Saturday, March 20, 2010

Signs of Spring

I found this little daffodil blooming in the woods along side our farm. It's very early for daffodils to be blooming, but I guess this one was fooled by the warm weather.

This week has been unseasonably warm. Which is nice for me, but not quite as nice for the horses. They still have their thick winter coats. While 70 degrees seems perfect to me, the horses are too hot. Especially poor little Matilda. She grew a winter coat that would make an Arctic Reindeer jealous and now she is truly suffering in the heat. They're just beginning to shed, so I've been going out daily to help the process along.

I've been lungeing Spider for 25-30 minutes nearly every day. I need to get him back to an acceptable fitness level before we can even think about working on anything. Right now he can't work more than 30 minutes without getting tired and sweaty. Although, it's hard to tell when he's tired. Thoroughbreds don't really wear out the way Warmbloods do. As Spider gets tired the quality of his work declines, but not his level of enthusiasm. I have to pay very close attention to keep from overworking him.

He still needs some work on basic obedience on the lunge, anyway. As I said before, I don't use voice commands much and he isn't used to them. So I'm trying to be very consistent with using a voice command when I ask for an upward or downward transition. He'll get it eventually. Then, hopefully, I'll be able to transfer that idea to long-reining. And then we can really get some work done.

Until then, we're just going around in circles. Long, boring circles.


  1. Do you have some trotting poles? Adding them can spice up the lunging. So can a little jump or two. Just be careful to put some slide poles on either side of whatever you use for an upright so the lungeline can go up and over without getting caught.

    You can also as for changes of speed within the gait on the lunge for a little variety. And how about doing a lot of transitions, trying to get Spider to respond immediately to the voice in various points on the circle.

    You can also do an occasional straight line on the lunge too to give his joints a break from the repeated circles.

  2. Thanks for the good ideas! I was thinking about ground poles last night when I lunged, actually. I've got some leftover fence posts that would do nicely.

    We've been doing a lot of transitions to get him used to the voice commands, but I hadn't thought of doing transitions within the gaits.

    Good call on the slide poles for the jumps, too. Although, I probably won't get that adventurous!


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