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Wallaby 10-05-2011 11:15 PM

Groundwork exercises with low joint impact?
So, Lacey's getting older (well, I didn't start with her when she was anywhere near young, but now she's much older than young instead of just kinda old) and I'm starting to realize that at her age, lunging on a bi-weekly basis is not really a great option.
She does LOVE being lunged but at 26, 27 in the spring, it's not getting healthier for her. I'll probably continue it once a week or so since she does love love love lunging.

Only problem with cutting back her work load? She gets crazy. She really needs to be worked daily or every other day because without work, she turns into a headcase. And since I'm using her to give lessons to little kids with, I need her to have her head in the game, as it were.
I've found that if I do things that get her thinking on a daily basis, she's MUCH less nutty than she is otherwise.

The only problem is that I have no idea what I could do with her.
I would ride but our only options are a few trails that we go on pretty regularly and really offer her very little mental stimulation (which is what she needs, really). There are a few trails we can go on that change regularly, but those are all 2-3 hour long rides which, being a college student, I don't have time for regularly.

So are there any groundwork sorts of things you guys do with your horses to get them thinking but that aren't physically damaging like lunging can be?
They don't have to be long things, just about half an hour a day (minus grooming) seems to be enough to keep her mind occupied...

I've considered starting to take her on walks. That'd be good for her and me. I just have to get motivated and actually do it. It would be extra good for her leading skillz since she's a pain to lead when she wants to go somewhere faster than you do.

tinyliny 10-06-2011 02:21 AM

waht about ground driving? You could teach her this and start driving her around and over obstacles and such. Maybe get her good enough to hook up to a sledge or somthing, if you can rig up some kind of collar.

My friend's horse is about the same age, looks like Lacey and also needs regular excersize. But she can manage with a walk. also, she has a pasture mate, so they meander a lot. Does Lacey have a pasture mate?

Sahara 10-06-2011 11:01 AM

Obstacle course work. You can set up different patterns with landscaping timbers, barrels, traffic cones, flower boxes, mailboxes.

You can do all kinds of things on trail rides, too, to keep her mind focused on you. Sidepassing on the trail, pivots, leg yields, backing up hills, ............the options are limited to your imagination.

spookychick13 10-06-2011 11:09 AM

Hey Chicky:

I bought this book YEARS ago for my very first horse...and I rebought it for Brandon.
It's awesome, has a lot of neat exercises/ kept my old guy sound until he was almost 30.
You can do things like back lifts, etc. Very cool.

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