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BLOG: First ride made easy: No buck, No rear, No bolt, No resistance!

Groundwork is always the first step to our ride made easy

Groundwork is always the first step to our ride made easy

 

By Lara Beth Poynton

Riding a horse for the first time can be fraught with danger if your horse is not set-up correctly to succeed.

For Cooper’s first ride it can be as simple as ABC, but I must begin with some basic pre-requisites:

  • First step in our training process is to use groundwork in a halter to establish our role as the leader – Remove fear, build Cooper’s trust.
  • Develop clear communication by educating a language of cues – Remove confusion, build Copper’s education. 
  • Translate the cues learned on the ground to the saddle to deliver a calm and gentle first ride – Build confidence that Cooper can keep with him for the rest of his life.

Before I put my foot in the stirrup for the very first time, I must be honest with myself and ask the question – have I replaced Cooper’s fear and confusion with trust and enough education?

 

Clear communication is essential to Cooper’s ongoing education

Clear communication is essential to Cooper’s ongoing education

The antidote to every resistance that can arise with that first ride is about clear communication. Simplifying what I ask from a horse for the first time in the saddle, results in lots of little wins for the horse that add-up to a massive success for both of us. Keeping it simple involves building our language - one cue at a time.

Educating one cue at a time may seem tedious or slow at first, but “slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” The extra time spent with Cooper in-hand on the ground has steadily developed his understanding of our language that is the best, the safest, and the most effective way to move forward.

 

 Cues learnt on the ground translate to the saddle

Cues learnt on the ground translate to the saddle


Overcoming fear associated with our first ride isn’t about simply sucking it up. It’s about being confident in the knowledge that success comes from sticking to my plan. VLog 49: You won’t believe the wild horses first ride.

Confidence comes from knowing you will succeed!

Our first ride together was successful because we followed an exercise pattern that Cooper has been learning on the ground since Day 1. It began in the halter and then translated to the bridle before repeating it again in the saddle. The art of repetition means that my wild brumby experiences no surprises or unexpected consequences of his first ride. I am the same consistent, steady leader that he met in week one of the Australian Brumby Challenge.

 

Confidence comes from knowing you will succeed

Confidence comes from knowing you will succeed

 

When we get to the EQUITANA finals in November, Copper will know that I am still the steady, consistent leader that he has come to know and trust.

For further updates go to: Brumbydiaries/Lara Beth


2018 Naming Rights Partner, McDowells Herbal Australian Brumby Challenge
EQUITANA Melbourne, 15 to 18 November

 

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