Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This week was a fairly quiet week for Solo as I was unwell so he was left to relax for most of the week.
On Monday I didn’t work directly with him, although rode Flicka around his paddock to get him used to the idea of me being on a horse. I had done lots of climbing over his fences and standing on things next to him so he was used to me being higher than him but he was still concerned to start with, although seemed to be more worried if Flicka was alright, than spooky and was nickering to her almost like a mare does to a foal. That said, within just a few minutes he approached to have a good sniff of Flicka and myself and once he had worked out we were ok he relaxed and started to follow us around.
I didn’t do anything with him till the end of the week with Saturday being Solo’s first visit to the beach!
We met Amy with VBA Bright and Sarah with VBA Pippin at Coronet Bay in South Gippsland and it really was a fantastic day. It was great to catch up with them and our Brumbies handled the experience like pros!
Solo loaded straight onto the float and travelled like a dream. When we got to the beach he took everything in stride, including meeting lots of new people! He was the most hesitant to approach the water to start with but the first into the water and loved it. He had a good splash around and the waves didn’t faze him in the slightest. Neither did the strangers on a motor bike, dogs on walks, or the girls riding their Brumbies around him.
My parents and aunty came to meet him and Solo took meeting them so well, particularly my dad. Maybe we have similar mannerisms which Solo found familiar or maybe it was something else, but he was able to approach, stop, approach again and pat Solo without Solo showing any wariness at all!
Seeing how comfortable Solo was with my dad and how calm he was, I had dad dink me up onto Solo’s back. The first mount didn’t go quite as planned, but Solo was a superstar and within minutes I was up on his back and we were being lead around at a walk. Being lead meant I could simply sit and let Solo get acclimatised to my weight on his back without having to direct him as well and he was moving freely soon after I hopped on!
I’m so proud of how far Solo has come in a short time and while we are still working through his tension and groundwork, having my first sit was a huge milestone for both of us!!
Towards the end of the day, Amy and I did a Brumby swap, and I had a play with Bright while Amy spent some time with Solo. Amy is a qualified equine dentist and aged Solo for me at 4.5 years old! He still has at least one baby upper incisor and I will have his teeth done in the near future before I introduce a bit into the mix to ensure the experience is as comfortable as possible with no negative feelings of pain.
Since he started eating hard feed, he has started gaining some decent condition and now that he is a little stronger over the back I will introduce the saddle. This coming weekend I am taking Solo for our first lesson under an instructor, and will he have his feet trimmed for the first time as well.