Friday, January 2, 2009

Work on the Lunge Line

I tried to actually ride yesterday but it consisted of walking only for 15 minutes before the biting cold finished me off. Today was another really C-O-L-D day. A bit of snow swirled down earlier today, adding to the stuff from days before. The arena behind the barn was dragged to improve the footing somewhat and at least prevent snowballs from forming in the hooves, so today I decided to work Monty on the lunge line for a few minutes.

I like to lunge with either full tack or a surcingle as often as possible. Sure, there are times when we do the "20 meter turn-out" version with the just the halter and lunge line. But I prefer he respect lungeing as another form of work and not to run and buck and try to pull me off my feet as I have seen many other people's horses do.

And as one of my resolutions to be a somewhat better blogger and add more pictures to my postings, I remembered to take the camera with me so here's a pictorial of our 20 minute walk/trot lunge session.

Monty, in all his fuzzy white yakness. He was looking at me fumbling with the camera as if to say, "oookay, what is this fool doing? It's cold, it's almost supper time and I'm out here to work, not pose for pictures".

Here's a full-body shot. Our lungeing attire for today, bridle, side reins and surcingle.

At the walk. (By the way, my pictures are all facing in this direction because Monty was particularly dirt-stained on his other side.) Monty is very good with work on the lunge. Note the relaxed, working walk frame and loose contact of the side reins.

Here's one trot shot. His head is a little above a working trot frame here but considering the footing was not consistant, he might have been compensating for what he felt underhoof.

After 10 minutes of walk/trot in this direction we switched directions and did 10 more minutes of the same. By now the horses on the afternoon turn-out shift were being brought in to the barn and supper time was near. I finished lungeing, called Monty to turn and walk in to me and unclipped the side reins. I walked him a circle or two free of the side reins then brought him in and removed the tack. In this picture, he's checking out the stable hands bringing in the dinner cart with all the feed rations.

Ahh, untacked, tucked under his warm sheet and enjoying a well-earned meal!


allhorsestuff said...

Monty is so fuzzy adorable Right now!Claen a s whistle too! it the lack of warm moist ground!
Nice sessio but yea, footing was hard and slick huh.

I tried to ride yesterday in the arena..but the whipping winds and the gutters down on the side with the screenning ripped and flapping...really made me rethink her ability to focus. Deci9cded to lunge instead.
She lungned well... A couple bolts of fright when the screen blew into the arena...but she reaturned to me within 3 strides. good recovery.
Loved all your pics!

Ellie said...

Loved seeing the pictures, my blogging New Years resolution should be to get someone out to take pictures of me while I am actually on Werther! Random question, what kind of bit is that? I have not seen one with blue happy mouth plastic.

Ellie and Werther Blog

OnTheBit said...

He has a blue bit!!! That is so freaking cute!!! I love it! And I hear you about posting pictures of a grey horse in the winter...Monty doesn't look too bad though. In fact, I would say he looks significantly less yellow then my guy. And I hear you about the lounging is a time to work...I hate it when you put a horse on the lounge and they go NUTS. I don't mind a yeehaw every now and again but to exclusivly run and buck is not the best use of a louging session in my opnion! Great post...I love the pictures!

SolitaireMare said...

allhorsestuff - ah, I know what you mean by "scary winter indoor" stuff. My boyz trainer has cancelled a few riding lessons because the indoor at the farm where he teaches makes noise when it's windy and rainy and the latest was the snow was melting and sliding off the roof and spooking the horses when it came down. I think lungeing was a good decision on your part!

Ellie and OnTheBit - since you noticed it, more information about the blue bit is in my latest post!