Discussion in 'Training of the Horse and Rider' started by Mary Poppins, Feb 26, 2018.
This is more or less what I was suggesting
Thanks for all the encouragement. I will definitely start introducing voice commands in-hand, but at the moment he is still on box rest and small pen turnout as we are waiting for his splint to fuse. I have been taking him for grass walks to stop him going insane, but he isn't allowed to move much so I can't really do anything with him. On our grass walks I just take him to the nearest field where he eats as much as he possibly can. It wouldn't be fair to expect him to do any work under these circumstances, even if he were allowed to. We missed our vet visit last week because of the snow, but hopefully he will be reassessed on Friday. It has been almost 4 weeks now and the vet said it would take between 4 and 6 weeks so hopefully we are on the way up.
I have been busy choosing my roller and reins so we are good to go when the vet/physio say so. I have also booked onto a 'pilates for your horse' course which will explain more about stretches and exercises that will help his back.
I might indeed. I'd only be able to do it up and down the yard to the school and round the school though, I wouldn't dare go out on the road. I can't imagine how you'd control the horse if it had a panic attack over a tractor or something.
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May I ask has he been diagnosed with a true splint or a false splint?
No I wouldn't dare long rein on the road either. But then we are surounded by really busy main roads which I don't hack on either. Give it a try on the land you have got and let me know how you get on.
So I am very excited having just ordered my driving reins! I splashed out on a pair of 7 metre proper driving reins with a buckle which attaches to the bit rather than a metal clip. They buckle at the other end as well which might stop me treading on them. I am also going to order a shires lunging roller but having a few problems sourcing one in extra large. I have found a site which sells them but haven't ordered from them before so I need to make sure my husband is happy to use it before I order (we got hacked and had hundred stolen from our bank account so we are always mega careful now).
I have visions of Ben and I entering heavy horse ploughing competitions next year! I never thought I would get so excited about long reining!
Why don't you just use your saddle @Mary Poppins? use a spare leather to tie the stirrups under his belly to stop them flapping about and job done, no need for extra equipment.
I don't like the idea of the extra weight and bulk of a saddle. I also want to use the rings at different places for both lunging and long ,reining. The roller is only £20. I also want to see his back move and not be hidden by the saddle.
If you can’t find a roller in extra large I’m sure there would be no harm in using a girth extender since it’s not taking any pressure as such.
That is a very good idea. Thank you.
You asked about Richard Maxwell's stuff on long reining. There's a good section in "Train your young horse" but it's only about 6 pages of the book! The best guide is in "Unlock your horse's talent in 20 mins a day" and I'm happy to lend you a copy if you prefer
My preference, and i was advised as well don't join the buckle. Keep a rein separate in each hand.
I think you will find it easier to learn using a roller rather than the saddle.
If you can find them I have two little books by Sylvia Stanier called The Art of Lunging & The Art of Long Reining, ones about 55 pages the other about 75 pages. They cost me about £7 each a few years ago. But they are light easy reading with diagrams which gives you ideas.
So this morning I had my first long reining lesson and it was fabulous. I want to write it all down so I remember it and I thought that I would write it here in case anyone else is interested.
I got out a local instructor who has a good reputation for ground work and she was great. We started with Ben in his bridle with no reins and a roller (which I bought in extra full which is huge - if anyone buys a shires roller and has a big horse, the full size will be big enough).
She started by introducing Ben to the long lines one at a time. She first let him sniff them and then rubbed them all over him. She put them over his back and then very gradually moved them round his back end. He was fine with this and took it in his stride.
Then she took one line and wrapped it round his back end and stood almost by his head - so the whole rein was round him. She then put gentle but constant pressure on the rein until he moved away from the pressure. As soon as movement was made the pressure was released as a reward. This was to teach him how to respond to the reins. The same was done on the other rein.
We then put two reins together. We talked about positioning. You are not to stand directly behind the horse or they cannot see you. You need to stand to one side but still maintain a constant pressure on the rein. The rein pressure was much lighter than I thought it would be. Or maybe I ride with too much pressure?
I then walked by his head when she had the long lines. I had a leadrope on him and asked him to walk on and she just followed. I then asked him to halt. She then asked Ben to walk on while I was still at his head, and I started walking after Ben had. To ask Ben to walk she said 'walk on' and then very gently flapped the reins by his side to replicate the leg. She then asked him to halt. When he did asked I made a huge fuss of him. We then did some turns with me still walking next to him but not attached to the leadrope, and then I stepped away completely.
I then had a go. My main learning points were as follows:
1. Ben needs very light aids to both start and stop. This is not how he feels to ride which make me think that I must be doing something wrong riding him. He was so responsive and the slightest 'flap' on the reins (it wasn't a flap but I don't know how to describe it) sent him forward into a lovely marching walk. We struggled to walk like this when riding him.
2. When applying pressure to reins I need to be constant and not 'sponge' the reins. It is very important to release immediately when he responds.
3. I kept applying too much pressure to the outside rein - both reins must be even and level.
4. I need to practise dealing with the long lines when setting up and finishing. There are lots of reins and it is easy to get in a muddle.
My driving reins are in the post (I used lunge lines today) so hopefully they will be here in a few days. I plan to long line about 3 times per week for his rehab and when I feel confident enough will get out in the fields and start marching up our hills. I am going to book this instructor to come and teach me how to lunge properly as well. I loved the fact that nothing we did today involved even holding a whip, and he showed me some lovely responsive work. I'm very pleased with him.
Excellent! Told you he'd be a star! And yes, I totally forgot about teaching them to uncoil....I did this with all my babies and a 12ft line. Well done, MP (and Ben!), you'll both be doing all the fancy moves in no time at all...
I am so glad you had a good lesson and enjoyed it! I love the long lines, they are fun for me and Ziggy. It sounds as though Ben will enjoy them too!
It is so much fun. I can see us doing loads of this.
It is so much more interesting and versatile than lungeing, isn't it...
Well done it sounds like it was an excellent lesson for you and Ben.
You've started me on something. I did three long line sessions with Chunky last week and one yesterday. We've been going up the hills. He walks with great gusto. Like you he doesn't under the saddle.
When you start walking out I suggest wearing trainers. My feet are killing me in my wellies.
At the moment Ben can only walk in pretty much straight lines so we were only doing the basics. When he is able to trot and start circles etc. I will get her back out and have a more in-depth lesson as I would love to lunge with the two lines.
I have always had a problem lunging Ben. I had some lessons years ago and the instructor just wanted me to smack his legs with the lunge whip. This caused him to kick out and it wasn't the way I wanted to proceed so I gave up lunging. However, this new instructor is very quiet and calm and not at all whip happy. Ben really strode out and there was no struggle to keep him moving forwards at all - there were no whips involved at all. She is going to go back to basics with both of us and teach him to lunge from scratch. I am so pleased I found her, she runs a livery yard and I would love to move there but unfortunately it is 15 miles in the wrong direction.