And Tucker Walks the Trail
I lunged today. It was a bit windy again and I just felt better on the ground.
No need to worry too much as Tucker was perfect on the lunge line. Granted, it's just some walk, trot and canter in the halter at the end of the line--more exercise than training--but he often plays up at it. Not today.
So, after we finished our session, I took him out for a lead walk through the woods trail, introducing him to the new trail in the process. He was not impressed and much more interested in grabbing bites from every leafy tree we passed on the way. I indulged him--mostly--as long as when I said, "Let's go," he did. We had a few moments of too much focus on the leaves and not enough on me, but for the most part, he was a good boy.
When I got back, I put the halter and line on Chance and lunged him in the paddock area in front of the barn. The footing there is sandy, but a little uneven, so he had to work a little more to keep his balance, pace, and footing. We did a good bit of trotting. As Muriel noted, trotting is the key to strengthening stifles as it's the gait that builds the muscle around the joint.
And, hills are an important part of developing the muscle fitness a "stifle horse" needs. So when we finished in the paddock, I took him out to the pasture. There are some really nice hills out there with varied steepness, all of a nice length for lunging or even riding to get a horse fitter without overdoing it.
I may have pushed Chance a little too long, as he took one bad stride on the left rein, as if his right hind just kind of "collapsed" under him--although he may have tripped. So I cut the exercise short on the right rein and then called it a day.
Tomorrow, if I get the chance, I will ride him on the trail again, perhaps using the hill along the farm field to give him some work under saddle. If it's not too breezy, I will try to ride Tucker out on the mini trail, but we'll see about that.
I have also captured a very unhappy Peppercorn who is now in the cage in the sunroom with Misty to keep him company. Tomorrow, he goes to the vet for neutering. He may never trust me again--who knows?--but it is for his own good as well as the good of any female cats within roaming distance of my house. As much as I love cats, the world does not need litters of stray kittens with a shiny black daddy.
I hope he will forgive me in time.