Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Tamara Janus and VBA Nugget: Week Two
Nugget has settled in well after the first week & meets me eagerly at the gate to be caught or for his feeds. He is still unsure about Copra or Pellets but happily chows down on Chaff mixed with Tuffrock C+ and Tuffrock GI. He has 24/7 access to lovely Rhodes grass round bales so it is nice that even when he already has food he still approaches me.
This week feels like it has gone so fast, Nugget met quite a few different people as I had clients & friends visit during the week. Everyone loved his temperament & commented on how much his name Nugget truly suits his shape and size.
We worked on getting softness through the body on the ground through exercises isolating the front & hind legs. Then moved onto yielding to what will be leg pressure using the training stick. Nugget is a quick learner & if he is ever confused just shakes his head and tries again.
The next day Nugget was introduced to a lunge roller, this first feel of girth pressure is an important one to make a good experience. In true Nugget form though he took to this new piece of tack like a gentleman. On this day, I was able to have a feel in his mouth & he has quite sharp teeth which may be causing him discomfort even in the halter. So, whilst I would normally progress onto bridling & long reining this will have to wait until I can get the vet out to complete a full dental.
And on the final day of this week we progressed to a full saddle and mounting prep. Nugget was a little unsure about the saddle being a larger piece of equipment but after giving it a thorough sniff (and a little chew) he was content to be girthed up. After a quick lunge around I was able to mount using the stirrup and have a short ride around. Today we progressed to trotting under saddle which is super comfy at either sitting or rising trot. Nugget is not the most energetic horse in the world, so I think to get him moving freely enough to canter we will start riding out shortly.
This week we also had a visit from our newest Sponsor Guy Packard from Northside Barefoot Trimming. He has generously offered to maintain Nugget’s feet for the duration of the Challenge. So, whilst Nugget has had quite a few visitors they have been predominantly female & even though I can pick out his feet each day he was unsure about a new person handling them at first. Guy was very patient and by the end of it Nugget stood wonderfully for his first barefoot trim.
All these first experiences for any horse are so important, you are imprinting them with what to expect & how they react in the future. I believe in being firm but fair and above all be kind & remember they are an animal with feelings.
Next week Nugget will move to his new paddock, get a dental & hopefully start riding out 😊