Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This week has been one of the most exciting weeks of the challenge. Balance, balance, balance has been the topic of this week. At the very start of the week Wrangler and I had out first trot, which was very exciting. Asking Wrangler for trot was easy and stress free, he had done the transition 100 times on the ground during an exercise we call ‘The Pyramid’ in The System, he had also had Mr Ball (a giant soccer ball which Wrangler considers his closest friend) bounce around on his back whilst he was in trot, this gave Wrangler the confidence of having something above him in the trot and also having something rise up and off his back. However, Wrangler being the incredibly intelligent horse that he is, realised that not only is trotting super fun, but it’s also how he gets release! When Wrangler first trotted, I jumped off and ended the session, as I do every time my horse gives me either what I was looking for or they give me an incredible effort.
So, come the next time we ride… Wrangler is off once I ask for a trot, or even a slightly faster walk, rushing slightly more than he was, then it was time to do 2 things.. educate my walk seat and educate the rushing. That ride all we did was walk to a one rein stop using my bending rein, an exercise Wrangler knows perfectly, it didn’t take him long to understand when my walking ‘go’ seat asked for walk and when that walking go seat asked for trot, this also helped him become more confident moving off my leg, something which Wrangler can be quiet reactive to.
Then it came time to educate the rushing, which after a session with Lara Beth, I was able to recognise that the rushing simply came from a lack of balance, in particular Wrangler struggling to get his inside hind under his belly. Once we educated this on the ground by asking him to side step out onto a bigger circle whilst trotting on a lunge circle, he was able to get his hind leg under his belly and trot in a beautiful balanced rhythm with shape and bend through his entire body.
I couldn’t be happier with my little brown brumby this week, as the weeks tick on EQUITANA becomes more exciting but less stressful for Wrangle Dangles and I, because now, if we don’t do what every other brumby can do at EQUITANA, I don’t mind. I know Wrangler will give me his all, but more importantly, I can’t wait for the years ahead with my special horse. EQUITANA will only be the beginning in our story.