My name is Morgan Chandler-Bruce, I’m 21 and have been riding horses since I was 2.5 years old. I had my first experience taming a Kaimanawa in 2019 when I took on a 3-year-old Filly from the 2018 muster that had not yet been tamed. Within 10 days we had passed every milestone needed for Plum to travel home with me to continue her transition into domestication.
Last year I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to tame my first stallion alongside Kelly Wilson, as a part of her team for the Ultra-Mox Freedom to Friendship Stallion Challenge. The invaluable knowledge I gained from both Kelly and my Stallion Long Shot, meant that I have been able to tame two KHH Welfare case mares, and loved it all so much that I am doing it all again this year!
Kaimanawas however, haven’t always been my focus in the equine world. I grew up going to Pony Club and spending many many hours at a local riding school my mum worked at, watching and learning from those around me. I have a small background in showing, having done a fair amount on my ponies over the years. Then moving onto my current mount, Rumble, who turns his hoof at just about anything, from Show Jumping, Showing, right to Cowboy Challenges.
This year I was lucky enough to draw Athos out of the hat to be my stallion for the Ultra-Mox Freedom to Friendship Stallion Challenge, and what a handsome boy he is. From what we can gather from photos from the database, Athos is estimated to be around the 6 to 7-year-old mark. He was often seen in the upper 14/15 zones. Athos got his name after he was spotted with two other Kaimanawas, they were thought to be a bachelor band and were given their names after the three musketeers, Porthos, Athos and Aramis. However, sometime later it was figured out that Aramis, who was thought to be a bachelor, was in fact a mare! When Athos was mustered he was brought in with his band he had spent the last two years meticulously stealing off of another well-known band stallion Nightfall.
This year is already proving to be very different to last year, Athos has been incredible to work with. He has an awesome attitude towards his new life in domestication, he has very quickly progressed in his training. From eating grass from my hand within our first few sessions, to first touches on day 4 of training and being haltered on day 7. We are now 26 days into his training, granted he has had days off in between to process and have some downtime, but Athos has learnt a huge amount in that time frame from being taught to lunge in both directions, be groomed all over, touched down to his front hooves with my hands and back hooves with a whip, lead beside the shoulder, has been taught to cross multiple obstacles and has had his first two trips in the truck off the property for some amazing adventures.
I’m insanely excited to keep working with Athos in the lead up to the Ultra-Mox Freedom to Friendship Stallion Challenge, and I can’t wait to see what we will be able to achieve together this year!
Highlights from the 2021 stallion challenge
Morgan Chandler-Bruce & Long Shot
2021 Ultramox Freedom to Friendship Mentor Student Competitor
Trainer: Kelly Wilson
Facebook: Long Shot Freedom to Friendship
Introducing Long Shot (Sniper), a satellite stallion from Zone 20.
He was named by the New Zealand Defence Force and his name has two meanings; firstly Zone 20 horses are traditionally named after military themes since they live in a live firing zone that has restricted access (hence Long Shot, which is a sniper term) and secondly his name refers to the fact this band drifted/scattered apart, over a long distance, when they grazed.
Long Shot is currently 28 days into his training. He has gone from bolting across the yards when you walked into them to being able to be rubbed down to his tail on both sides of his body and rubbed on his head – this has been a big deal for him as he has a large fear of hands!
I am thoroughly enjoying this experience, I have learnt a huge amount from the process so far. Long Shot has the most amazing personality, he is very playful and cheeky, always making himself known every time he is brought into the yards.
My name is Morgan Chandler-Bruce, I’m 20 and have been riding horses since I was 2.5 years old. Although Long Shot is the first stallion I have tamed, he is not my first Kaimanawa. Two years ago I tamed a 3-year-old filly from the 2018 muster under the incredible guidance of Kelly Wilson. Within 10 days we had passed every milestone needed for Plum to travel home with me to continue her transition into domestication.
When Kelly rang and invited me to join her team as part of the Freedom to Friendship challenge, I was very excited to continue my learning. Working with a mature stallion (and watching the progress of all the other Kaimanawas in training) is even more eye-opening and educational than I expected, and I am very much enjoying every moment so far!
At home, I also have my sport horse Rumble, with which I compete regularly in a number of disciplines, ranging from Eventing to Showing.