Wednesday, April 11, 2012

10 - Back to the lunge line

My latest way to work my horse, since the weather has gotten warmer, is to lunge my horse during my 2 year old's nap.  I put the baby monitor on the fence post nearest the house, and get to work.  I can hear him when he wakes, and, hurry inside, leaving Dottie to graze in the paddock, if necessary.

I am working on figuring out iMovie (I didn't even know I had it, until just now!), so that I can add a voice over, as to what I'm doing with her.  For now, here is the video, and, yes, I should have corrected her sooner, when she didn't walk (from canter).  She walks so well from canter when I'm riding, I guess I didn't realize she wasn't there yet on the lunge line.  That, and the bouncing lunge line (I was holding the phone/videoing AND lunging at the same time), weren't positives for her training. I should have pushed her back into the canter within a few strides, rather than waiting for a whole revolution.  Ahh well.  She is coming along quite nicely.  Compare THIS canter to the canter video a few posts ago.  I was riding in that video, which was actually an IMPROVEMENT over her canter on the lunge line.  She needed me to hold her together at the time, but, she is learning, and her condition is improving, as evidenced here!

Oh, and the grey filly, Irie, tied to the post in the background, is experiencing her own 'training' session.  She is the sweetest horse, but a nervous nellie.  She doesn't see well, due to the lack of a lens on her eye.  She was born with congenital cataracts, and had the lenses removed to save her sight.  You might see her pawing in the video, but, it is a vast improvement over the whinnying and dancing around she did when I first tied her and lunged Dottie.

I'm making a conscience effort to expose my horses to as much as I can.  Even though I don't have time to ride Irie right now, I figure this is something.  I am amazed at all I did with my horse when I was 14 years old, that my horses haven't seen yet.  But, we are getting there.  Maybe I'll try to get a tarp session on video.  That might be fun...but I'm not sure how I'll hold the phone and handle her.  Maybe my 6 year old can help :-)

I'll update with my edited iMovie version, as soon as I figure it out ;-)  For now, here is my advice for anyone working on transitions on the lunge line, use the horse's natural tendencies to your advantage.  I ask for a walk when she approaches the gate (she naturally slows), and, I don't ask for a downward transition unless she looks relaxed enough that it is likely she will give it to me!  Now, for a horse that balks at the gate, you'll have to do the opposite and speed him up, so he doesn't stop when you don't want him to.  But, we don't have that problem.  At least not right now!

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