Week 5 & 6 VBA Rose
Week 5 was consumed by work and rain but got a little bit of sessions in she was coming over, being curious enough to touch me and having true let downs consistently. Each day with any horse, I see where they are at and how much they have retained from last time, if they are remembering were we finished and we can build on, they have been actively learning, if I have to start again, usually means the horse was to tense to learn last time. You see it like the first day on a new job, when we are anxious we go through the motions, may even do everything right, but the next day we realise we can’t recall the detail of all the stuff we did or people we met the first day. That’s all due to the stress hormones our body produces to protect us, we were functioning in a state of flight, fight or freeze. Our survival instincts. Then the next day people need to show us the same tasks again. Whatever we are trying to learn only sets solid when we can relax enough to process what we are learning. Horses are the same. 3yrs ago I use to call that type of horse a “50 first dates horse” after the movie, because I didn't know the depths of emotions the horse was going through. I just knew I had to start at the start every day, gaining their trust, reintroducing myself, running through yesterday session again. Then I met a fair few traumatised horses and one special brumby who were stuck at the not letting their guard down to trust ppl each day. They taught me the importance of reading a true let down, not just a lick and chew, cause high instinct horses can do that and not be relaxed, it can just mean they learned a new way how to survive. The wild ones taught me the importance of little bits often to much they can be overwhelmed quick,(the higher the fear the shorter the time frame) and go into shutdown, where it looks like you are getting it all done and tomorrow you come out and they remember nothing. Very frustrating for us with a trainer cap on a time line. But kinda sad when looking at it with empathy and understanding, putting your self in her shoes of how they feel, its survival for them. No one wants to learn in a state of anxiety or in fear.
Bit by bit getting this mare to become relaxed, calm and confident means a lot, as Rose is no different to the above mentioned horses, it is a balancing act, of helping her be brave, making sure she is present and knowing when she has learned enough for the session.
Week 6 I had Rose coming up within about 5mins of me being in the pen, consistently, she has been trusting me enough to rub her head and her neck, and we have started the learning to lead process! Big moves forward for her. Thursday, I started a new shift, so we are seeing each other in the dark. Under lights is a whole different concept, for Rose not one she can relax with yet.
Today we have the start of a rain even that’ set to last over the weekend , so will be interesting to see how much Rose has remembered after the break.
The photo above is my favourite!!
This is the first week I have had good time with Rose and progress was made but all at Rose's pace.
There are things we take for granted with domestic horses that Brumbies make you aware in their world is life or death..
We lit a fire we lit down the paddock sent them looking to get out, loud noises, cats, tractors with hay bales clanging of panels or gates, ppl in the yard approaching to touch, wheel barrows, ect. Are all life threatening.
This week in connection was the first time Rose made contact to investigate on her own drop into true relaxation and yawn and snooze. Very important part as I need to get this mare learning whilst in her parasympathic nervous system. As she has had digestion issues with runny poos, looking quite uncomfortable in her hind, due to being stuck on alert the cortisol has caused muscles underdevelopment. Horses like this with high instinct are prone to ulcers and has started treatment. Her poos have firmed up and mad a dramatic difference.
This week has been quite uneventful with 3 days of rain and 5 days at work. Only seeing her in the dark, feeding, watering and mucking out getting done around Rose, she enjoyed some time hanging in paddock and settling in.
Being that it is only her second week here, getting to know me, I haven’t had expectations on her to get haltered. In the 2 days we had making a connection was important. Slow and steady is the only way as Rose is a flighty horse and knows herself. She is confident in her abilities, instinct filled and is ok to stand alone, so getting her curious enough to connected is a slow process. After all she does not know she is in a competition and it would be unfair to push beyond her personal space boundaries just because of a time limit that doesn’t exist in the wild.
There is one thing that stood out to me that I have never had before with mare that is not quite ready to be touched, she has become comfortable enough to allow me to watch out for her when she lays down and rests, doing this while I’m in her pen with her now. Exciting progress in relaxation.
Some of the best friendships are forged over time. This definitely will be one of those.
Follow her updates on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/equality.equine.business/
Due to COVID restrictions we couldn’t travel down on pick up last weekend, so Rose arrived 11:11pm with Petersons transport company on Saturday the 4th. Rose and My sons Brumby unloaded well, and tucked into their hay net. On Sunday, I could have my first look at her in the day light, what a beautiful mare. She is quite flighty as to be expected coming out of wild and in new surroundings. I just fed and watered and observed from outside the pen it was obvious she needed settling in time. Sunday was a day of rest.
Monday, we did first connection session, she was alert and on edge if I was in the pen and able to let down and relax more if I gave her more space. So, it started outside the pen we did little bits, and continued to fence and hang around her area so she could just get used to me being round. She was introduced to a bit of chaff with salt to keep her water intake up...
Tuesday, Rose seemed like she had become more settled in. This connection session she was relaxed with me in the pen and towards the end she became brave enough to eat her meal beside me.
Wednesday, she was brave enough to hang, and reach out to sniff and no longer gets tense when I enter the pen and muck out ect.
Thursday, Friday I worked so days to settle in more for Rose
Whilst doesn’t seem like much, the way we start our relationship will determine what level of trust she has with me when we ride. I tend to think of getting to know a new horse, is the same as meeting a new person. Sometimes it takes a bit of time before you trust each other, and friendship can’t be hurried or forced.
Looking forward to next week this mare has a sweet nature I want to learn more about.
Follow along and see videos of Rose on
Due to the COVID restrictions Emma's Brumby VBA Rose needed to make the journey to Emma via horse transport.
VBA Rose was loaded on Saturday along with our other Brumbies that were headed off to warmer weather in NSW and Qld.
Whenever we need to transport unhandled Brumbies, we always work with the team at M&J Peterson Horse Handling and Breaking Horse Transport.
These guys are calm, empathetic and they are just wonderful with our wild ones!
Thankyou so much to Matt and Logan who headed off on the long trip up to Upper Caboolture Via NSW with our precious cargo!
We are looking forward to Emma's updates from next week.