Friday, February 10, 2012

Free Jump

Johnny still needs to gain a little muscle in his bum and I figured he could use a break from boring lunge line and circle after circle after circle. To break up his routine a bit I decided to free lunge him and see if I could get him to free jump a bit. This will help him build some muscles up until I can start doing hill work. It also is a great confidence booster for him and introduction of fence work. He did really well, not the prettiest of form....but he really had a good time. We started out low at 18" vertical and then increased slowly in height, and finally maxed out at 2'6". His hooves are healing up nicely and I think his trim in two weeks will get rid of the separation and we should be ready to start under saddle work.

Notice how sometimes he crossfires with his back legs at the canter. He is doing better and he now feels it himself and corrects it when cantering freely. On a lunge line we go back to the trot and then back to canter when this happens and he can now go longer and longer. He is not reaching up underneath himself far enough with his inside leg all the time which is what causes this to happen, but by building up his muscles, strength and endurance as well as his balance we should see a major improvement. But just like when we work on strengthening ourselves it's important to slowly build those muscles so as not to cause strains, tears, or other injuries. Within just the last few weeks of consistent lunging he has gone to always crossfiring or "bunny hopping" as I like to call it (I have no clue what it is really called but it's when both back feet go down at the same time at the canter) to cantering correctly the majority of the time and is holding it for 3-5 20 meter circles on the lunge.

Faith had a blast helping with this today and now is dying to be able to jump Johnny. I explained it would be awhile before he did any fences under saddle and we would start with a good foundation of flat, but she is already planning all the fun things they can do together. She also informed me that apparently we are going to "share" him. Hmmmm.....I have a feeling she will be stealing him from me in no time.

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