Australian Brumby Challenge ©
Wow what a horse Levi is turning into. This week started off with perfecting our trot cues and getting a better trot for longer. When I first start with the trot I always ask for just a try and as soon as I get that try we reward with a break. This is really great for building confidence but then you have to keep working on it because the horse then thinks that they only have to do a tiny bit and they can stop. So little by little I worked on getting a better trot for longer in the round pen so that we didn’t have to worry about direction and that we can just concentrate on the trot and the quality of the trot. By Wednesday Levi had gotten so confident with his trot work that I decided to ride him out in the paddock for his second time but his first time trotting in the big open area. All the work I had done in the round yard had transferred very easily when we had gone out into the big paddock. Before we finished we got some great circle work and change of direction, he was following the feel super well and being really light to the leg.
Thursday was going to be a big day for Levi and I wasn’t quite sure how he would handle it but at this stage in his training would be the time that I would be taking him out for an outride so that we could get first canters. Although this would be the time I would be thinking of taking him out I was so so impressed by how he handled it. We encountered cars driving past us, and well that was really not as scary as I thought it would be even when a couple of the cars didn’t slow down. We had to cross the Great Ocean Rd to be able to get across to the beach and that was also easy. The next part I was getting ready to dismount and led him over but he had been so amazing with everything else that I thought I would try riding him and see how he handled it and just like he had been with everything else he crossed a huge wooden bridge with ease. One of the horses we were riding with pooped on the bridge so one of the riders got off to kick it off and she had to walk past Levi twice and Levi did not have a care in the world about it. We finally got down to the beach after crossing yet another raised wooden walk way and I don’t think Levi could really believe at what he was looking at.
He had a little worry about the waves coming at him so I dismounted just to give him a little more confidence and led him into the waves once he was in them he was really great and had a ball trying to drink the salty water. We then went for a ride down the beach so that we could get a few photos. On our way down we decided to go for a canter and give Levi his very first canter under saddle and I just have to say that he was amazing and has the nicest canter I have ridden in a long time. We went and got some photos under the Great ocean rd sign and Levi was quite interested in the statue of the soldiers on a rock. I thought to myself that if he had of been born with some of his ancestors he may have been one of the many horses used in the light horse.
Once we got back down onto the beach there were many more people all there ready to look at the horses and also surfing. As we were walking back up the beach Levi stopped and took a huge breath in and just looked around, I couldn’t quite believe it. It was like he was saying to me “wow this is just amazing”. I have never really had a horse do that before and it was such an unreal feeling. We went for a few more canters up the beach and Levi was having such a fun time that he just had to through in a few little jump arounds it was the funniest thing ever. It was like when you see young horses playing or having a fun time galloping around in the paddock and they throw a few little bucks in. After I kindly told him that it wasn’t really the best thing to do we got dome more very solid canters out of him. We had more of a splash in the beach before we headed back to the car to load up and go home. Levi was a champ and loaded up like a pro after his ride.
I was seriously so proud of Levi and how well he handled himself with all the people and all of the things going on around him. The smile on face did not leave well until after we got home. And this ride really hit home that Levi just might be ready for EQUITANA. I’m super excited to see what else we can accomplish in the next two weeks to prepare him for EQUITANA. I have a few more challenges for him to make sure that he will be 100% ready for EQUITANA but at this moment I cant see why he wouldn’t thrive. Levi had Friday off because Thursday was a big day for the young boy. Thanks again to all the amazing sponsors and my amazing sponsors for helping keep Levi looking and feeling great.
Until Next Time
Briar and VBA Levi xxx