Thursday, May 28, 2009

Out to Lunge and Lots of Pics

Rhodedendron in Bloom In Front of My House

This Time All Three Lunged

Here is the full rhododendron bush.
Here is the bank in front of the house I have to cut with the string trimmer.

I don't mean to ignore Toby, but he doesn't usually seem to be at all interested in being ridden or worked. As a matter of fact, most of the time he makes a point of walking, or even running away. When he was in full training he behaved that way too, but I always caught him anyhow. Tonight, he saw me coming into the pasture and started what I call his "landing pattern." He walks away, then does a big half circle to come in to my side rather than front on. He knew I had treats and was perfectly willing to stand as I put on the halter and THEN gave him his treat.
The Boys. Look at the poor fence!

I gave him a moderately short lungeing session, trotting him over the poles. He is so dead on honest about it too. Unlike Tucker, he never tries to run out of the line but just keeps a good steady trot into the poles, through and then back out. If there is one thing I can say about him--he is not a cheat and never has been. That's one of the reasons I always knew when something physical was bothering him. If he didn't work, it usually meant something was sore. As I moved into the upper levels--eventually Intermediare I--his hocks would get sore with the extra exertion of carrying himself on his hind end. He is built "level" in front, so elevating the front end took some work. I would treat him with adequan and he'd be fine for a while, but that's the reason I finally stopped competing him. I'd rather have a sound, older retired horse than an upper level sore dressage horse any day.

Which brings me to Tucker who has an entirely different perspective on life. He craves some kind of attention from me, especially if I have treats in my pocket. (I suspect he'd be a great candidate for clicker training) When Toby got his after work carrot, Tuck was in the barn and practically put the halter on himself so I could lunge him.
Tucker, looking handsome.

Unlike Toby, I have to really keep after him and keep my eye on him. He takes off in a lazy trot that I have to constantly encourage to be forward with the whip and my voice. Over the line of poles, if I don't pay full attention, get him in straight and point the whip at his shoulder to keep him out on the circle where the poles are, he will take off in a canter and dive to the inside just to get out of going over the poles. He only got away with it once tonight, but I'm sure that quite pleased him. As I finished with the canter on the circle without the poles, despite my commands to "trot" or my chirps or my little snaps on the lunge line, he just kept on mindlessly cantering on until I pulled him into an eight meter circle right around me. He wasn't running, just cantering in a relaxed way, completely ignoring me.

Oh, by the way. Once, when he was supposed to take the right lead, going right, he took the left, counter lead instead. When I gave a little pull on the lunge line to the inside, he made a lovely flying change to the right lead. Aha! So do you think he wanted to show me he knows how to do them and what's wrong with me that I can't ride them on him? Huh? That'd be a Tucker thing for sure.

Chance is never a problem to catch. While he does need a little encouragement to move on when I am lungeing him, he is actually pretty honest, though lazier than Toby. He never tried to run out at the poles, but he did think, at least once, that cantering them would be easier. *lol* Actually, I think he prefers cantering to trotting. A good number of times, out on the trail, he has chosen to canter instead of trot when I have asked him to move out.
Chance overlooking his fence destructive hoofiwork.

When I got home tonight, he and Toby were playing over the fences the same way he and Tucker were playing this morning.

That's Chance in the distance and Toby in front. As you can see, Chance spares no effort when he plays.

As you can see, the fences do need some work. I have now seen Chance very deliberately taking the slip boards out of the posts, so the fallen rails are no accident. The broken fence post is a result of lots of this kind of playing and some good body scratching. Fortunately the fence doesn't have to keep the horses in, so when it goes down it's just a nuisance. *sigh*

I wonder if this competition was the final, championship round of the games that started this morning. Maybe tomorrow morning I will see the trophy presentation?


  1. Anonymous9:27 PM

    So if I need a fence disassembly crew, I can hire your boys? Good thing that fence isn't needed (would it be easier just to take it out?)! Love your pictures of the boys - those boys (like ours) love to play rough! I find it endlessly fascinating how each horse has a completely different personality - they are such individuals, just like us, and we need to work with them as individuals - I'm always amazed when non-horse people can't tell them apart and when (supposedly) horse people treat all horses the same and train them all the same - usually doesn't work very well.

  2. Your horses seem to be having quite a good time rough housing. Too bad about the fence, they can sure be destructive when they want. They are beautiful though.
    I love your magnolias I've never seen them that big. They must smell lovely. We have a lot of hills and bumps around the farm that need string trimming. I was just investigating putting down ground covers to eliminate all the work. Pachysandra is poisonous but I thought for outside by the road it might be okay, I might just do some day lilies too.

  3. DUH! I have corrected my post. The "magnolias" are acutually my rhododendron which might explain their size! That'll teach me to post when my brain is not fully operational.

    The fence closes the arena off from the paddock area. So I need it to keep the two Boys out when I ride the one. Otherwise I would have to lock the unridden horses in the barn every time I tried to school.

    Surprisingly, even after they knock it down, they don't cross it. Interesting Thoroughbred thing.

  4. Love your Rhododendrons, very pretty.

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