Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This week I have worked as hard as I can to instill more confidence in Ember. She has still been lacking confidence in everything we do and is very defensive when she is confused. I have been teaching her to lay down which for some horses can be stressful (especially if done the wrong way). It was a little stressful for her initially, her main reaction when things get confusing is to rear and set back. I had the help of a very knowledgable horseman Mark Kelderman and together we worked on laying Ember down quietly. Once she was on the ground I began to love and pat her all over and just generally let her know life wasn't over and it was ok. Sounds a bit corny I know but after repeating this throughout the week it's like I'm working with a different horse now. Her eyes are softer, she doesn't react in such a terrified manner and her ridden work has changed dramatically. We were dealing with some issues under saddle of tension just after being mounted. This all seems to have melted away and she is becoming more affectionate and trusting towards me and anyone who handles her. I had my boss's daughter who is 8 work her in the round yard for me, even laying her down on her own! She was so attentive and respectful of her little handler, I was more than impressed.
Our ridden work has been focusing on me doing less with my hands therefore allowing her to be ridden more through my legs which she is progressing well with. I plan to do a reining pattern with her at Equitana so therefore I need to be able to ride her in a way that is willingly guided, this means not plough reined (pulling her here there and everywhere with the reins).