Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the cherry on the cake

I haven't worked Moo the last few days (trying not to have too great expectations) but I've had two good seesions in the school with Chapsi.
We start our school sessions at liberty; stopping, starting, backing up and using voice and body as aids. Yesterday we then played with the cordeo; introducing stopping and backing from a light upwards touch. We continued with in-hand trot transitions and finished eating some lush grass on the way back up to the yard.
Today we continued with some work on the ground tying. This is so very hard for a four year old with a busy brain...but that's just the reason it is important. We finished again with the trot transitions but this time at liberty, oh he can be such a good boy.
One of the upsides of this work is that when I lead Chapsi and Peanut pone down to the furthest grazing spot they are well behaved and walk out well, neither of them pulling or trailing.
Oh, nearly forgot, the cherry on the cake. When I was set the challenge of long reining with one unattached rein (see here) it started a conversation on the french bitless association about lunging and where it fits in to the horses education. It was suggested that lunging, far from being the initial means of exercising a horse, is actually the cherry on the cake...the final piece of the jigsaw. I'm not sure that I immediately grasped the importance of this statement BUT as I see my young horse develop on so many different levels I comprehend this better with each passing day.


Di said...

It's a good point about lungeing Trudi. The leading work I've done with Anky and Remy has made me realise how much more communication there can be between horse and trainer. I would like to carry that through to the lungeing, I've only seen glimpses of it with Anky.

HorseOfCourse said...

Lush grass?
LUSH grass??!!
*hysterical laugh*

it IS nice with snow
it IS nice with snow
it IS nice with snow
(seen "The shining" lately??)

Kate said...

We are doing some of the same things, for sure. I need to do more work with Dawn on her lungeing and moving off my body language, particularly as she's doing so well with the leading and standing work. Your posts are very inspirational for us!

SheilaF said...

Lush mud here! And promise of much more to come! Oh woe, Winter! I love doing lunge work. My horses are so responsive to the voice and they seem to be so intuitive. Almost doing a movement before being asked. And now that our new surface is nearing completion, I am so-o-o looking forward to PROPER flat work and training.

And along with the mud comes Flight's annual mud fever! Do I try to fight it or call Mr. Vet straight away. I've tried everything and almost every winter she get it on that one white sock. And our new surface is silica sand and rubber, so that doesn't much help. I guess I'm longreining her up and down the lanes until it heals up. Oh woe yet again!! S xx

Mandeigh said...

I'm a huge lunge fan....have been since I was a teenager, Its not just a good warm up or exercise session, you can do all kinds of work..I love it!

trudi said...

Di, yes I think the communication can be incredible and that sometimes starting the lunging too soon can stop you from achieving the closeness that we all strive for. If and when all the other work is done to a good level then indeed lunging is just the very special end product.

Ah well HofC, we have two winter fields that are, as yet, ungrazed (although each time we pass them I get a nudge as if to remind me, lol) but we have not got round to fencing the paddock next to the school so it is very nice and they love to stop for a treat on the way back to the yard. Snow, yikes you can keep that...although my daughter hasn't used her sled in two years and she's always happy to see snow!
Kate, indeed I love to feed off what everyone else is doing...inspiration is definitely needed at this time of the year.

Sheila, pain about the mud fever :-(

Mandeigh, you sound like me. I recall my first youngster that I had in my teens, all my mates thought I was nutty to want to lunge. I admit my style has changed enormously over the years but not my enthusiasm for it.