I just have to say Precious is honestly the sweetest little mare I have ever met.
Today (which is Friday) when I went out to work on her she was right down the paddock and hadn’t seen that I had rocked up so when I called her, she looked up at me gave a little whinny and trotted up to me. Gosh she is just way to sweet. Anyway, I’ll get into the weekly update.
Saturday Precious had the day off so Sunday was the start of the week. I wanted to test out our ponying skills and introduce Precious to big wide world of trail riding. So, on Esther I got and off we went. Precious was so amazing just a couple hundred meters into the ride we had a motorbike fly past us without even stopping. I was freaking out thinking she would maybe try run off or pull me off but nope, she looked at it and then just kept walking. She looked back at us like are you guys coming?? The rest of the ride went pretty much the same, she had more motorbikes ride past and even a car with a very noisy trailer on the back. It wasn’t till we came across some people that she needed a moment to compose herself and borrow some confidence off Esther and then she was right to walk past them. At the end of the ride we realized a couple horses were going to get out so I had to pass Precious off to my mum to lead whilst I cantered off to catch them and put the wild horses (they weren’t wild at all just enjoying the grass) back into there paddocks. Precious didn’t mind at all and when we got back, she was super calm walking beside my mum. This was the very first time she has been led by a person other than me.
Monday Precious got the day off, she has actually had a very laid back almost break kind of week. I have been wanting to get her back muscles right and her feeling more comfortable before I revisited the riding part of her education so all this week, I have been out with her every day doing daily stretches and using my equissage machine to help her problems. Today when I went to do her daily massages and stretches, she had no tension in her back at all and the base of her neck is feeling so much softer. I definitely think this next week when I go back to revisit the mounting, she is going to feel much more comfortable so will then be much happier for me to sit on her. Well that’s the hope anyway. Next week we will see how my theory has worked out and if the body work, I have been doing has paid off.
I am so proud of how far this little girl has come and I’m super excited to continue working and see where we end up next week. I would like to say a huge thank you to McDowells Herbal for sending out the training package for Precious. It arrived earlier in the week so am excited to see how the products help her with her health from the inside out.
You can follow our journey on Facebook @ Briars Brumbies and on Instagram @Briars_Horses and you can also watch our video weekly updates on YouTube at Briars Brumbies. Here is a link to our Week 5 YouTube video https://youtu.be/G4rjiwDgFx8
Have a wonderful week.
Briar and VBA Precious xx
Saturday was a big day for Precious as I introduced the float. Pick up day saw Precious take a good 40 minutes to become brave enough to load up but because of the gentle approach of the VBA team and how they load, really set Precious up for success. It took all of 10mins to introduce the float and for her to load up. By the end of the session she was comfortable to load up and be locked in completely. I was very proud of the way she handled this.
Sunday and Monday were days off for Precious which she enjoyed chilling out with her paddock buddies. She is so funny, her personality is really shining through now and every time I walk up towards her paddock, she sees me and waits for me at the gate then will follow me as I walk past kind of like asking if we are going to do something.
Tuesday and Wednesday, I wanted to work on her back issues to see if I could release some of the tension in her muscles, so all I did was catch, unrug and give her a massage. She quite enjoyed the massage and I can already feel the tension leaving. I’m trying to work on more people interacting with her so I can have a chiro out to help release more tension.
Thursday, I decided to do something a little different. An important part of my training is getting them out and about and exploring the bush as soon as I can and having another horse with them can really help grow confidence especially when we come across cars and motorbikes. So, Thursday I did some work with ponying Precious of Esther. Precious was a little worried at the start of me being on another horse but quickly realized how calm Esther was and her confidence quickly grew. We managed to move out of the round yard and into the arena and we even worked it up to trotting. I’m planning to be able to take her out for her first trail ride over the weekend.
Overall, I’m super proud of Precious’s progress this week. Her muscle issues have halted riding preparation for the moment but as her confidence is growing quickly with other people, I’m hoping to have her happy and sound again very soon so we can continue to work on riding.
You can follow our journey on Facebook @ Briars Brumbies and on Instagram @Briars_Horses and you can also watch our video weekly updates on YouTube at Briars Brumbies. Here is a link to our Week 4 YouTube video https://youtu.be/Aw3WVyf1V9s
Have a wonderful week.
