Superman to the rescue

Ola ola,

So. You have those rugs that I deem necessary, like the winter rugs and raincoat. Then you have those that you buy because you see it on sale and buy it while you do not really need it.

This walker rug from Rambo – Horseware was definitely one of those buys. I saw it on sale this summer and for some reason I really felt I needed it. Since it was pouring down today I took it for a test ride when walking to the lunging arena and walking about afterwards. To be honest the rug is really well made as you can expect from Horseware. It got a fleece inside and a water repellant outer layer. I didn’t dare to lunge with it as I’m afraid Grumpy would get his feet in the surcingles. Although its nice, it’s not a rug that you need at all. I do like the way it makes Grumpy look like he is wearing a superman coat tough. hoho

On another note, Grumpy was really stiff and slow today. I can’t really blame him as it has been such bad weather and it suddenly went from a decent warmth to really freaking cold. Tomorrow he has a day off with cuddles and walks before we start training properly for the next two weeks before I can ride again. Almost there, almost there!

x.M

Road to recovery – Day 1

Ola ola,

Today was the first day of road to recovery and our lovely lunging marathon as I like to call it. I’ve decided that Grumpy is going to be rewarded with a forrest ride if we get so far that we can ride again. Cause seeing that lunging arena from the inside 10 days long is definitely not something I’m looking forward to.

But nonetheless it has to be done and today was day 1. I was wondering if I would see any difference right away, but didn’t really know what to expect.

The first thing I noticed was that he stretched his neck more or less from the beginning. Something he normally doesn’t do. After becoming warmed up he moved with more swung then normal as well. As I want to see the difference from day 1 till day 10 I took some photos. Looking forward to see if there will be any!

X.m

Head to the sand 

Today has been such a chill day. 

I finally got around to clean all my tack. So now everything is shiny and pretty again. I used to do it every Sunday, but fell out of the routine a bit over the last few months. Clean stuff, clean mind.

Wednesday means lungeday for Mr.Grumpy as usual. Since the sun was shining it was actually super nice to be outside. 


The last few months I’ve been working on him releasing/using his back and neck without having to use lungeaid. Today we started of with using it, and when he was warm enough I took it off again. To my surprise he released really quickly and moved a lot more suppled. 


This is his “typical” way of moving. Neck way to high and back being completely stiff. Below you can see where are now:


As he was a bit too slow today he wasn’t moving his behind part as well as he should. But it’s definitely improving and going forward. For some reason I find it super fun to see how he is improving and building more muscles. For some weird reason its giving me motivation to work out myself, as I always get demotivated when I don’t see the results. Who would have thought a horse was needed for that. Haha.

Hope you’ve had a nice day.

X.M

Flying lungehelp 

I think Mr.Grumpy shares my thoughts regarding lunging and found out he had to bring some action to it.

As mentioned before I use a lungehelp while lunging him to make sure he uses his back properly. 


Like this one.

Today everything went fine, until he started cantering and in some miraclelous way, managed to get his foot over on one side so the whole thing got loose and started flying around him like a rocking ring. 

The lungehelp is connected to the bit, so for a second I got really scared he would step on it and pull out his entire mouth. But as gracious as the man is, he decide to stop and looked at me like I was a retard for putting this thing on him in the first place. Guess I got to tighten it a bit more next time.

I did the rest of the training without the help and he was doing really well. He is becoming more and more relaxed in his neck and back so towards the end he was freely walking with his head towards the sand. I really wish I could feel this excited about loosing wheight as well, I would have had a body like Doutzen right now. Haha


Other then that no more exciting things to report. Other than that I’ve been in bed since 10. Yep, I’m a total grandma. 

Have a nice evening.

X.m

How to make lunging more interesting and fun

I for one is one of those that find lunging rather boring. Specially when you stand there in the poring rain and all you wish is to be back home on your sofa. However there are ways to make lunging more fun and interesting, so I trailed through the internet and asked on Instagram to see what different ways there were and found the list below. However before you start trying out these ways, please consult with a professional if you don’t feel you have enough knowledge to do it alone for the first time.

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1. Poles

Laying poles on the ground will make sure your horse will liften up his legs and use his back more. This is also a great way to train balance, rhythm and for example starting to teach piaffe if you do dressage. Many Grand Prix rides use these techniques to better the horses movements. I would love to do this with Mr.Grumpy as it would benefit his back greatly , but unfortunately he doesn’t approve of poles.

Tegan Jan blog - 2

Photo source.

2. Cavalettis

Cavalettis is more or less the same as using poles, but it will lift the pole from the ground. This means the horse needs to use his legs and back which in return will strengthen them greatly. You can for example use Cavalettis to teach a horse to jump better, like for example when to jump or to slow down before a jump. This one is a great muscle builder for your horse and on google you can find loads of ways on how to set them up, I found this link pretty useful.

3. Go backwards

I never thought about this one before I heard about it from a stable mate. Ask your horse to go backwards on the lunge, this will strengthen his backlegs and back, but don’t do it too much as its a strainious exercise for the horse.

4. Walk to canter transition

Another one that seems very logical, make your horse do a walk to canter transition while lunging. This will show you if the horse really listens to you or not, plus its a good back strengthen exercise.

5. Without a rope

Before doing this one, make sure you have a round arena to use, otherwise it might be very difficult the first couple of times. You can do lunging without having a lead rope attached. I usually do this when we want to have more fun and when I want him to run more freely. The first five minutes he won’s listen at all, but when he finally does its a lot of fun.

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6. Up the hill

As I live in the flatlands this is a bit difficult to do, but if you have a hill close by you could potentially lunge your horse half part hill and half part flat ground. This will train his “ass” a lot. Be careful not to go to fast as you don’s the horse to slide and fall.

lunge_up_hill

Photo source – Ride magazine

There are also other ways to train your horse on the lunge like Pessoa and double line lunging, but as Mr.Grumpy doesn’t appreciate such tools I decided to take them out of this list, however it might be useful for your horse. If you have any other tips and tricks I could add to the list, feel free to let me know.

Relaxing 

Since I got to hear that Mr.Grumpy has a bad hoof yesterday I decided to take it slow today. So we went to the lunging circle and practiced some lunging without a rope. In the beginning he did his normal “I’ll just stop here and eat some grass”, but after some rounds he got it and listened well. Afterwards I sat down and let him eat some grass and chill out. The rest of the day I spent in the sun while cleaning all my tack(don’t do it in the sun, it’s not good for the leather, haha). Such a relaxing day, well needed for us both. Tomorrow it’s back to yoga and riding.