Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Week 3  Halter training with Lara Beth and Cooper Brown

To me halter training is an interesting and important process. Horses naturally choose to follow their leader in their footsteps - in the wild Australian bush brumby tracks are single file. One of the concerns of this natural behaviour is that if a horse was to take flight they are on to of you before you know it. For this reason we teach all of our horses to stand by our side with their nose at our shoulder.  

Cooper has not understood this lesson entirely yet, he often drops back and drags on the lead. The hardest thing for me, is to not try to pull him forward. Instead I turn to Cooper, crowd him off my line, until he chooses to follow the lead forward cue softly.

The forward cue is one of the most important lessons that our horse must learn. Only forwards will take us through rivers, over mountains and into the ring at EQUITANA. By the end of week 3 Cooper was trusting my leadership to follow the lead forward cue over obstacles and onto the podium.

There has been a drastic change in Coopers mindset this week, which I noticed one morning as I found Cooper waiting at his stable door to be caught. In my experience while the progress he has made is wonderful to see, I feel there is still so much more work to be done in our relationship. 

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