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Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Vicki and Zali - Week 14

A day in the life of Zali is the same as always, essentially doing nothing. Each day she is caught and swapped between her stable and paddock, has rugs changed and is fed. Then when I’m teaching on the arena she has become something of a mascot and stands on the lead while I teach, watching everything with interest. In-between jumping rounds we often navigate over different obstacles or lunge a few circles, but these are all things she is a pro at, since she has now been doing much of the same stuff for the past 10 weeks.

Zali is so quiet that she has long been ready for more and if she was sound the progress she would be making under saddle would be rapid due to the trust we have developed. Unfortunately she’s just not capable of more and so we continue to treat her body, both with massage, chiropractic work and more recently trying acupuncture. I remain confident that she will improve although am now unsure when, if ever, she will be ridden and don’t think a competition like Equitana is right for her. I am having to consider what is in the best welfare for her and while she would be fine to do the basic elements of a halter class, I would hate to see her sold through the auction process as her teeth require constant maintenance, as does her body. I am thinking it might be better to withdraw and keep her here in New Zealand where she can get the time and care needed to set her up for a better future.


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