conditioning · longeing

Riding Update: Conditioning & Longeing

What about my actual horse, you might ask?

Well. Not much exciting.

I’m riding, which is in and of itself exciting after the winter/spring we had. So there’s that.

We’ve done about two weeks of a conditioning program. I am an expert at rehabbing this horse now. I spent some time really thinking hard about how to push him, looked for some new tools (reviews coming soon) and we’ve been diligently pursuing trot sets and planned days off since. I’m working him 4-5 days a week, huzzah for that.

Sunday, I came off. It’s been four days now and I keep getting new and exciting aftereffects: mostly throughout my back, which seems to have re-aggravated an old riding injury. It’s not dire, but it means I’ve been moving more slowly and making my fiance bring up all the boxes from the basement to unpack.

Since then, I haven’t felt up to hijinks, so I’ve been longeing in his chambon. I love that thing. With the understanding that it does really make him use his muscles, I’m longeing for ~35 minutes, then giving him a day off. Probably I will get back in the saddle on Sunday.

Summer means bath season again. Baths are the WORST.

The good news is after 40 minutes of longeing on Tuesday, which included canter in which he had to put his damn head down, he was only slightly warm to the touch at the end. It was a muggy, humid day in the 70s, so the fact that he was a) not blowing and b) not warm made me feel good. He was clearly a little muscle-tired, and drank half his bucket when he got back to his stall, but more of a good workout tired rather than an out of shape exhausted.

He’s also in good weight and I like where his topline is headed. I just have to stick to my guns and keep pushing him instead of getting nervous and backing off.

3 thoughts on “Riding Update: Conditioning & Longeing

  1. Would love to know more about your use of the chambon and how Tris did when you first started using it. It's an aid I really appreciate and think it could be great for Auto, but the two times I've used it (not set tightly), he giraffed even more! I don't feel confident to know when to push him through it or decide it's just not the right tool for him.

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  2. Hm. I wish I had a magic solution for you. Tristan goes in the chambon in part because it's the only thing I've ever found that doesn't make him go all giraffe-y. He resists sidereins to kingdom come.

    I do think there are a few tricks to it. One of them is to really keep their butt moving. It works so that they almost can't giraffe if their hind end is really working hard. Even at the walk, they need to be marching.

    The reason I chose it in the first place is because it almost can't do bad things – not more than any other gadget can, anyway. All it does is encourage down. The rest is up to the horse. That said, when Tris wears it I keep it so loose that it only kicks in if he tries to brace against it. So if it's not that loose on Auto, maybe try putting it REALLY loose? He needs to see a really clear release when he works correctly.

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