Sunday, July 22, 2007

Saturday Cleaning

Another Lovely Day

Because it was so nice out today, I decided to get to work on the back porch.

The porch is enclosed and has become a "catch all" place for anything and everything. Cleaning it is largely a matter of sorting to get rid of stuff and putting everything else where it actually belongs.

That, along with some time wasting took up a good part of the day.

It was a bit too hot to work horses until after feed time, so I waited.

It was long lining for Toby. When he was a basically unbroken 2 year old, I started him on the lines. Close to a year of training that way made him an easy horse to train under saddle. Lining teaches steering, stopping, and correct posture in all three gaits. All in all, he is a long lining expert.

Well, that said, we had a good session, but for the first time with Toby, my bad knees really caused some worrisome moments. I cannot run. The ligament that holds my knee in place from the front, the anterior cruciate, is completely gone in both knees. So, running puts too much forward pressure on the joint.

Ideally, when you long line a horse on a circle, you should stand in one place and work the horse around you. Sometimes, though, the horse pulls to the outside and then you need to move about to keep the rein contact correct.

All was well until I started doing canter/trot/canter transitions. Toby elevated into an FEI frame, sat down on his hind end and really put some power into his gaits. In the process, he had too much momentum for me to easily hold him with the outside and inside reins at the right contact. He was fine along the fence, but on the open side of the circle, I almost lost him.

Fortunately, because he is so good, I managed to hold on--had it been Tucker he would have broken free and galloped off with the two lines trailing behind.

Once I sorted out the problem, I only asked for the canter along the fenced side of the circle and held the trot for the open side.

Toby looked amazing in that frame, but I only kept it for a short while as I know he is not fit enough to carry himself like that for too long. Then, on each rein, I put him in a long stretch and finished up with a nice forward, round, lower level trot.

The woods and horse flies were out in force. I don't know why they were so nasty, but I decided to leave Tucker for the day.

I might get on an every other day schedule, more for me than for the Boys. My lower back was really bothering me and it might be from riding two horses too hard. Once I'm fitter myself, it will be OK, but at my age, gradual work sounds so much better.

I'm sure the Boys won't mind.

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