Kalandan Foundation
Kalandan Foundation
Kalandan Foundation
Kalandan Foundation
Kalandan Foundation
Kalandan Foundation
Kalandan Foundation
Kalandan Foundation

Brumby Camps

Workshop Description

Brumby CampKalandan Foundation works with high-risk youth, ages 13-18, to develop social skills taught through the Brumby Camp Program lasting from 3 days to two weeks. An annual graduate program, lasting 6 weeks, gives the youth an opportunity to develop a brumby from the wild into a willing partner under saddle.

The typical, high-risk youth has come from a broken home where drugs, violence, abuse and neglect have been present for generations. To break this cycle, Kalandan Foundation works on character building, attitude enhancement, education through experience, self-esteem development, trust formation, respect, accountability and teamwork. By applying our style of authentic horsemanship, participants learn to replace fear, intimidation, and mechanics with tolerance, determination, consistency, and kindness.

Brumby CampKalandan Foundation's Brumby Camps are based at Kalandan 1,000 acres near Peak View in the Snowy Mountains of NSW. The participants and their chaperones will find accommodation at the property where meals are included. Each workshop is designed to accommodate up to 6 participants in order to provide each with the required level of one-on-one instruction.

A detailed curriculum is followed during the workshops. The curriculum is structured in a way that encourages kids with learning disabilities to become more receptive to learning. The workshops begin by ascertaining the participants' personalities and abilities.

Each day of the workshop has an after breakfast lecture on the day's goals and objectives. Minor tasks for preparation are assigned to each participant in the first couple of days. The instructors take note on each kid's dedication, effort, patience, and personality. One example is scheduled hikes that help identify those with the most determination. Sit-down lectures are given on the process, methods, round yard, necessary maintenance and cleanup. Daily chores are assigned to groups of two. In addition, the instructors develop an internal mentor program of which each kid is responsible for teaching others certain tasks and methods.

Brumby CampThe second phase of the workshop begins with an introduction to the wild Brumbies. The youth are taught body language, movements, and methods used to gain the Brumbies' trust on the ground. A detailed discussion on the predator-prey relationship takes place. The correlation between the wild horses and wild kids is brought to light by having the kids discuss what they believe the horses are feeling during the introduction phase.

The crucial point is to have the kids develop a comfort zone through communication in the round yard. By allowing the brumby horse the freedom to make choices parallels are drawn between the youth and the horse. Through this comfort zone the brumby horse "locks on" and gives the youth its full attention and with that a solid trust foundation to build upon. A key ingredient is that the kids have to be patient for the lock on to occur. During a reflection period we discuss the keys of patience and kindness in real-life situations.

Brumby CampThe third phase focuses on the ground skills and handling a rope. Each participant is given a rope to start phase three. The skill of roping, handling the rope, and using the rope with the horse is taught and used as a tool for teaching kids that practice makes perfect. Once the trust between the brumby and the youth is developed, each kid learns to work with on the ground with their brumby.

The horse is taught to give to and from pressure. This step is crucial in the development of the brumby, as it needs to be able to lead softly with the youth. As well as following the youth it will also need to be able to be driven away by the youth without destroying the trust that has been developed. The lesson here is that to cause the brumby to want to follow the youth needs to become a good leader. The youth needs to give the brumby confidence by displaying clear body language and inviting the horse to be a partner. This is where emotional fitness is tested.

Brumby CampBy teaching the youth proper position and techniques on the ground the horses become more responsive to each kid's kind request. The youth are taught how to be effectively assertive and consistent.

Consistency is another key ingredient. Without consistency the horse does not understand what is expected. A similar reflection period is implemented as in phase two. The importance of achieving results without the use of pain is of major importance during the ground school phase of the program. Pain is accepted by conventional horsemanship techniques as a necessary evil. For example, if a horse does not wish to stop when the rider pulls on the reins the option sometimes engaged involve the use of a more severe bit to cause the horse to stop because it hurts more if he does not. Showing the kids how to use psychology rather than fear and intimidation to get the job done is paramount.

Brumby CampThe fourth phase concentrates on developing the youths riding skills. Bareback riding skills develop the use of leg pressure rather than rein pressure. The leg pressure takes the place of hand pressure that was administered while on the ground. The kids are able to relate all that was done on the ground to what they do atop each horse.

With developing riding skills each kid learns how to get the horse to move their front quarters, hind quarters, side pass, forward, stop, and some additional bonuses such as lay downs which instill trust. During phase four an obstacle course is planned and developed by the youth. The course will consist of completing tasks that require completion of methods developed through each phase from "lock on", ground school, pressure yields, and riding skills.

The fifth and final phase is a synopsis of each phase used to complete the obstacle course. The youth use their ground school, riding skills, rope work, and learned techniques to complete the course.

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