Hello, and welcome back to the blog! Today I thought I would share an update on my youngster Bryni to detail where we are at and what I have learned from her so far.
I bought my Welsh Section D filly on the 21st August this year, so I have had her for almost 3 months now. She has definitely changed in that time and I have learned a lot about her. It’s been different owning a mare, and a young, Welsh mare at that. She is sweet but also quite the challenge. At the moment, she is standing around 14hh and she has not long turned 2 (11th September).
So, what is Bryni like?
Very socially confident
Bryni is super confident, and this is not just with me, but with much older horses. I think she has learned from her previous home that being bossy is the right way to be as she was in a field with a young weanling and an older, very grumpy mare.
Bryni displays this with me by being a little pushy, walking into me, and on occasion she has even come at me with pinned ears. She always wants to be in my space and would almost try to boss me around.
I have started working with her in the past couple of weeks and I have seen much improvement. She is beginning to understand the difference between my space and her space, and overall, she is showing much more respect for my space. Initially, I didn’t really want to start working with her until the new year, but I felt she needed to learn some important boundaries at the moment. She seems to be enjoying the sessions so far and I have loved getting to know her more.
What’s this? (picks up in teeth)
Bryni gets into everything, including the neighbours pastures. You can’t leave anything lying around or she’ll have it in her mouth and throw it. If you happen to have a nice hat, she’ll quite likely try to take it off for you and she has no respect for electric fencing (we are still working on this). Sometimes it’s cute and I love her curious nature and how bold she is with new things and other times she really is like a toddler and drives me crazy!
That being said, though she drives me crazy, I don’t want to train this curiosity out of her, and I don’t want to change her natural personality. I like that she is spicy and feisty and curious and bold. I want her to be who she is (though just with a little more respect as mentioned above!).
It turns out, my little girl has a mild case of Sweet itch. I’m not overly concerned with this because Bo has it too and if it is managed, then it is not too big a problem.
On the positive side of this, Bryni loves a good scratch which is actually helpful as a reward because she can get too pushy with food rewards. She especially likes a scratch on her wither and between her neck and shoulder. We get some very cute faces!
She loves food… a little too much
Bryni is food aggressive. I need to be careful when and where I feed her, and I need to be careful on the treat giving too. As aforementioned, she does get pushy when you give her treats. I am trying to find other ways to reward her and to only give her a treat at the end of a session when I am turning her back out again. This seems to be helping her and she is much calmer when I am working with her. I have been so used to Bo being great with treats, so it has been an adjustment for me to stop using them so much and I have been more intentional about giving rewards through released pressure, a pause or a scratch.
Sensitive to aids
Bryni is a clever cookie. She is quick and sharp to aids for the most part. I noticed this recently when I started to work with her on the lunge line. I was using too strong an aid and Bryni would leap off into canter, she only needs a small queue and she’s much more relaxed. I love this about her!
I want to keep encouraging this lightness to an aid as it will be worthwhile when it comes to her ridden career. I have a feeling I won’t have any issues in this area! She’s definitely going to be more go than woah.
What are our plans?
I don’t really have a set plan for Bryni. I would like to do a bit of everything with her. I’m still deciding on Western or English or a combination of both and I would like to do some low-level eventing and dressage for fun at some point.
At the moment, I am focused on honing my horsemanship skills. I want to fine tune my own method, in respect to groundwork and liberty work. I want to make sure I am giving Bryni all the necessary steppingstones to help her when she starts being ridden.
I would also love to breed her at some point- the very thought of this excites me to no end. I’d love to breed a buckskin/palomino foal from her, but I definitely have a lot more research ahead of me in colour genetics before I get to that!
What are we working on this month?
You can see our November training plan here. But in brief, we are working on respecting space, basic lunging skills and tying up to have a groom without swinging all over the place!