Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whistling Up the Horses and Some Lungeing

Yesterday when I went to get the horses for the farrier, the gelding and mare herds were at the farthest ends of their pastures - almost 1/3 mile from the barn.  I went to the top of the hill in the mares' pasture and called Dawn's name and whistled until her head popped up.  Then she spun and was galloping towards me, bringing the mares, and then Drift and the gelding herd in their pasture, with her.  There's something exhilarating in calling a horse at that distance and having them leave grazing to come to you - it's magical.  Of course Dawn and the mares ran right by me and headed for the gate - I headed back there at a walk and met them there.

I gave all three horses a thorough grooming yesterday, although I didn't pick feet as the farrier had just been.  Dawn and I also managed a brief lungeing session - she's the size of a house and in need of work and it was my first work session, other than leading Pie on brief trail walks, since the accident.  Dawn and I did a bit of leading work and then some work at the walk, trot and halt on the lunge - she was very responsive to verbal commands.  At one point when going left she wanted to canter, so I used that to work on her "canter" command - and a lovely, round canter it was.  Otherwise we stuck to walk and trot - she's pretty out of shape and so am I - I don't stand still in the middle to lunge but rather move with the horse so I got some exercise too.  It was a delightful first work session and she seemed pretty pleased with herself, and I agreed.

This morning I managed the full 2.5 mile walk, still with some brief rest breaks, but I finished better than I started out so that felt good.  This afternoon I'm hoping for an in-hand trail walk with Pie, some more lungeing with Dawn and perhaps a bit of in-hand work with Drift if I have the energy.  Still working on leg strength and getting some muscles back in my left arm - hoof picking is still a challenge, but I'm getting closer . . .

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