Australian Brumby Challenge ©
“Are you riding yet?” - This has been the question of the week.
And the answer? No, I'm not.
Has the fact that I'm not riding yet played in my mind? Yep, more than I care to admit. Have there been times that I've thought 'stuff it just jump on, he'll be right'? Sure have. Am I glad that I've waited? Yes.
I probably could have got on by now, but I probably would have been thrown off, either intentionally if he turned to fight mode or by him turning to flight mode.
So, for seven weeks I have been working with Solo, and it has been a fine line I've been walking to try and balance his up and down, without him shutting down, and without him being hyper sensitive and spooky.
Throughout this seven weeks, even when I have brought him back down, there has still been an under lying tension he just couldn't let go of. So for the last seven weeks, I have kept chipping away and chipping away.
Yesterday, I got him the most balanced between up and down he's been so far. But still, when I put him away, there was that under lying tension. A tightening in his lips, nostrils and eyes.
Today, as I write this, I am sitting on the ground a meter from him, he is ground tied, and so relaxed his bottom lip is drooping.
To some of you, this might not seem like a milestone, but for me, it's one of the biggest so far.
Now that he knows how to really relax when I'm around, balancing him out will be a lot easier, and introducing new things will be easier for him to process.
Some of the other achievements for this week have been establishing the canter cue at liberty; he has accepted a couple of new people in his personal space, one with next to no reaction, the other caused a bit more of a reaction but after a couple of minutes he settled down; he ground ties; and he has now been exposed to kids and multiple dogs running around like mad which intrigued him but didn’t spook him too much. Oh and his condition is coming along beautifully since he has started eating hard feed!
This coming week I will continue to work on balancing him out and if that continues to progress well then back him. I will introduce as many obstacles as I can get my hands on and will be taking him to the beach on Saturday and out bush on Sunday.