Australian Brumby Challenge ©
A Week of Outings
Last week I was ecstatic because Cooper had successfully loaded on and off the trailer safely, as we had taken him on our first outing to the beach. This week Cooper has been on an outing almost everyday. He has travelled with different horses to different places and met lots of new faces.
Our first outing with Wrangle Dangle was to Hastings Pony Club with the idea that it would simulate a busy environment that our horses may experience while at Equitana. I was a little concerned that Cooper may find groups little people and ponies challenging or confronting. If you have read some of my previous updates, I have spoken about how we have been building Coopers confidence with younger kids. By using the same cues that Cooper learnt at home I was confident that Cooper had the tools to follow my lead in his new environment. I was amazed how fast Cooper became comfortable working with the kids and I.
Our second outing was a float ride to Ambers house, nothing to fancy, just a float trip and our chance to practice our lie down on a different surface in a new place.
For the rest of the week Cooper accompanied Tubbarubba Neptune to a 3 day dressage clinic in Daylesford. Unfortunately some of our journey was meet with Melbourne’s bumper to bumper traffic as we travelled through the city. Cooper has always been wary of people and vehicles coming up behind him. On two occasions Cooper kicked out at a truck, that seemed so close it could have been touching the back of the float. Initially I was concerned that this may have made Cooper’s fear worse, but Neptune stood beside him quietly and calmly, which gave him the confidence he needed.
Super Dooper Cooper stole the stage from the warmbloods during our 3 day dressage clinic, while he may not be riding fluid half pass just yet. We improved our ground work as I learnt how to educate the Spanish walk. By applying the same principles of pressure and release, we simply introduced the new cues, that taught Cooper to lift his front and back legs when I ask.
Although we didn’t challenge Cooper physically, we gave his mind a workout and he was one tired Brumby on the way home.