Sansa and I spent a few mornings at Balnarring beach this week. The first day, I was prepared for her to be nervous in the alien environment. Surprisingly it wasn’t the water or the sand that intrigued her at all. It was the racehorses that had her full attention. She called out to the huge, fast, athletes, all of which completely ignored her or ran in the other direction. Poor Brumby.
It worked out perfectly, within minutes she was switched back onto me and I had her undivided attention. We went for a stroll along the water’s edge before she followed me into the shallows in my gumboots.
Normally it takes a few beach session before horses are completely confident walking in and out of the water. Not for Sansa, she was quite content to have me climb on board as we splashed and paddle while the sun rose.
The best part of working with Sansa is how eager she is to please. Nigel and I have both found that our brumbies just want to get it right, they are so keen to find solutions. From day one we have worked on building our brumbies confidence by setting them simple achievable goals.
“Release is the reward for every attempt at success.”
If you want to ride your horse confidently into water it is imported to think about pressure and release. Sansa went into the water effortlessly because she was reward for every attempt at forwards. Initially even the smallest try was rewarded, if she looked forward into the water I gave her release.
Sansa and I have had so much fun together this week, we will continue with beach work to build effortless topline and fitness before EQUITANA in November.