Briar and VBA Precious xx
Precious had the weekend and Monday off which was a nice little break for her and one that I think she really enjoyed. Tuesday came around and we started off reintroducing myself as the 4 days off had left her a little weary of me again. I did really like however that even though she was unsure of me it only took her a few minutes to remember what we do and how we work and before long she was haltered and back to her cool calm self. She was a little worried at the start of the session but as we went on and worked on that confidence building she really settled and became confident so I was very happy to introduce my bareback pad. Like everything I do with Precious its about growing her confidence in me and the objects around her and after she checked it out and got used to the feel it was done up nice and tight and she didn’t seem to have a care in the world. We did a little ground work session and then left her there for the day.
Wednesday when I went to catch her she was waiting for me at the gate ready to work and learn. I find now that she is super into her food rewards and really enjoys figuring out the new things we introduce. I saddled her up again with the bareback pad and again and she did not have a care in the world. I continued on introducing target training and more importantly targeting the mounting block. This is super helpful as when targeting the mounting block and starting to mount her if at any time she feels uncomfortable she can let me know by moving off. She did this a few times at the start so I would just take it back a few steps get her comfortable then ask her again and all of the times we would re approach she would be ready to learn.
Thursday again when I was approaching her paddock she was waiting for me at the gate to be caught. I love this as its really showing me that I’m not overwhelming her and that she somewhat enjoys our learning together. We did some more target training and this time added in me actually mounting her. She let me know a few times that she needed a little more confidence, which was really cool. So we just went back a few steps and then worked our way back to where we were and each time she showed me she was much more confident and ready for the next thing. By the end of the session she would let me jump up onto her back and lay across her. I could even bring my legs down either side of her and rub her with them but when I went to sit up and she felt my bottom press against her back she jumped forward so I quickly dismounted as she was clearly telling me she wasn’t ready for that. Later as I was rubbing my hands along her back I could feel her tense muscles this has been a thing I have been working on as she seems a little sore and tight in her back. I have been helping this with massages whenever I can with liniment to really try and loosen her up. I need to work on her people skills more so I can have someone out to help her with her muscle issues. I don’t believe she is sore enough to not continue on with what I am doing I just have to be mindful that she may just get a little tenser when new movements are felt. We finished that session off with a super calm and confident mounting and dismounting.
Friday I decided that because her back muscles are a little tense that until they are feeling less tight when I do mounting training I will do it with the bareback pad on as it evenly distributes my body weight throughout her back. Precious let me know that that was the right decision as when I went to mount her she was a lot more relaxed and she even let me sit completely up on her. I love how open she is to telling me what she likes and what she needs a little more help with and Friday she was just really amazing and I was super proud of her effort. I have also started to introduce my neck rope and we are still refining cues so that when it comes to riding training the cues I use on the ground can be a little easier for her to understand under saddle. I’m also introducing her to the neck rope as I hopefully plan to ride her tackles at some stage. At the end of the session I also had my Dad do some more approaching work with her. She is super confident with me so now its time to really build her confidence with all people. Brumbies are funny as once they get to know someone and trust that person they will give you everything but early on when introducing new people it can be such a scary thing for these wild souls.
Overall I was so proud of her try this week and hopefully we will start introducing float loading in the coming week. And we will keep chipping away at the riding part by really building on her confidence.
You can follow our journey on Facebook @ Briars Brumbies and on Instagram @Briars_Horses and you can also watch our video weekly updates on YouTube at Briars Brumbies. Here is a link to our Week 3 YouTube video https://youtu.be/GAtayaZp4Dg
Have a wonderful week.
Briar and VBA Precious xx
Saturday when I went in to catch Precious in her small yard she meet me at the gate and without a fuss in the world let me catch and halter her. This was the first day she really looked for me to be caught. So I decided after I had finished working with her she would be able to live out in the arena paddock. When I worked her on Saturday we just did some more revision groundwork really trying to solidify what she knows to really start preparing her for her first ride. She was excellent and let me pick up both front feet and also started working on getting the back feet picked up.
After the session I let her go in the arena paddock where we just set up a round yard so if I needed to I would be able to move her up into it to just remind her of or catching practice. I also moved another horse in with her as I believe herd company is so so important for not only wild horses but all horses. It was super cool to see because the horse I use to help with my more wild Brumbies is my very first challenge Brumby VBA Esther. Esther is super friendly with me so she really helps the more wild horses feel more comfortable around me and I think she is a really great leader for the younger Brumbies.
Sunday I didn’t get a chance to work with precious so it was a well-earned day off.
Monday was very similar but when I went out to feed I thought I would see if I could pat Precious. She was a little uncomfortable about it all so I ended up moving her into my round yard where I could do exactly what we used to do in the small yard. She very quickly realized what I was asking of her and she worked through the problem and let me pat her relatively quickly. I then gave her, her feed and left her there for the day.
