Saturday, July 18, 2009

Feeling His Oats!

I was too tired yesterday to do much more than lunging, and I wanted to start Louie back slowly after his "event." So that's what we did- only Louie had some different ideas about lunging. . .

He started out quietly and calmly at a walk, then after that, whenever I asked for a trot or canter, or used my lunge whip, etc, he exploded with head shaking, bucking, kicking, lunging, etc. He was having fun after a day off, and I figured as long as it was just him in a halter without any other tack on, I'd let him play around on the lunge and have fun. Wow did he ever do that- about 20 minutes of fun-having. It very much resembled a video I have of Trust Fund, Louie's father, turned loose in the arena- these are some athletic animals!

Sharon pointed out "he looks none worse for the wear- that's what he looked like as he was running down the driveway." Lol. Silly horse. He seems to be just fine, still a little bit sore on that left hind, but nothing new there. . .

So today I rode him while my husband stood in the arena and provided some assistance. He did pretty well, walked, trotted, and cantered pretty consistently. Got his right lead 3/3 times, and his left lead 1/1 time. He really was very well mannered and listened pretty well to all of my aids. We worked just a little bit on extending the walk to start, and I think that will be something good to work on- extending and collecting the stride at each gait, to work on engaging the hindquarters more and moving towards real collected work.

My only complaint with today's ride was Louie's teeth. . . his grinding is really getting to me. Stall bridling him makes him better in a stall bridle, but when working, he goes right back to chewing/grinding. He didn't use his ears quite as well today as he did last time either. It was a little windy today, and there was another horse out there, so perhaps he was distracted by other things, but Bjorn's hooting and hollering wasn't getting Louie's attention as consistently today- I think it was because of Louie's bit chewing habit- when he chews and grinds so much, he doesn't use his ears. I don't know what the answer to this issue is, but I'm sure hoping I can find a cause, and more importantly- a solution. I thought he was bored, but he's been doing it now even when trotting and cantering, which shouldn't be too boring considering how much work it can be to canter! Perhaps he's still bored. I don't know. But other than the chewing issue, it was a very nice ride today- very Minnesota-esque with our 60 degree July temps. :) Love it!
Edited to add this very cute photo from Saturday's ride. Courtesy of Laura Hutchinson, Mel-O-Dee Stables.

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