where he is able to go out and socialise with people and horses while having confidence has been incredible and a life changing transformation for the both of us. I honestly never thought I would’ve been able to do half the things I’ve done with him in such a short period of time and I do have a lot of people to thank but most of all I have Ariat to thank for being with me through this incredible journey and giving me the opportunity to grow and learn with him.