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Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Steve and Fergus - Week 17

I have been working on Fergus’s trot to canter transitions. For this I use long reins as I want him to step into the canter from his hind with the correct bend, rather than him trotting faster and faster and basically running into the canter. For his first canter transitions, that was ok, to get him to understand what I wanted. At that stage I used the Spanish cavesson to control his head and neck height. Now I want him to have a trot that goes up, rather than forward and transition from a slower, more elevated trot into a canter.

There are several reasons for this:

1/ To engage his back right up to his wither. This is the hardest part of the horses back to engage. If he tucks his nose and breaks at the joint of C1and C2 (the joints in the neck, just behind the poll), he will never fully engage his back and will suffer pain in his poll, shoulders, back and pelvis. He would, quite likely, physically break down by 8 to 12 years old.

2/ Create a correctly muscled and strong structure that can carry the burden of the rider.

3/ Teach Fergus how to transition before he must accomplish this task with the added burden of the rider.

4/ A transition made in this way will be painlessly accomplished for both horse and rider. The horse won’t pull or get faster, saddles won’t go forward, the horse will be light and responsive to your leg and the horse will be a pleasure to ride.

5/ Increases the horse’s wellbeing and longevity.

For a video of Fergus’s second session use this link:


Fergus could move laterally on both reins and maintain his bend through all transition’s. His head was in front of vertical, most of the time. The way Fergus is beginning to move gives an indicator of his potential. My job as the trainer is to put a foundation in place that maximizes Fergus potential, increases his wellbeing and longevity and makes a correct foundation for any discipline. I am very pleased with all aspects of Fergus’s training and progress.


Go to Steve's  week 16

Go to Steve and Fergus' Page