Tuesday I didn’t get to work with precious at all as I was out and about all day so at feed time I got a quick pat in and left it at that.
Wednesday was an awesome day. The work I had done with her on the Monday really prepared her for Tuesday and when I came up to the paddock Esther and Precious were both standing at the gate waiting for me. When I entered Precious approached me for a pat and let me halter her without a care in the world. Precious got brushed all over again and I found that when brushing her belly she had a bit of tension so we worked on that rewarding with treats when she would relax. She quickly figured out that it wasn’t an issue to really be worried about it and just a few moments later it was a non-issue. We progressed to introducing the saddlecloth that session and she took it so well that I even ended up introducing a rug. Rugs are cool things and I think they are great training tools as they touch the horse is all the different areas of the body and can really prepare them for wearing a saddle and a rider. By the end of the session she was confidently wearing a rug without a problem in the world.
Thursday we got one session in the afternoon in and Precious let me catch her easily and confidently even though it was the first time I was catching her with a rug on. A couple of times when trying to halter she moved off as the rustle of my hand on her rug startled her but she very quickly with the use of food rewards became confident about it. She let me unrug her without a problem and worked a bit more on our groundwork and refining my cues. I also introduced targeting the mounting block. When mounting I don’t want it to be a forced experience so getting her to target the mounting block can in the future be a really cool way for getting her to enjoy the experience.
Friday she had another day off as I also had to work. I am very proud of the positive changes this young girl keeps making over these weeks. Her personality keeps growing every day and I’m getting more and more moments of the confident horse she is growing into and like always I’m super excited to see what she learns in the weeks to come.
You can follow our journey on Facebook @ Briars Brumbies and on Instagram @Briars_Horses and you can also watch our video weekly updates on YouTube at Briars Brumbies. Here is a link to our Week 2 YouTube video https://www.facebook.com/1370945666360104/posts/3061812820606705/?vh=e&d=n
Have a wonderful week.
Briar and VBA Precious xx
VBA Precious has had a big week this week interacting with new people and objects. Our main focus for the week was to grow her confidence in me, and the domestic lifestyle.
Saturday started out with just a short session in the afternoon, as I had to work most of the day. My dad had meet Precious earlier in the week and my mum had wanted to be introduced so I went in and caught Precious. My mum was then able to walk up and pat her up neck and shoulder. Precious was a bit unsure to start off with but got more comfortable with her over a short time. I also realized I hadn’t actually really touched down her off side so we worked on that as well. Sometimes when faced wit new things Precious can shut down for a few moments before opening her mind to figuring out what is being asked of her and when I went to touch her on the off side she did just that. So instead of waiting for her to stand still like I normally would I had to wait for her to stand and take a big breath. When wild horses shut down they stand there and hold their breath and they wont process what is actually happening. Once Precious realized I wasn’t the predator she relaxed and even started to enjoy the neck rub I was giving her.
Sunday we took Precious out for a big explore of the back paddock and even tackled a few tire obstacles which she did not have a care in the world about. Precious really showed her curious side and would even pull away from me to go and investigate new objects in the paddock. After her exploration I let her relax and have some grass pick in the lane way whilst helping my dad set up some new electric fencing. Whilst grazing my brother rode his bike up behind her multiple times and Precious was so relaxed and confident with the situation that the first time he rode up she looked up at him then kept eating. As he rode back past her a few more times Precious just kept eating.
Monday Precious had the day off so I only entered her yard to feed her and clean her yard. She even came up to me for a quick sniff and a pat then went back to eating. Monday I realized that when I would put her hard feed in with her instead of just picking at it she would actually eat it all in one go like a domestic horse does. I thought this was a pretty cool sign that she was really starting to relax into the domestic life.
Tuesday I introduced some ground work exercises like swinging my stick and string up over her back and around her body and then started introducing lunging around me and moving away from pressure to do a proper hindquarter yield. She was a little apprehensive at first but as soon as she realized it was something to figure out she worked through it and became super soft.
Wednesday we covered the same things as Tuesday but moved it out of her yard and up to the arena where we have more space to start introducing trot circles. She was quiet lazy to start off with and I could also really start to see how unfit she really was. To get her to trot a full circle a bit more encouragement was needed but again once she worked out what was being asked of her she started to understand and tried a lot harder. I also introduced touching her legs, which she didn’t really mind at all. I also started jumping around her and getting her used to me doing some crazy movements as when I go to jump on her for the first time I’ll be touching her in many different weird and wonderful places and making a lot of funny noises. She took this really well and I was even able to jump up and down beside her and touch her whilst I was jumping which normally freaks them out.
