I had decided I was going to long line everyone tonight and not ride.
So, I started off with Tucker. However, as the session went on, I began to wonder how he might feel under saddle after working on the lines. He was nice and round and foward. So, I saddled him up.
He was really a good ride. His trot was foward and bouncy and he was very light to the rein. I did a short school, and was very pleased with his attitude and suppleness. So, the lining helped considerably and might make a good warm up tool.
Toby made the big mistake of following Tucker into the barn aisle after I was done riding, so he was up next. I did just long line him, again quite pleased with his nice round and very forward work ethic. He really is a master on the lines, and fun to work because is he so responsive to the voice aids.
One more carrot later, I saddled up Chance and ran the lines through the stirrups to warm him up on the lines. I didn't have quite as much success as I didn't have the stirrups tied tightly enough together under his girth, so the lines were not quite as effective as they should have been.
Chance is very stiff to the right, so I did double work on that side before I got on to ride him. While the lines had not suppled him as much as I might have liked, they did encourage him to be nice and forward under saddle. As well, he was far more ready, willing and able to drop his head down to the bit. He was still not easily round but when I praised him mightily for dropping his head, he seemed to get the idea that it was a good thing to do and he really tried to please me. If I can just get some consistent training into him--weather permitting-- he should supple up pretty quickly. He does have a nice attitude, but he scares easily at sharp corrections, so I have to keep my frustration level at a low volume when I ride him.
Sometimes training a green horse can be very trying, especially if they have stiffness issues. You ask for the correct bend, the horse gives it, and a second later goes back to the same stiffness you just corrected. The trick is to be patient--sometimes not so easy-- and to just keep repeating the correction, rewarding when the horse does it right, and then fixing it again in a matter of one or two strides. Chance's right side will be a challenge, but we'll work it out.
So, though I hadn't planned it, I ended up riding two horses and ground working the third.
Not bad for a night after a very busy day at school. *yawn* (Think I'll go lie down.)