Warmup Progress - Lunging

In my post on Monday, I asked the blogging community for ideas to help my long, inefficient warmup.  There were some really good suggestions in the comments!  I decided to try a couple this week.

On Monday night, I tried just asking for forward from the very beginning, which did give me the impulsion I needed, but my position didn't hold, my reins got long, and Connor got tense.  I've been videoing every single ride now that the Pixio is so easily accessible, and I actually didn't realize my reins were as long as they were until I saw the tape - it was bad.

Ugh, no, just no. Everything about this is bad.
So I looked through the other suggestions thinking "How do I get forward but take my ineffective self out of the equation?"  I decided to try lunging with side reins before my lesson on Tuesday, as d. Safin suggested.  Focusing on forward.

Side reins were suuuuuuuper loose.  Pony in horse side reins.
In summary: IT WORKED.  I did about four minutes each side (thanks, Pixio), just until I had gotten his customary "tranter" out of the way and I saw him reach down for the bit at the walk and trot.  We still had some warming up to do after, but it was not nearly as long as normal, and not nearly as difficult to get through.

Then!

Because he was ready to work pretty much immediately when my trainer got there, we were able to really get stuff done.  We focused on keeping his gaits active and punchy, especially the hind legs in the canter, and oh. em.  gee.  did we have fun.

FUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

We did a lot with the canter as well, and he was so steady in it, I was even able to change my whip without him reacting.  (Ignore the sticky beginning of this canter - we have a spot with REALLY deep and shifty footing, I try to avoid it generally but didn't here.)



So as always, we'll constantly re-evaluate our methods, but this seems to be really effective and we'll continue to use it as long as it's this effective.  Thanks to the blogging community and especially d. Safin for the suggestion!

11 comments:

  1. Lunging certainly has it's place. Glad you found something that worked!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does, and it's not something I typically reach for, not really sure why. But it definitely worked.

      Delete
  2. Yeah! Ground work is so helpful in allowing a horse to find their balance without us helping them, even with the very broke horses. I think people feel that longe I got and Long-lining is a step backwards. But I always see it as a step forwards.

    Whenever I find myself an an impasse, I go back to the ground. When I add something new, I want them to be able to do it without me on them FIRST.

    I want them to do something well without having to balance a human on them first. And sometimes the first few transitions can be a bit sloppier as they work out a few muscles and remember how to be soft after 24 or 48+ hours off.

    If a horse can't canter a soft 20 meter circle on a longe line with side reins, they are aren't ready for a rider.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's all true and I appreciate the suggestion. Longing is not something I typically reach for, but it was nice to watch him get that awkward canter out of the way without me on his back, and certainly helped him warm up quicker.

      Delete
  3. Fantastic! Love the whip switch and Connor stays so steady!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great ride! Glad the longing helped... every horse is different so whatever works, that's awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yay! It's so exciting when you find something that works :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP