Russell Higgins March 2017 Newsletter
It's been a busy summer here on Brumby Farm with clinics, Experience Weeks, young horses in for starting and our two big camps of the year: Trail Camp and Cow Camp.
Trail Camp was a great success again. It is becoming a bit of an institution with the same people returning each year, albeit with a few new horses. The combination of a super venue, good company and good food seems to be a winner. We'll be doing another camp next February so look out for the details in future newsletters.
We have just finished Cow Camp. This is a bi-annual event taught by myself and 4-star senior Parelli Insrtuctor David Grace from Australia.  This year was slightly different in that we spent three days here at Brumby Farm introducing the horses to cattle work before heading up to Te Akatea Station where those skills were put into practice in a more realistic setting.
It was great to watch how the confidence of the horses and humans grew over the week and how their partnerships strengthened through having a common purpose. Yields got softer and focus got stronger. Who would think you could have so much fun with cows?
I have also had time to study with two exceptional horsemen. David Stuart spend a few days with us here at Brumby Farm sharing his extensive knowledge and helping Ruth and I with both our young and experienced horses.  I then took my youngest horse, Cassidy, to ride with Martin Black. For those of you that have met Cassidy you will understand that he wouldn't be the easiest, but he was certainly fun!
Ruth and Denis getting put through their paces by David.
Working some cattle under the guidance of Martin Black.
In our last newsletter we said goodbye to Jacques and Becky, our two long term students who were with us at the end of last year. We were then joined by Lenny from the Netherlands. Her three months have also flown by and she is headed back home. Lenny did a great job taking over the training of Kaia, the Kaimanawa mare (see below) and will be missed here at Brumby Farm.
As we head into Autumn here in New Zealand we still have a group of young horses in for starting over the next month as well as a few more clinics here and in South Island. After that it is on to South Africa and Botswana for our horseback safari and then Europe where I'll be teaching in Ireland, UK, Germany, Norway and France.

Keep it Natural.


Brumby Farm Kaimanawas

You may remember from the last newsletter that Bramble, one of the two Kaimanawa mares that have been with us for starting, had found a fabulous new home. The great news is that just last week Kaia, the remaining mare also found her forever home. It was a perfect ending for this feisty little mare when one of our Cow Camp students spotted her in the paddock and was drawn to her proud and independent nature. After her new home was checked out by the charity HUHA for suitability Kaia headed for her new life in Rotorua with her new buddy Ollie. Another happy ending.

2018 - young horse starting

If you have a horse that you would like Russell to start under saddle, or a horse whose first start didn't go as planned and you would like restarted, contact Ruth on for information about the January 2018 intake. We only take a few horses a year so book early not to miss out.

The Experience Week Experience

This season we have held three Experience Weeks here at Brumby Farm which coincided with the first week of each young horse intake. Students watched Russell starting the young horses in the mornings and then rode their own horses each afternoon. It is a unique opportunity to see first hand how young horses are introduced to the human, the saddle and sometimes the rider in that first week of their education.
The afternoon sessions were a great chance for students to spend five consecutive days with their horse improving their horsemanship and even putting some principles to practice with the Brumby Farm cattle.
We will be doing more Experience Weeks next season so if you are interested in a reserving a place email Ruth on

Safe Tying

Any of you who have been to Brumby Farm know that we are quite particular about how we tie our horses and what we tie them to. There are many opinions out there on both these subjects, and in reality there is no safe way to tie a prey animal to a solid object, there are only ways that lesson the risk.
Our philosophy is to "tie high and short". There is less chance of them getting a leg over the rope and when you tie high they can't get the same leverage to pull back. This is Cassidy tied hard to our purpose-built tie rail using a quick release "bank robbers" knot. Cassidy has had lots of preparation to make sure that he yields positively off pressure on his halter before he was hard tied. If we are not sure about a horse's preparation we would wrap the rope three or four times around the rail or use a "Blocker Tie" which is great item of safety equipment that we use in our barn.  We never tie or wrap ropes onto fence rails ... ever!

Schedule of events

We are just finalising our European teaching itinerary and the New Zealand events for next Spring/Summer.  If you are particularly interested in attending one of our camps or Experience Weeks let Ruth know on and she will make sure you get notified once dates are confirmed.

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Higher Horsemanship Ltd · Brumby Farm · 466 Pirongia Road · Te Awamutu, Wko 3876 · New Zealand

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