Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Due to last week being so full on for Ariat and I in getting him prepared for his first ride I decided to start this week off with a little bit of fun, by creating an obstacle course. The course consisted of a tarp, bending poles, a big blue ball, trotting poles, barrels and the bridge/ platform. At first due to the wind catching the tarp and making it rustle it did take him a bit to adjust, but once he’d had a look he was fine, I had him walking over the tarp in all directions, bending through the bending poles like a pro and bouncing the ball all around him and over him. The obstacle course was completed both ways to ensure he was comfortable approaching the obstacles in a different direction and order which he did amazingly.
Throughout the week it was hard to get the opportunity to be able to ride Ariat due to the crazy weather we experienced. Fortunately I was able to ride him twice, working on our lateral flexion, two-rein stop, backing up and using leg aids to ask him to walk forward. Our first attempt at backing he showed immense confusion and wasn’t sure what I was asking but with a little practice and patience he is now backing to the slightest pressure of the reins. He’s also starting to understand my leg aids and is learning to walk out in a smooth pace without slowing down when my leg pressure stops.
Two training aspects which we did this week was float loading and trimming and rasping his hooves, both activities he did without a worry, he went in the float perfectly. He also stood still while I trimmed and rasped his feet. I couldn’t have been happier with how this went.
A major matter that came to my attention this week is Ariat’s strong fear of men, I’ve noticed that whenever a man approaches him his natural instinct to flee overrides all other training that I’ve been doing with him. So to challenge him I’ve had my dad and a few mates of mine come and watch me work him and just move around to try and teach him that men aren’t as bad as he seems to think. I’ve been really happy with the improvement he’s shown, he’s started to relax when a man is around, he’s still cautious of them but listens to what I’m asking of him and thinks it through instead of reacting immediately by fleeing. We still have a long way to go before he’s completely comfortable but it’s a great start for him.
On a negative note Ariat and I did have a big argument in regards to food which he has always showed dominance about, we’ve been working on this but about mid-week he decided to challenge me for his food I was surprised but with a little bit of hard love I had him back to respecting me and my space around food.