Australian Brumby Challenge ©
We didn’t do a lot early in the week as Sunday was a big day for him and he needed some time to process and the down time was good for him! I turned him out in a paddock with Rosey and he enjoyed the extra space.
In the middle of the week, we saw some great progress, with him accepting my approach and touch at liberty in the paddock after just a short session in the round yard.
On Saturday the weather was beautiful and I was able to spend the most of the day with Solo. While he was accepting of me approaching him, getting a lead rope on him was a different story, so I roped him again to give me more control and was then able to attach the lead rope without fuss.
When I started to ask him to move forward with pressure on the rope, he didn’t understand, but by using cues he had learnt at liberty, I was able to show him what I was asking, and it didn’t take long till we were back out in his paddock with him leading softly and calmly.
We then worked on lateral flexion on the near side, and him accepting me just being on his off side which has been a no go zone till now. I was able to approach and touch him with a ‘carrot stick’ but not touch him with me hand.
On Sunday we did more of the same, but outside of his paddock this time, going through gate ways, near cars, trailers, guys across the road yelling on their work site, a bobcat moving stone, through and under the patio and over multiple different surfaces. He was hesitant the first time we went between the car and the horse float, and when we first came to the concrete but took everything in his stride.
Something changed in him during our exploration, and his curiosity and personality started to really shine through for the first time. He started confidently moving into my personal space, sniffing me and things I was holding without immediately snorting and backing away and when I started doing some desensitising with a saddle blanket, he ended up chewing on it.
As was the goal for the week, by the end of the day, I was able to touch him all over from both sides, and we started working on having him lift his front legs.
While he is much more confident, he is still on the defensive side so this coming week I will work on desensitising him to having different things move around, over and under him and will continue to take him though different spaces, progressively smaller, in preparation for float training. By the end of the week I aim to have him tying up, have a surcingle on him, and loading onto the float so we can start seeing new places!