Saturday, 26 September 2009
Free schooling and jumping
I haven't been able to do anything with Lancelot this week because I fell over last Tuesday and did some real damage to my already badly damaged arm. I am now back to square on with no movement at the shoulder and a lot of pain.
Lancelot seems to have less injuries and bite marks on him now because we have separated Jed who was definitely bullying him. We have also stopped all the feed he was having and he now only has hay. This has definitely calmed down his lumpy bumpy skin. I am going to have to find a feed for him though because he does need something as well as hay when he starts working.
I decided this morning that I should try to do something with him because he needs to keep interacting with me.
I took him out in the manege and started free schooling him which he seemed to be really enjoying but he is so forward that it is easy to keep him trotting and even cantering but it is impossible to make him walk. It is really something I need to work on. I will do it on the lunge rein and not free though as I have more control them.
He does have such a lovely trot and is very floaty though today he looked a bit stiff.
We have the new jumps up permanently in the manege and I had moved the poles out of the way so that he could do complete circuits. I decided to put a pole on the ground to see what he thought of that and to be honest he hardly even looked at it and took it all in his stride.
I then made it into a small cross pole and again he jumped this without a second thought.
He seemed to be enjoying himself and from time to time got very excited and was bucking and farting his way round and then at the last moment just popping over the jump.
At the end I just put a straight pole with a ground line up at 60cm and he jumped this beautifully too. No effort at all and at one point was doing a pooh so stopped about 5 strides from it, did his pooh then just trotted forward and jumped it.
I know that if this had been Jed he would never have been so obliging.
I am pleased because it never crossed his mind to run out or turn away from the jumps. He just sees them and pricks his ears and over he goes.
The other thing which I love about him is that when I had finished I turned my back on him and went to stack the lunge whip where I keep it and to pick up my sweater. When I turned around Lancelot was there right behind me and then proceeded to follow me around like he was on a lead. He is very attached and I said to Mike he is definitely a Monty Roberts Joined up horse.
My plans now are to start long reining properly. I would like to have a go tomorrow if I can in the manege and then do it every day after so that I can walk him out.
I have long reined him once before but the reins were on the cavesson and not the bit.
I don't think I will be riding Lancelot for quite some time so I need him to be working on his mouth even though he is not ridden.
He is such a kind and gentle boy and I don't think that he has ever had a nasty thought in his life. I do like him very much.