Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This week I got the all clear to up my work load and to ride as much as my pain limits will allow!!
So on Thursday, with the wind blowing a gale, I caught Solo and brought him out of the paddock for the first time in a while! To start with he was tense but didn’t try to leave and followed calmly. For a few minutes he didn’t know what to focus on, the wind, Flicka who we had left in the paddock, the knee high grass which was soooo close, or me, so we did a few minutes of groundwork just sending him out around me to get him focusing back on me and then he got a good groom before being turned out into a new paddock for some fresh pick for the next few days.
On Friday and Saturday I did a little handling in the paddock as he was again tense so I worked on getting him to relax with me around before calling it quits both days.
Sunday was a bigger day for the both of us. To start with I caught Solo and had him send off around me a few times in the middle of the paddock. I was really impressed with how responsive he was and how quickly he softened. I then tied him up for the first time in a long while so he could be in the middle of the action while I worked with one of my horses and while my fiancé was banging around using tools etc in the shed. I used the pull back collar as it had been so long since he had been tied but it wasn’t really necessary and he stood like a pro just watching what was going on around him.
I was using clippers on my other horse and realised I hadn’t exposed Solo to them yet so let him sniff them when they were turned off, then turned them on and let him have a good look and sniff. He wasn’t really concerned at all and had a couple of sniffs but didn’t get uptight or try to move away. (video of the experience on my Facebook page)
Sunday was also Solo's first time seeing a tarp. He was hesitant to start with, had a chew and paw to suss out what it was, and in no time at all was fine going over it short side to start with, then long side, then stopping on it, backing over it and trotting over it.
I was worried that we'd lost a lot of the progress we made in the first couple of months of the challenge but I've spent the last couple of days going over things from the start and most of it has stuck. He's been tense to start with the last few days but settled relatively quickly, and when I got up onto the fence next to him he wasn't comfortable so I will go back to working on that to get him comfortable with me being above him again before getting back on him.
Obviously no where near where the other trainers are up to but I’m happy that so much of what we did initially did stick! Smart little dude Solo!