Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Continuing on from last week I have continued working on Ariat’s leading, taking him for small walks. As he has adjusted well to being outside his yard, in an open space, I began doing our general activities such as lateral flexion, back up and disengaging his hind quarters, I also started teaching him front leg cross overs. His improvement was so evident that I have begun lunging him at a walk and trot, changing directions by doing a figure 8 pattern around barrels, standing on and walking over our horse bridge/platform. All of these have been completed outside his yard without a worry.
This week I introduced a major element in Ariat’s training. We started float loading. I was quite surprised with Ariat when it came to the float as at first he was quite nervous around it, didn’t want to approach, let alone touch the float but by the end of our first session I had both his front feet in the float and the back two on the ramp. He stood quite relaxed for his first time on, he did start to panic at first when his head was inside the float but relaxed quite easily once I rewarded him with pats. He also backed off the float really well, he didn’t rush just took his time which was good. Our next session with the float he displayed some small challenges which we overcame quickly.
Working on from last week Ariat had the saddle on and done up, I’m happy to say that he’s shown great work with the saddle. I’m now able to get a full trot both ways with the saddle on with Ariat carrying himself nicely, he hasn’t lifted his head as if to say he were uncomfortable, he’s kept his head and neck at a nice even position to his back. Just to ensure he is comfortable with the sound the saddle can make I have also been tapping my hand on it getting him use to the sound which he’s also doing well with.
One piece of gear that I was going to introduce to Ariat this week was the bridle. Unfortunately I decided not to as we had a batch of poor hay which filled Ariat’s gums and teeth with grass seeds and were making his mouth tender. Though I felt really bad for him he was fantastic when it came to letting me fiddle with his mouth, sticking my finger in to pull the seeds out of his teeth and gums. I felt that this was a good start to teaching him to allow me to handle his mouth in preparation for the bridle though.
As a bit of fun I introduced my giant blue horse ball. Ariat found it quite fun to play with. By the end of our first session with the ball I was rolling it under him, over and down his back and bouncing it while leading him, which he wasn’t fussed about.