Saturday, April 04, 2009

Lungeing, Lungeing, Lungeing

All Three On the Line

The wind never let up today. So I decided the safest option was to lunge the horses.

Good thought, as you shall see.

Toby seemed quite content to be caught and willingly put his head in the halter. He is by far the best horse to lunge. I bought him as a two year old and spent many hours working him in hand and long lining. The fun part was at the end when I sent him over the little jump I had set up. I love watching him jump as he is so athletic.

Chance was next. Interesting. I put him on the right rein first as that is his "bad" side. Not that he actually has a bad side any more, but he isn't quite as comfortable on that rein. He gave me some lovely canter, but after a good session, he stopped on his own, so I had to press him on. Then, when I switched to the left rein, he was short behind. His stride was quite irregular

This was an issue last summer and I had the vet look at him with no luck of finding out what was wrong. Every once in a while, he gets short behind but seems to work out of it. I suspect, because I had cantered him for quite a while that it stressed whatever bothers him. This time, I cantered him on the left lead to see if that would loosen him back up again. Sure enough, it did. That leads me to suspect he has a muscle issue in the right hind. Sometimes it flares up and sometimes not. I am hoping that if I actually get him fit it will resolve.

At the end, I sent him over the little jump too. He actually uses himself pretty nicely when he jumps, but he is also perfectly willing to simply trot over the obstacle too. If I were jumping him, that would be a good thing because he would not be a rusher and he'd stay relaxed.

Here's where the "I'm glad I didn't ride" part come in...Tucker.

In his defense, I must say that Tuck is excellent on the lunge. He did not have quite as much training as Toby when he was young, but I started him in the lines as a two year old as well. He tends to be a bit lazy out there, though, and I have to work to encourage some impulsion.

Then again, when the invisible monsters in the woods start acting up, impulsion is not the issue. Three times, Tucker spooked and bolted at at something, or nothing, in the trees. That sent him off in a mad, bucking gallop around the circle. Fortunately, despite his silliness, he did stay on the circle and I was able to hold on to the line. I was just glad I was not in the saddle.

Of the three, Tucker actually jumps the best in the sense that he rarely "comes wrong" to the fence. He adjusts his stride to meet the fence well and rarely makes an awkward effort. Of the three, I would think he'd have the most potential to be a successful show jumper. He does seem to have a good instinct for it. Alas. My showjumping days are over. Tuck is just going to have to settle for dressage.

So, all in all, I am kind of glad I chose to keep my feet on the ground today. Whenever the wind did stop blowing, it was nice and comfortable. But the Boys have their sheets on again for the night as it's supposed to chill off again.

Spring just loves to tease.

5 comments:

  1. I love your post about lungeing, because I can really relate to it, especially teh bucking maniac galop good for Tuck to stay on the circle. Teena bolts, then takes straight up, I have to be REALLY present to keep her on the circle. Well she is young.

    I enjoy your jumping explaination. I would like to train Teena over cavaletti and little jumps. It is fun for the horses, and a great exercises, on the lunge of course. I am not into jumping at all ^-^

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  2. i find if i lunge in a strong wind i spend too much time wrestling with blowing lines and it becomes pointless....so i'm glad you managed it!

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  3. Good workout for everyone - lungeing can be very wise indeed when it is windy!

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  4. Isnt it silly how the wind sends them a bit loopy..surely they should be used to it living out in it all the time:))
    Always puzzles me that one mine are exactly the same!

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  5. That's the same scenario we had here today. Wind and more wind, so we just lunged them all too.

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