|i'm the one with my mouth open|
We have a very specific routine--Courage goes in a loose outside siderein with the lunge line run through the bit ring back to the girth on the inside. He's also got his standing martingale on. We start left (his easy direction), canter a lot, and let him move his back and warm up. Then we switch to the right. He usually runs like a lunatic. I let him. The lunging rig, if you will, limits how much he can turn himself inside out, but beyond keeping him on the circle, I don't do a lot.
Then when he looks more like a sane horse, we stop. I switch sides again (back to the easy direction), shorten up his side rein, and we lunge like a proper horse. I want consistent, correct transitions and a steady, forward rhythm at all three gaits. Rinse and repeat to the right.
It takes forever. A "quick" day is like 20 minutes. We're frequently double that. It just depends how much flipping out needs to be done and how long it takes Courage to be comfortable relaxing and going forward.
|this is nice|
And while he goes full-orangutan if he's had a day off in there somewhere, the more we do this, the less frantic flipping out/flailing/leaping that goes on.
Which is interesting. Especially because of how thoroughly it transfers to my under saddle work. Right lead canter? We have one now. It's pretty freaking fantastic.
|this is the left lead|
I guess that's fair. It's definitely consistent. I mean when I look at it, he didn't learn how to jump properly until I started lunging him over jumps. He didn't really figure out the leg yield until we started doing it from the ground. And now, he is figuring out how to canter with his hocks underneath him because he isn't toting my ass around.
Hmmmmm. I can see that in hand work is all over my future.
She's just as right now as she was then.
And THAT is fascinating.
A huge part of the reason that we're not jumping is that Courage couldn't canter correctly. He'd just fall apart. Every time we get to a point under saddle where we're ready to really work on the canter, something changes and then we don't. And now, not only is he getting the feeling for a correct canter (which I can verify as I watch from the ground), he's also building the strength and muscle memory he needs to be able to replicate it under saddle successfully.
|not a great canter|
|alarming number of selfies taken|