Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This week I’ve been teaching Ariat to change his pace, walking and trotting faster than coming back to a slower pace. He responded extremely well to this and was able to come back to a relaxed walk and trot after being asked for an extended walk and trot. This work of moving him up faster and slower when being lunged is working up towards attempting a canter which I hope to start doing throughout the next week.
Last week I spoke about Ariat’s fear of men and how we’d been slowly making progress towards ridding him of this fear. I’ve continued to work on this by having men around while working him, I’ve seen an incredible change in his attitude around men. We have gotten to the point where I can now ride Ariat while there are men walking around and talking without him freaking out and thinking the only solution is to flee away from them. Of course there is still improvements that can be made but considering we’ve only been working on this for 2 weeks I’m extremely happy with his progress.
To change our sessions up this week my Mum started catching and doing the basic training activities that I’ve been teaching Ariat since the start of the challenge. At first he was confused as to why someone else was working him and not me, even though he was obviously confused he still did everything that was asked of him without putting a foot wrong. It was a great way to start teaching him that other people can work with him and it won’t hurt him or do any harm.
Over previous weeks I’ve been meaning to begin rug training with him and this week that’s exactly what we did. When I first introduced the rug to Ariat he spent the whole session snorting and running away from the rug, now he is happy for me to rub it all over his body and hang it over his neck. I believe I could’ve had the rug on by the end of this week but didn’t want to push him too hard in regards to the rug as bad habits can quickly be learnt.
This week I finished building what I call a tilting bridge, and of course I couldn’t wait to see whether it would work or not, which it did. I couldn’t wait to introduce Ariat to the tilting bridge which I did and of course like with every other obstacle I’ve showed Ariat he didn’t show any sign of stress, he walked up and over the bridge and when it tilted he didn’t care at all just kept walking.
We are still working with the saddle as well and I’ve been lifting myself up on the side of the saddle with my foot in the stirrup, swinging my legs around beside him and jumping up and down beside the saddle. He’s become much more relaxed with my good saddle on now than in previous weeks.