Australian Brumby Challenge ©
VBA Lark week 12
Lark's life has over all been very easy this week after a big start. We went for a big adventure into Equestrian park in Canberra a world class facility right in the heart of Australia's capital. Lark is only a baby so I won’t do a lot of jumping but I do want her confidently popping over any obstacle around 60cms to set her up for a bright future in any field. I was so proud of her, we managed to jump every low level cross country jump they had to offer. Which meant water jumps, flower pots, drops, ditches, coffins, concrete pipes, tires, slatted wood, coloured wood and logs of every shape and size.
Following that we headed out through the pine forest, passed the zoo, under a major road and into the National Arboretum. It was a gorgeous ride and we got some awesome canters on the narrow track through the pine trees with Lark really feeling out my body weight and experimenting with her balance, even chucking in a couple of flying changes.
There was an awesome moment when we reached the highest point at the arboretum and Lark looked out across the trees to see the city sprawled out before her. You could really see her eyes go wide as she took in the juxtaposition of the her old familiar world with the trees, grass and hills and her new world, full of unfathomable strangeness.
For the rest of the week I was assisting with a PHD study into the effects of stress and exercise on horses learning and recall. Lark got to be a part of the study. Luckily she was in the control group meaning she was able to just relax by a tree for 20 minutes before learning a new task. She was a bit hopeless at the task learning but to be fair she did keep falling asleep between each set of trials. She was a total star subject, handling the heart rate monitor without a fuss, being handled by strangers, getting blood samples taken with barely an ear raised in protest. She also made an adorable mascot as she continued to hang around for most of the 5 days waiting for attention over the fence.
On our final day this week we had a play at learning a couple of cute tricks to show off and having her first other rider hop on for a little lead around.
Lark’s quiet side is really coming to the fore. Now given a chance to check something out she will adapt to any new situation and quickly settle down into a wonderfully relaxed posture.
Thank you to my wonderful sponsors TBV Equestrian who gave me the jump that helped prep Lark so well for our big adventure.