Long Lining on a Summer Morning
Not too bad out again this morning, and that's after 9 AM. I headed out after breakfast--mine and the Boys'--to do something worthwhile.
I decided long lining would be a good option. That way, I could see how the Boys were going and also make some physical demands without the added stress of a rider in their backs.
Tucker started out quite erratically. I don't know if flies were bothering him, or if the turkey drinking from the puddles at the other end of the arena was too exciting, or if Toby and Chance's galloping off was the trigger, or whether it was just general nonsense about having to work when he'd rather be romping. At any rate, there was some bucking, galloping, and in general...I'm not on the bit.
I decided what I needed as a steady outside rein, so I brought him in and "veed" the outside line by running it through the top ring, through the bit and then to a lower ring. That gave it a lot of leverage, but also a good steady "feel" without my needing to hold it strongly. It worked a treat.
We had some absolutely lovely work on both reins. Tucker was forward, relaxed, and working into a good solid upper level frame without any fuss or bother. We had an exceptional session. I did give him several breaks on a long rein, of course, as staying up like that does require a lot of work for him at this point in his fitness level.
Chance, curiously enough, required the exact opposite rigging. I tried the outside vee on him and he fought it determinedly, threatening to rear up several times. I finally veed the rein on the inside and that solved the problem. It took quite a bit more effort on my part to get him to stretch down into the bit, still. It's pretty clear he still does not quite understand that giving to the rein is more comfortable than resisting.
But, once he settled into a working frame, giving to the bit, and working all the way through to his hind end, he looked gorgeous! He really is a nice mover and never hesitates to engage his hind end. When he stays forward as he was today, he looks as if he is going to develop some suspension in his trot when he learns to collect. At 15.3 h, he is not the big dramatic dressage horse we have come to expect seeing in the shows around here, but darn it, he certainly wants to move like one.
I may never show him, though, as I seem to have lost my ambition in that direction. I might consider a schooling show down the line, or I might not. Right now, it's just fun training him and watching him develop his potential.
So lunge, ride, long line...variety in training. Another good idea, I think.