Lucky – liberty play! Plus Poco & Ben, getting the senior horse back in shape, weeks 4-6
September 12, 2011
Poco and Ben continued to make progress in their fitness and ranges of motion throughout August. By the end of the month, we were up to 1/2 hour of work each session, 4 days per week. I adjusted each session, depending on how they worked on the steep hill circles. If they had a lot of energy and good mobility, we’d do about 10 minutes of walking on the steep hill, 10 minutes trotting circles on the gentle hill, and 10 minutes circling on the flat over ground poles at the walk. Days that their energy was lower, or they were a bit stiff, we cut out the trotting and did more walking over poles on the flat. Basically, no set program, just tweaking each time according to what they volunteered. Trotting was always voluntary, and both sometimes threw in a bit of cantering as well. You can find part 1, part 2 and part 3 of their program in the July 2011 entries.
In early September, we got a lot of rain and footing became treacherous, so we took a break for a couple weeks. The footing should be dry enough to start up again later this week.
Lucky has started volunteering liberty play in the pasture! I had turned him out in the pasture to run off some high spirits, and as I sent him away, I realized he was circling back to me, first using the entire field, then bringing the circle in and looking for guidance. Suddenly, he was walking & trotting as I cued, coming in to me, turning, walking along with me. What an amazing breakthrough. Of course, with all the rain, all our play has been on hold the last couple weeks. Tonight I’m headed out to spend some time with him and see what he offers again.