Friday 20 January 2012

Lovely Lungeing

It has been a very quite riding week for me thus far - so quite in fact that my backside has not touched the saddle since last sunday. But fear not L rode her on Tuesday, Wednesday lunch time i worked her in the pessoa and last night (Thursday) we lunged over poles. I changed it up slightly last night and lay out two formations which i have not combined while lungeing her before. In the lower half of the arena i had four trotting poles in a line and in the upper half of the arena had a pole at 12 and one at 6 o'clock on a small circle. What we ended up doing was warming up down the lower half, walk/trot/canter transitions then trot through the line of trotting poles - normal enough excercise, now i didn't go mad but on her good rein (which i happened to start working on) we tried something i'd thought about doing before but hadn't suceeded in getting the message across - plus request was too difficult last time as poles were different and not conducive to what i was asking for - so i'm glad she has a brain and said "ah - no thank you" on that occasion. What we did last night is trotted through the poles then cantered the semi circle without poles and back to trot to go through the poles again - testing responsiveness to voice commands, obediance and encouraged her to use her arse in trotting over the poles and bounce. Win-win! And I'm glad to say it worked!
Changed to bad rein and we changed the excercise slightly as it is still slightly more difficult for her on that rein so she'd trot through the poles take up the canter, I'd move slightly so she'd canter one full circle around me and come back to trot to go through the poles again. Kept her moving and guessing, didn't repeat any request more that 2-3times to stop her pre-empting and doing stuff of her own accord - thereby not actually listening to me.

Happy with that and sticking with our "bad rein" i moved up to the upper half of the arena (where I had the poles at 12 and 6 o'clock) trotted over one pole first then asked her to canter over it. When i previously had her canter over two poles in a similar position she had all sorts of trouble with it - either i had the poles spaced wrong (possible) or the arena we were doing it in was too small (more likely option i think). Anyways started her off over one pole and that was fine, brought her back to trot so that she could find her striding over the two poles then asked her to pick back up the canter. She broke back to trot the first few times as she struggled to find her striding/balance and then gave the poles a couple of clatters still she copped a little leap would help her out (like a really teeny tiny jump). Once she had this lightbulb moment and got three rounds without breaking from canter or hitting the poles i brought her back to trot and changed direction.
The only other time I'd tried a similar excercise (not incredibly successfully see above reasoning of smaller sized arena) she had been predictably better on her good rein. At this stage she was well warm and starting to blow so promised her that if she could hold it together to get it right a few times on this rein we'd finish up - as i knew she would as it's her better rein and as such easier, hence why we start with the bad rein - sneaky reward process. As i knew she would, she was quicker to achieve the no breaking/no hitting the poles on this rein so with two successul cantered circles over the poles we slowed back to trot then walk and cooled off.

I am very happy with how she has behaved while i was lungeing, responsive to requests and happy to work both in the pessoa and even making nice shapes without - victories are victories :)

Plan is to ride this evening and hopefully multiple times over the weekend, however I have started my Distance Learning Course this week and due to late paperwork and delayed registration I have found out that I am basically a week and a half behind most people. So the bones of my weekend is going to be spent with my nose stuck in a book and listening to lectures/tutorials as the first assessment (pass or fail) is being released today and has to be completed by Thursday. So mucho reading required by me this weekend as I've to cram the bones of two weeks work into two days - so the break for ponio will deffinitely be a well deserved one this weekend! Fingers crossed we can find each other on good terms and make the snatched moments count for something positive :)


  1. Hi Aoife

    Always reading these posts.. Love to hear how yourself and Kika are progressing.. Also, you give me loads of tips on exercises for myself and Solly.. One tip from my instructor on Tues - don't forget to practice cantering straight lines.. We constantly canter the full arena or circles, but very rarely practice cantering across the diagonal or down the centre line!!
    Keep these blogs coming.. I'm a definite fan!!


  2. I hope you get time to ride AND catch up on your class!


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