Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Late and Early

Got a Line on It This Time

Last night, at around 11 PM, when I saw that the thunderstorms were not going to materialize, I went out and lunged Tucker for about ten minutes. I didn't bother turning on the arena lights, so we just worked in the dark. It was a start and it was fairly nice out.

This morning, I got up before 7 and headed out to do some long lining. The flies do not rise that early and the arena was still in the shade. I only note this because the air was still "soup," and I ended up soaked with sweat by the time we were done.

I lined Chance first, "veeing" the lines so he had to give to the bit. He started off a little slowly, but once I urged him to some good impulsion, he gave me some super work. He really moves nicely and can carry himself in an elegant frame. He had one little blow up, protesting the rein contact, but aside from that, it was a really good workout.

Toby was interested in all the activity, so when he let me put his bridle reins over his head, I decided to give him a short session on the lines as well. He is a master on the lines as that is how I started him, but I kept his workout quite short and didn't ask for a lot of "correct" work, mostly because he is not at all fit. I think he enjoyed the attention and, of course, the reward carrot at the end.

Tucker started off like a star. I veed the lines for him at first, just so we could immediately establish his roundness. He worked well into the bit after a little bit of encouragement and did a great session on the left rein. Then I changed direction and he started to badly overbend, almost to the point of rolkur without any contact on the lines at all. So, I stopped, and got rid of the vee arrangement.

Well, either the new freedom or some annoying early rising flies sent him off in a flurry of galloping, bucking and general all around silliness. I finally had to vee just the inside rein to establish some "shape" control and worked him back into a semblance of "how a dressage horse is supposed to go."

Tucker is, perhaps, one of the least tolerant horses I have ever owned. While he can be pretty stoic about pain sometimes, if he reaches his limit with something we are doing, he is very expressive about showing his annoyance. I suppose it is possible that I have been a major contributor to his overall attitude, as I have been very responsive and aware of any physical issues he may have had ever since I got him. I may have been a little to coddling, and his rather physical protests can be intimidating, so, in some sense, he is a spoiled fellow.

Ah, well, I shall just continue to indulge him. If he considers himself royalty, I'll just go with the flow. At least he doesn't expect me to bow every time I am in his presence.


  1. Basking in the reflected glory of your royal beasts? It's a life-style choice I could go for.

  2. I am so envious that you can go out at night in the dark and work them. I can just imagine it. I bet you have fireflies in NJ.

  3. Anonymous8:37 PM

    Indulging royalty is important - kings or queens, it doesn't matter - or else - off with your head!

  4. Tucker is a very lucky fellow, I wish he realised it ...

    It is when I do not undertsand how rolkhur can be a dressage technique, as it is a defense of a horse. I understand western horses being ridden "deep" but their back side is well ,UNDER them. It is not collection as English riders know it, because they are really rounding their back, like a cat stretching, so being deep makes sense.

    But I have seen rolkhur pics, with horses'hinds being way OUT behind them.

    It really mystifies me ???? doh?

    Jean perhaps you know more about the subject???

  5. Tucker, 'His Royal Highness', sounds like a very interesting fellow to work with. I'm afraid we have more than one of those in the barn, I'd like to say my daughter is the culprit for spoiling them but she's not alone. Dusty is the queen of queens and lets you know it on a regular basis.