Monday, January 24, 2011

Lunge/Piaffe Lesson

Yesterday I was wicked sore from working out like a beast at the gym so I lunged Yanks and practiced more piaffe training with him. Got some pretty neat video stills for you to enjoy from our lesson yesterday. To start off with ....

.... a very bad pony. And moving on to good pony....

Some trot work before the harder stuff began. He enjoys the new technique I am using with the lunge line running through the bit to circingle. Really enables him to stretch through the contact and be active. I am taking more of a liking to this lunging technique over the attach to bit and I will continue to use this. I had switched to free lunging him in the arena with sidereins to allow him to be freer ( I thought the lunge line was restrictive) and he enjoyed it for about 2 weeks then got lazy since I had no direct control of his head, even though I had control via voice and body placement.

Some nice canter work too. I LOVE that reach with the hind end. He is epically light in this photo. I feel we are making massive improvement on the lunge. I hope to use these muscles we develop on the line towards in saddle movements.

This is his easiest direction to collect and use his quarters more. His legs aren't as active but he does collect quite well. However after just 2 steps or so he tends to pop up in his hindquarters, but we are slowly and steadily gaining strength.

A little pop up in the hind end. Notice the hock placement difference in this photo versus the previous. The 1st photo he has his hocks underneath him where in this photo they are almost behind him. The step is more active but there is virtually no lowering here of the quarters. I would rather have collection, since activity will come from that as we school this more.

More active this way with the steps but not as collected. Again, hocks are 'out' rather than 'in' or 'under'.

This photo is much better for this direction. His hocks are significantly more under himself and quarters lowered (than previous photo). Very active hind end too.

Example of a 'popped' hind end.
I don't know if you all can see the difference, but I can since I study the photos intensely and he is my horse so I know him pretty well. Cool to see his progress though. I hope in the next 6 months we can get 5 steps in each direction and even more collection and activity. But I'm not pushing. This is just a fun thing to teach him, like bowing (and after last time-where I about broke my ankle from us both losing our balance, I am afraid to keep doing that one for now...).

That is all for now. Jump sesh tomorrow :D It has been to long!


  1. The piaffe is looking good and those first few stills are some AWESOME action shots.

  2. Its coming along. I don't expect anything special for a while, but he is giving it his best effort :) As for the action shots, well he is a bad pony, lol. I'm getting ready to post some more since I am out of class now.

  3. LOL @ the bad pony pics!!

    Funny that you posted pics of long lining. I was just thinking the other day I haven't long lined Klein in a loooonnng time and I really should start doing it again. It'll be something different for her.

    Yankee is lookin' great!