Thursday we did some more ground work which was really cool because she had taken on what we did yesterday and today when I asked her to go out on the circle she was super light in the contact and went up to trot with just a suggestion of pressure and went back to walk through verbal cue. She also aced her hindquarter yield and she also learnt to pick up her front feet. I also revisited jumping around her and mounting from the block. She was so relaxed with me jumping up and down beside her that I was even able to jump up onto her back for a few seconds and slide off. I feel she handled it super well for the first time and even though I’m introducing the mounting I still want her to be more comfortable before I actually do start expecting to ride her.
Precious had Friday off as Thursday night I stood on a nail so we took the day off which she also really deserved. I feel that Precious’s confidence in me is really growing and she is becoming more and more comfortable with the daily routine of being a domestic horse. My goal for next week is to get her out and living in the paddock with another horse so that she can have more equine social interactions. I also plan to get my round yard set up again so I can really start introducing my liberty work.
You can follow our journey on Facebook @ Briars Brumbies and on Instagram @Briars_Horses and you can also watch our video weekly updates on YouTube at Briars Brumbies. Here is a link to our Week 1 YouTube video https://youtu.be/NMeteDWYBk0
Have a wonderful week.
Briar and VBA Precious xx
Wow what a week. I picked up VBA Precious on Sunday mid-morning and the horse I first meet seemed like a quiet smart thinking little mare who stood in the yard observing everything going on around her whilst one of her herd mates in the yard next to her was constantly pacing and a little stressed. Loading precious took 40mins but what I learnt from watching her learn to load was that she has a tough mind but when asked to do something she never became mean or aggressive she just worked through a few behaviors like, first putting her head in the trailer then pawing at the trailer to get the pressure applied to stop. I found this super interesting and it gave me a real insight in to how she thinks and how quick at learning she is. I was very happy with the young mare I picked up.
She travelled like a dream home and even unloaded into my yard like she owned the place, slow and steady. As soon as she was in the yard, she found the water and had a drink then found the hay and immediately started eating, which showed me she wasn’t all that stressed at all. Precious tried the hard feed I put in her yard the same day and relaxed in for the night really well.
Training started Monday and first 5 mins in she was reaching out sniffing my hand and by the end of the day with the approach and retreat method was able to rub my stick along her wither and back. She wasn’t quite comfortable with me reaching all the way out to touch her but all she would do was walk or trot off, not once would she bolt off or try and kick out at me. So, we left it there for the day and see how much she would remember by tomorrow and go from there.
Day two and Precious started out exactly how I had left her off sniffing my hand and letting me get in close to rub my stick along her back and withers. I made it a point that every time I walked past her yard I would go in and rub my stick along her back and withers and each time get in closer to rub my hand on her. As soon as she would let me touch her on the back and stop walking, I would take the pressure away and leave her yard. By the end of the day I was able to confidently walk up to her and pat along her back and up her neck
Day three started where we left off touching along her wither and up her neck so I thought I would introduce the halter. I didn’t expect to be able to get it on her but she did so well that by the middle of the day I had it on her and done up. She had a few little moments of uncertainty when pressure was first applied to the halter but very very quickly, she learnt to give to the pressure and follow me. By the time the last session came around she was doing so well in the yard that I thought we would give the paddock a go and see how good her leading was. She was EXCELLENT. She was so excited to be out of her yard and eating grass whilst on the lead. Eating grass whilst on the lead is normally a thing that takes time, well more than a day of leading work, but it goes to show how brave and inquisitive this young girl is.
Day four I had to work so only got a small session in, in the arvo so I went into her pen where she let me halter her in about 5mins and then we went out exploring again which she thoroughly enjoys.
Day 5 / Friday I had to work again so I had a few minutes after work to go out to her yard and get her introduced to the brushes. This is the first time she has really thoroughly enjoyed a scratch she even had her lips doing the funny jiggle.
Overall, I am so pleased with the young girl I have been paired with and look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.
You can follow our journey on Facebook @ Briars Brumbies and on Instagram @Briars_Horses and you can also watch our video weekly updates on YouTube at Briars Brumbies. Here is a link to our very first YouTube video https://youtu.be/Rh6mHQ-Jf2Y
Have a wonderful week.
Briar and VBA Precious xx