The lungeing went so much better after I had established to Lucky that I was the leader the time before. Horses and mules really do start off where we left off and remember what they did last time. This time around Lucky respond to more subtle, quieter cues. I didn't have to even use the whip. My focus for that lungeing session was to ask Lucky to do what I wanted in the smallest way possible, and it worked well. After the first few minutes, she listened vey carefully to the slight changes in my body. In fact, just by looking in the direction I wanted her to go, what Laura does when preparing to ask for trot(to the left lungeing when to the left and right when going right), Lucky responded by trotting right away. It's such as great feeling for a horse to be in tune with you enough to trot off at just slight change in your body.
|No new pictures so here's one of Lucky I took couple weeks ago.|
Since Lucky was listening nicely, Laura recommended asking for bigger and smaller trot strides. for smaller strides I would relax my energy, and for bigger trot strides I would look where I wanted lucky to go and give a cluck if needed. There was one time when I asked a little too strongly(I slightly lifted the whip by accident), and Lucky broke into canter and kicked up her heels. I remain calmed and lowered the energy in my body, calmly saying "whoa." After that, Lucky's trot was actually much nicer and bigger, like a fancy dressage trot. It actually made her feel good to get her adrenaline going.
Afterward, I rode Lucky for a little bit on the lunge line(Lucky still can't work too long). Laura was controlling the steering, and I just controlled the speed. I wasn't completely without reins but kept them at the buckle just in case I need to stop her. I worked on keeping my elbows bent and hands the right distance apart. In the posting trot I focused on bring the center of my body up and towards my hands. I also tired to establish an even two beat rhythm. I then tried staying up for two beats and sitting for one, but I had trouble with it. I certainly need to work on my two point! I'l be doing more lunge lessons in the future.
After that, the chiropractor and farrier came, so I helped fetch and hold horses and mules. There was also someone there who does equine body work(massage and other things that release tension in the body). She demonstrated on Lucky how she gently squeezes the muscles behind the poll to release tension. Blinking, snorting, and chewing are all signs that tension has been released. Here is a more in-depth description of what she did. Lucky also was work on by the chiropractor. The chiropractor gave exciting news: Lucky is cleared for canter work under saddle! Woo-hoo! I'm so excited.
Also, Laura was featured in a Horse Illustrated article. Check out my post about it.