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!