longeing

Progress

Some small pieces of progress!

My hand is still healing but I’ve downgraded the type of bandage I’m using and I am slowly regaining mobility. Should be able to ride by the end of this week. I’m scheduled for barn chores this weekend.

In the meantime, still free longeing. Last night I got back to work after a few days out of town visiting family, and Tris was fresh and raring to go. He bucked and farted and galloped around and was generally naughty for quite a while once I asked for a trot.

We did some work on discipline issues: if you’re going to spin around and let fly with your hind end and generally give me the middle finger, then you are going to keep moving, no matter what. I would test him occasionally in asking him to turn or waaaaaaalk, and when I got an immediate, obedient response he was allowed to walk again. If not, back to the big forward trot for him!

I’m actually really liking what the free longeing is doing for him: it allows me to really focus on his hind end engagement and get him moving forward and through. Without the added complication of the longe line that’s all we’re doing – and since he’s free longeing, I don’t have to worry as much about torquing his joints and/or overdoing it. He’s basically going ’round and ’round the arena in exactly the same way he would under saddle.

So he has to have a big forward walk and trot and use his back for the entirety of the work, which is doing great things, I think. He’s still clearly gaining muscle through his back and neck and hindquarters. It’s so nice to see the progression! Last night, some of his big forward fancy trot had a ton of suspension (caveat: for him); his front feet were practically floating off the ground for a few strides at the time as he sat back on his hind end and really engaged his hocks.

It also lets me really see any imbalances. For example, right now his right hind is tracking…maybe 1/2″ shorter than his right hind. So we worked to the right and through transitions to get him to step under more, to flex that hock more. It didn’t say to me pain or problem, just stiff and a bit uneven.

2 thoughts on “Progress

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