Saturday, July 14, 2007

Lunging, Lunging Over the Bounding Jump

Three for Three

I woke up with a headache and even after the chiropractor, it took all day to get rid of the darn thing.

I finally decided to lunge the Boys when the cooler evening air came in.

By the by, the hay is still in the trailer, and so far I have used up a bit more than a bale. The Boys are cleaning up every scrap of it, so it must be tasty.

Toby was a star. Tucker was a gem, and Chance, though a little lazy, looked good.

When Chance started out, he looked a little uneven, but after he warmed up, he was moving nicely. This tends to confirm my suspicion that his problem is something more muscular than joint, as most joint problems don't warm out. I still think it might be a muscle bruise up in the hip area, but as long as he keeps on improving, I plan on leaving it alone. For the vet to truly figure out what is going on will be a major ordeal I'd rather avoid if we don't need to go that route.

At any rate, he lunged nicely in the end and even jumped the little jump I'd set up.

I do teach all my horses to jump at least a little. Working seriously to train a jumper, though, it something I no longer have an interest in. Russell was extensively schooled over fences, and it took a lot of time and effort to turn him into the champion he became. I would not want to compete a horse with less training, so I am really focused on dressage. The basics are identical, actually, demanding the same correctness and response, so if I ever did want to do some more serious jumping the transition would be fairly easy.

What most people don't realize is that the key to a good jump is the approach, not the jump itself. If the horse is in balance and forward, the jump is really no issue. True, as Caroline is finding out, the horse's willingness and courage do make a difference, but the physical part of getting over the fence is all based on the flat work prior to the jump.

Toby is more like Caroline's Jazz as far as committing to a fence. He will quit if he is unsure. Mostly that is because he is spooky and gets scared of strange things. I don't think that's Jazz's problem, but the result is the same--no jump.

My PJ was very bold and brave and I think Tucker has that same attitude. Though Tucker does spook at things, the first time I set him at a cross rail, he went right over with a relaxed, almost lazy effort. That showed he had no concern about it at all.

We used to work out hunter/jumpers over cross rails to warm up with the goal of getting them to simply and lazily just jump so they were totally relaxed about it. So, starting off that way, is a good sign that Tucker would have the potential if I had decided to go that route.

It's too soon to tell with Chance, but the first time I asked him to trot over a rail, he just did it, no questions asked. As well, he is very brave and interested out on a hack, so I think he would have the proper attitude for jumping. However, unlike Tucker, he is very lazy and will put up a bit of a tantrum if he is pushed too much. So that might cause and issue if he didn't "like" jumping.

I plan to school him in basic dressage, with no real plans to make him a competition horse. However, time will tell and if he is a really fun ride, he may end up in the show ring too.

What I really want, though, is a horse I can just enjoy. I want to be able to take trail rides with my friends and play. Tucker may get there someday, but I am pretty sure Chance is more than halfway there already.

I have been so lucky with the horses I have owned along the way. My philosophy has always been that there are very few bad horses around. There are badly trained and handled horses, but generally not bad horses.

It takes time, but usually you can make a horse into what you want him to be. And right now, mine are all dressage horses.

1 comment:

  1. That is so true the training starts with the trainer I imagine so many people just give up and get rid of them. Patience is in short supply nowadays.