2017.02.08: Third Time is the Charm

For the third day in the row the temps and sunshine and low wind held, so I jumped at the opportunity to get a little more work done. I was afraid of the weather shift happening in the afternoon, so I got an early start. Storm didn't seem any worse for the wear, and still came to see me when I headed into the pasture, so we headed into the barn to get tacked up. He seemed much calmer, which made me very happy! It was also warmer, and unbelievable 60 degrees, and still gloriously sunny, so I know that was helping. I had all my tack set, if he was feeling good, but also decided that I wasn't pressed out about riding at this point. We would have fun no matter what we did.
I also remembered that Kirsten had discussed a different method of setting up the lunge line and I decided to give it a try and see what happened. Instead of running the line into the bit and up to the surcingle and then back down to the bit on the other side, the line went through the bit to the opposite side, and then up to the surcingle and back to the the bit on the near side again. This adds a "curb chain" to the configuration and helps encourage him to not run around with his nose stuck out in front of him. Happily, it worked! We set to work again, and he responded very well. Right away, he began to work on adjusting his balance to find a better head and neck position, which reflects better balance and straightness through his spine to his hind end. His head was much more on the vertical, and he was slipping between having his neck arched and having his poll actually be the highest point. He was struggling, but exploring a lot more than he had yesterday. Interestingly, he was also able to find it much better in the trot than the walk, so he did a lot of trotting. I was pleased with where his mind was and how he was behaving, so I let him work.
It probably didn't take as long as it felt like, but I noticed that it seemed he was struggling to hold his balance and find the best position. So I decided to stop. Since he was in such a good frame of mind, I took off the lunge line and we played at liberty a little bit. We did a lot of walking since he still needed to cool out, and he followed me around the round pen. We even played around with turns and spins just for the heck of it. He spent most of that time partly confused, but I was having fun and we were just being silly, so it was all good. We backed up around the round pen for half a lap, and then worked on walking and halting, and even only taking one step at a time. It was nice to relax while his breathing came back down and he cooled off.
It was my day to feed, so once he was settled a bit more, I took him back to the barn and we untacked again, and then I left him grazing in the barn yard with his halter on while I fixed up feed for everybody. He was great and just hung out while I did what I needed to do (and I even ran into the house for a potty break and to grab some stuff I forgot!), and then I brought him in to eat and the rest of them afterwards. He was really well behaved, and relaxed, which was a joy to be around. I gave him a few extra supplements to help rebalance him after all the work and exercise, and then he headed back into the pasture again to relax for the rest of the day.
Next Page: 2017.02.18: Golden Day, Golden Boy
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