Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lots of Lines

Three on the Lines

I opted for long lining today.

Toby was first because he was in the barn already. He is virtually perfect on the long lines as that was how I started him before he was under saddle. I call him the "master." I didn't ask him to work into an upper level frame because he is just not muscled up enough to do that. No point in making him sore or unhappy. We had a nice little workout, and a carrot at the end.

Chance was next and I was interested to see just how much he tried to flip his head around with the bit. At first, I had ''veed" the lines, giving me extra leverage, but that was clearly too much for the kid. At first, he wouldn't even go forward at all. Then, he overbent his head and neck far too much. At that, I changed the rigging and ran the lines through the surcingle rings directly to the bit. He was much happier with that and offered to do a bit of stretching on his own. The big problem was his tendency to drift out to the left when he was on the right rein passing the gate area. It was exactly what he had done when I was riding him on Thursday.

Fixing it on the lines was easy. I just had to make sure I began correcting the bend and turn 2o meters before I actually needed to make the turn. A good thing to remember when riding as well. The drfiting out usually begins well before you notice it, especially if there is a fence on the outside to hold the horse from drifting out anywhere else. Riders tend to ride less correctly with the fence there as it acts as the outside control, so they don't bother to use the outside aids as precisely. Then, when the horse gets to an open spot, the fence disappears and the ride suddenly realizes he/she has to put on the outside control, but by then it's too late to do it subtley. So, the trick is to ride making the corrections all the way 'round, and by the time you get to the trouble spot, it really isn't any trouble at all.

Chance was definitely better on the left rein as far as the steering went, but he didn't offer to stretch down as much. He was also a little more tired at that point too, so it could be that he just couldn't offer it as easily. I do think the lining is really good for him and I must do it more often to get him solid on the basics.

Tucker started off very lazily, not at all willing to go forward at more than a toe scuffing jog. I gave him a few rounds at that and then urged him on with the lunge whip. Soon he was tracking up and offering some nice work. His canter, as always, was really nice and he rounded right up. I did about 12-15 canter/trot/canter transitions on both reins, and he settled right in with some really good, balanced upward transitions.

All in all, we had some really good work today.

Tomorrow, I need to ride in the morning as I have to go to church for a minister's installation service where the choir will sing. Our director managed to get us the morning service off as the bell choir is playing instead.

Maybe if I get out early the ATV riders will still be in bed.


  1. what's a bell choir? hand ringers?

  2. Yes, handbells.

  3. ah! they're always good to listen to... not that I do much, but when i do i like it.

    I just don't do church (at all...)