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Briar and Esther - Week 8

This week Esther had a fairly slow start to the week with only being able to work with her Tuesday and Wednesday and knowing I had her entered in a dressage test on the weekend I had a few things that I hadn’t done with her yet that had to be done before then. The first thing that I knew that had to be done was actually progress to a bridle because unfortunately in dressage there is no luxury of riding however you want and one of the requirements is to do it in a bridle. So with knowing what I had to work on I seized Tuesday as my day to introduce the bridle. She was a bit worried to start with and I don’t think as such about the bridle but in fact having my hand and arms around her head in a way to position the bridle correctly that I hadn’t done yet so we spent a few minutes going through all the actions of putting on the bridle before we actually got to using the bridle. When we had got to the stage where I thought she would be comfortable with it, she actually accepted the bridle very easily like she had done it before. She wore it for a while just getting used to eat and I also let her munch on a bit of hay just to get the bit moving around so she was comfortable with it.

Wednesday I only had a very short time in the afternoon before dark so put her bridle back on and she was very good with it the first time. I had a little more time than I thought I would have had as I was expecting to take a bit longer with the bridle so I then saddled her up and we  had a ride still using the halter but with the bridle just on her to still get used to it all.

I didn’t have any more time that week to work with her which was worrying me because I was taking her out Saturday and had entered in a dressage test but was prepared to pull her out if I didn’t think she would be ok with it. I was lucky we were scheduled to ride at 11.30 so I had a bit of time to saddle up and take her for a big walk around and meet a few different people as well as hang out at the showjumping arena and watch some showjumping. She was so good just hanging around even with a few naughty horses getting loose and galloping around and Esther did not care at all. I finally decided that I should at least try so I just put her into the training showjumping ring where you can trot and jump some very little jumps if you want and because it was her first time actually riding and using he bridle without the halter I wasn’t expecting much but she just handled it so well. All the preparing I had been doing prior to Saturday and also the couple of hours I was standing around with her had prepared her enough that she just knew what to do and was super cool about it all.  There were a few small cross rails that I ended up just trotting over and she liked that and we also jumped over a little brick wall plank which I thought was pretty special considering it was day 40 for Esther being out of the wild. We then went and did the test had a bit of a talk with the judge and told her what Esther was doing and the judge was very surprised I was there let alone even riding her. Her test was just perfect. How I like all my new horses to go around the first time just go out and do it calmly and confidently. Esther walked where she had to walk and trotted where she had to trot, had a few unexpected halts throughout but all in all I was so proud of her and the judge even liked her a lot with a very nice comment of how well she is doing and we finished with a 50% score in her first ever dressage test.

Sunday was another big day. I had a few lessons on a cross country course so I saddled up Esther again and rode her out with the big horse planning to trot around and pop over some small logs and everything we trotted up to she just did. We also had a little play in the water jump and we even jumped out a few times which was pretty cool. We had our very first canter up the hill and along the flat and even got a good canter going after a few of the jumps.

I plan to give her a big break after her very big weekend and will be getting my chiro out to give her a good make over and get her feet and teeth done as well and just do a little bit of ground work on the weekend but will be giving her most of the week off for a good little break. After big adventures and a lot of learning I find if I give them a good break then they come back wanting to learn more. You can watch videos of her jumping on my face book page at Morris Performance Horses – 2016 Australian Brumby Challenge Trainer

Until next week

Briar and Esther xx

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