Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lungeing In the Dusk

Or Racing Away in Mosquitoville

Anyone who has ever been to New Jersey in the summer is all too aware of our mosquitoes. Since I live on the edge of the Pigeon Swamp State Park, it's pretty clear I am well aware of mosquitoes. The last time I hiked around with my friend from the Mosquito Control Commission, he was thrilled with the variety of mosquito species we had around here.

I went out at dusk to lunge the Boys because my back had been acting up a little and I decided not to try to ride. Since I did not put on the arena lights, the bugs were not captivated by the glow and instead were captivated by me. Tucker and Chance had their flysheets on while they worked, and since they were moving, they did not make the best targets. But, lungeing is mostly a "standing around" thing for the handler, I was easy pickings. Suffice it to say a lot of my hand signals were not for the horses.

Tuck was really moving out on his own, a nice change for him. His trot was forward and his canter well engaged. He did get into "canter no matter what you tell me" mode about twice, but I brought him in on a smaller circle and chirpped pretty clearly and he got the idea. After that we were able to do a number of trot/canter/trot transitions--a good exercise for building up some hind end strength.

I took Chance out next, and his trot was not exactly the most energetic. But, on the other hand, it was awfully cute. Then, however, Tucker, who had decided he needed to roll in the adjacent paddock took off in a mad bucking gallop and Chance bolted off, offering a little teeny no elevation mini-buck into his canter on the line. I just let him keep going around me, especially since it was the right lead--his less efficient one. After a good work, we reversed and his trot work, we cantered again. The left lead is easier for him and more naturally balanced. Mind you, both leads are good, but the left is his favorite. --Hey, Muriel, he'd make a good western pleasure horse with a little collected, soft canter. (Provided you only wanted to go left!)-- It was really nice, but I did have to push him on a little bit to get some impulsion.

Everyone, including Toby who made it clear he didn't want to participate, got a carrot reward.

What does amuse me is that so far, every time I work Chance, Tucker stands at the arena fence watching. And he is pretty intent about it for a good part of the time. I remember once when I was at a boarding barn, I was working someone else's horse for them and all the while, my Russell R. stood at the fence watching with definite focus. At one point, I saw him chewing on the top of the fence post...something he was not likely to do. Later, when I turned the horse I'd been working back out, Russell actually attacked. I honestly think he was jealous.

Now, Tucker's look is similar, but he does not go after Chance when I'm done. Apparently, whatever his motive is, he does not hold anything against Chance. Could be he just thinks the two of us need some of his expert supervision??

Or maybe it's just his version of horse TV.


  1. Spider gets very upset if he sees me with another horse, he paces the fence and calls to me. It's cute, but very distracting. A friend of mine calls him "co-dependant".

    Looks like I'll be riding with the mosquitos tonight, I didn't get motivated until around 10 and it was already too hot to ride. I shouldn't complain though, at least it isn't raining!

  2. Mosquitoes! do you have the tigers one? their abdomen is stripy like a tiger. Their bite (?, more their stink) is nasty.

    My poor son, is eaten alive. I spray him with mosquitoes repellent DURING DAY-TIME O_o

    I have to say that Chance is my favourite of your boys. The TB are too Prima Donna for me. ^-^

  3. I vote for horse TV.

    I think you need a fly sheet too! Or you could spray your clothes. Not sure the horses would like the look of you with a head net!

  4. No end to the variety of your bugs Jean. Rather you than me....


  5. Anonymous7:00 PM

    Our mosquitos can take your mosquitos any day (I'm sorry to say)! Plus our gnats, flies, B-52s, et alia. I'm surprised the horses have any blood left!