Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Tamara Janus and VBA Nugget: Week Twenty

This is the last update for VBA Nugget’s part of his journey to Equitana & I as much as I am excited I am also a little sad. Through this challenge I believe Nugget has taught me an immense amount as a trainer & I will be sad to see him go at the end of the auction. He has shown me that brumbies are a stoic breed that you must work with & adapt to their learning style.

Now for the happy proud part…. Thinking back to day 1 where I had no idea who this scruffy little brum from the bush was. He was taken totally out of his comfort zone for a 20 hour journey to QLD. There I was surprised how much he settled with a small herd of three heifers in a yard, sleeping a lot in the first day & even laying down. Now this may seem like nothing to some, but I have horses arrive for training who take a solid week to trust their surroundings enough to lay down while sleeping (some even more).

Once Nugget had been handled I was surprised again at how much he accepted mounting & taking my weight in the first week. From there I thought it was onwards and upwards… but like any roadtrip there were a few potholes & even a few wrong turns. He was definitely more woah than go pony & getting forward was a challenge. We quickly went out of the roundyard and on trails & to the beach where he was a lot happier to move out. He is a very open horse & I feel like you can read him like a book.

So from here we adapted his training to involve lots of outings to keep him happy & give him variety. He attended Local Shows, Team Penning, Pony Club, Working Equitation, Undercover arenas, Pub Rides & heaps more. This little brumby from Kosciusko has certainly been on an adventure or two during his time here. He has never been the type of horse to lunge or work down before riding, its just saddle up and off you go.

Once Nugget had a few miles under his belt we started thinking more about Equitana & what we wanted to showcase as his strengths. During this time Nugget worked so hard & has changed and shown how much he can learn. To say I am proud of Nugget is an understatement.

So what have we been up to in this last week? I feel like I have barely had time to sit down… we have been riding but mostly preparing for the big trip back to VIC. We only just got our float completed on Wednesday & my car has been getting work done until then too! Talk about taking it to the wire lol I still have tonnes to make for our outfits & packing for the trip to do. We leave on Sunday & will be looking forward to arriving at Equitana on Wednesday. Nugget also had a pedicure from the lovely Guy at Northside Barefoot Trimming on Thursday, so his hooves are in perfect condition ready for his new owner after Equitana.

I also wanted to share some honesty about myself as a trainer during this competition. I have had many moments sitting in the arena wondering what on earth I had signed myself up for, if I was good enough, if I would get laughed off the stage come Equitana. I am a strong believer in focusing on the moment you are in & not worrying about the future and making yourself anxious. There is a quote from Eckhart Tohle “If you want to be sad, live in the past. if you want to be anxious, live in the future but if you want to be happy, live in the now”. But with a competition like this it is hard not to question yourself as a trainer & doubt your abilities. There are many people that helped me through these times & were there for me and I would like to thank them all, without you guys I wouldn’t have made it all this way 😊

I am looking forward to providing updates along our journey to VIC & during our time at Equitana on my page “TJ Equine”.

Don’t forget Nugget is up for Auction at the end of Equitana & the best way to avoid disappointment is to register for your pre-approval today by going to the Auction information page 😊

I’d also like to thank my wonderful sponsors during this challenge – Tuffrock Australia, Northside Barefoot Trimming, The Barefoot Blacksmith, Triple C Saddlery & Café, Kaz’s Flags & Tailbags

Weekly Training Updates


Follow Tamara and VBA Nugget on their journey !


Week 1     Week 2     Week 3     Week 4     Week 5     Week 6     week 7

week 8     WEEK 9    week 10     week 11     week 12     week 13    

week 14    week 15     week 16      week 17     week 18     week 19     

week 20