Yesterday I did some lunge work with Buck. It was his hard work day since he got a super easy day.
Buck has never been lunged before which is was very obvious. Took him out to the field and asked him to move out (I use a long driving whip, but I just wiggled it a little to get him to leave. He must have canter 20 times around at a frantic pace, spooking on one particular side. I just let him run, no pushing him, and I didn't ask him to stop.
Well he started to calm down and came back into a speedy trot. I had to work at stopping him several times. (I've free lunged quite a bit in a round pen and it's a lot easier on horse and person.) We worked on turning and moving out, which was not the intended lesson for today. I really just wanted him to actually work up a sweat and get some exercise. However, it turned into a lesson which was much needed apparently.
I had to use the whip to get him to move out, not hitting him at all just as the extension of my arm use. Keep in mind when he stopped I would walk up to him and rub him all over with the whip so he wasn't scared of the whip it's just a tool.
By the end of the lesson he had worked up quite a good sweat. Which made me wonder if I hadn't been pushing him enough in the other daily lessons to improve his conditioning. He sure is eating more so I thought I was doing well enough.
Well by the end of the lesson which probably lasted about and hour he was picking up my movements just like other horses in a round pen. I could get him to stop easily and move out just by pointing (Clint Anderson style). It was pretty awesome. *My other horse picked up on the Clint Anderson training super fast, he was super smart and a quick learner. Buck is very slow to learn, but I understand horses are like dogs and children, they learn differently.
I did like that I was able to watch his movements, where his feet landed and how he moved. Buck with sometimes catch his back feet, more so than stumbling with his front feet. I can really see the TW in his front legs when he moves and he kind, don't know if shuffles is the right word, but he doesn't pick his feet up in the back a whole lot and on uneven terrain he stubs his toes so to speak. I thought about taking his toes down on his back feet but want to get him into better shape to see if this is just a conditioning issues and that fact that his paddock is super FLAT or it make be a trait of a TW. I haven't yet decided.
He was quite tired at the end of the exercise so I took him for a long walk out into the field to cool him off and dry him out. By the time we got home he was dry so I groomed him and let him grazed while I groomed him. Some GIANT misquitos were trying to eat him so followed grooming with fly spray.
This morning you would have thought Buck got hit by a truck. He's sore and very stiff. I walked out to the pasture to get him and he barely moved. Today will be an easy day for him. I may just hand walk him to get his muscles warmed up and them give him a massage to help his soreness and put the saddle on and just sit on him in the paddock. Nothing to hard for today, poor guy. I felt like that when I had to run 2 miles and could barely walk the next day.
Hope all your horse training is going well and stay safe everyone.
The hardest thing about learning to ride is the ground!