Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Weekly Training Updates

Join Lara Beth and VBA Cooper on their journey !

Week 1     Week 2     week 3    week 4     week 5    week 6     week 7

week 8     week 9     WEEK 10    week 11     week 12     week 13     

week 14     week 15    week 16     week 17     week 18     WEEK 19    

week 20     

Week 8

Adding it up

Coopers first ride on Saturday was easy. Copper took to ridden work like he was born at Tubbarubba fairy land.

Riding Cooper was safe and enjoyable it was exactly as predicted because Copper was happy and confident to follow my cues.

For the past seven weeks we have been building a language of cues and exercises that help Cooper understand exactly what I expect from him.

Last update I explained the pyramid exercises on the ground  that taught Copper the rein and leg aids that I used for our first ride under saddle.

Inside Bending rein, Open rein and Closed rein guided Coppers head neck and shoulder. While my inside leg and seat provided the instruction for Coopers ribs and hind quarter.

At Tubbarubba fairy land all of our  international endurance horses have the same experience for their first ride. We only ever train one side of our horse at a time so there is always somewhere to go if they feel overwhelmed or confused. Training one side of the horse at a time means the horse has a different exit strategy to UP or BUCK.

By giving the horse this choice they rarely feel the need to use it. They choose to be part of the team and this choice stays with our horses for the rest of their lives.  

As much as Cooper is fast becoming my personal favourite horse at our stud. It is not a magical bond that produced this result for our first ride. Check out Coopers first ride Vlog at

Cooper has learnt from the beginning that,

There will always be a solution he just has to find it.
That I will always be the good leader who makes decisions that keep us both safe
Cooper will always be allowed to make mistakes.

I was proud that at the end of our first ride together Cooper was eager to walk over obstacles, push his ball around the arena even stand on his podium.

By the end of week 8 I can now confidently ride Cooper with 2 reins and 2 legs, as we continue to take on new challenges together.