Adventures in lunging

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Tsavo
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Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:30 pm

It's been almost 2 weeks since the fronts were pulled and I finally started lunging a little bit. He is sound to the right as far as I can tell so that initial lameness on the LF appears to be gone. He is still somewhat short-strided in the ring though. I don't want to ride that because it would increase his discomfort.

There is still a problem going left where he is at DefCon 1 (nuclear war imminent LOL) for some reason. I worked with him for at least a half hour walking next to him and asking him to move away from me. He did finally walk about 10 feet from me but if I asked for more he would turn. I got him trotting for a few circles and he was sound in that direction just like before we pulled the shoes. I never let him escalate to rearing and striking out like last time. Instead I just patted him and correctly him when he turned. We did this at least 30 times I would say.

I really don't know why there is this level of concern going left. In shoes, he never had a problem with going left. It qualifies as one of the strangest episodes I have seen with him. I have exactly zero doubt that this is physical so I am not gong to push it much until he gets shoes on.

He seems to have his normal stride length on grass so I am considering riding him on that soon. But if it shortens up when I am on him I will not ride.

I don't know where he is doing it but his feet are chipping. I guess the sand ring is enough to chip the feet. Maybe if he didn't have nail holes it would not be happening because he has pretty good hoof quality otherwise. The farrior told me he would be trimming him every two weeks while out of shoes so he will come soon. He was able to take off most of the heel that was run forward and the tubules are pretty straight now on the LF. I think he can go back into shoes after only being out about one cycle.

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Rosie B
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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Rosie B » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:49 pm

The only time Bliss ever acted like that on the longe was when he had an abscess that I didn't know about. It was only on the one side that he went DefCon1.

I am not a qualified barefoot trimmer, but there are some on this board. I do trim Bliss and Princess though. Sounds like he's got foot pain. Has he got thin soles? Any flaring? Either of those could do what you describe for sure.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:44 pm

Thanks for that response, Rosie. Other than a little chipping, his feet look good. He is sound going left which makes no sense.

I think your abscess idea is plausible.

The other thing is serial radiographs reveal rapidly advancing ringbone. But blocking ruled that out as causing any lameness... He was sound in both directions with a low PD block of the LF. Nevertheless, I think the shoes somehow stabilize the bony column. If so, being barefoot is majorly tweaking the ringbone despite the fact he is sound left.

I remain perplexed. I will see what he does when back in shoes.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:47 pm

I don't like that much longing for a horse with ringbone.

Chiro might also be helpful, he might be compensating in other areas too if he has foot pain?

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:46 pm

Ryeissa wrote:I don't like that much longing for a horse with ringbone.


I didn't know lunging is contraindicated for ringbone. While we were out there 45 minutes, less than one minute was trot. The rest was walk.

One reason I felt it was time to lunge him a bit is because when I call him in the pasture he trots or canters to me. This is new... he usually walks. So I take that as a sign his feet are feeling better and he wants to move.

Thanks.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby kande50 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:22 am

Tsavo wrote:It's been almost 2 weeks since the fronts were pulled and I finally started lunging a little bit. He is sound to the right as far as I can tell so that initial lameness on the LF appears to be gone. He is still somewhat short-strided in the ring though. I don't want to ride that because it would increase his discomfort.


When I'm trying to see subtle differences I often find free lunging helpful. If the horse doesn't already know how to free lunge around markers I'll set up a circle using visual barriers (jump standards and string) so that I can get far enough away while they're moving so that I can see how they're moving.

The reason I prefer a barrier circle to pushing them out with the whip is that they're much steadier when they can see and plan where they need to go (rather than being corrected for leaving the circle), which makes it much easier for me to see how they might be trying to compensate for any problems they're having.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby kande50 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:31 am

Tsavo wrote:
One reason I felt it was time to lunge him a bit is because when I call him in the pasture he trots or canters to me. This is new... he usually walks. So I take that as a sign his feet are feeling better and he wants to move.


That's usually on a straight line though, and if they're sore they can often manage to travel straight on good footing, but will gimp on harder footing or turns. It does always make me wonder how lame they are though, when they're well fed but are still willing to move that much in hopes of getting a handful of grain if they can get to the gate fast enough.

I can't see how shoes could be more stabilizing than barefoot, so my guess would be thin soles and/or abscesses.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Bats79 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:28 am

Proprioception has changed with the pulling of the shoes. Even a small amount of "yield" through the hoof that wasn't there with the shoes - also perhaps different breakover - has changed the whole way the energy returns through the leg. Forelegs are particularly sensitive to this.

A good "halfway" measure if you are interested is terraflex shoes from Blue Pegasos. They give support to a barefoot trim whilst still giving the horse a bit more depth and strength than the barefoot hoof might yet have.

When the horse feels different through the foreleg this can cause the whole body to lock up and you might have to do more than "lunging". Have you investigated "straightness training" in hand work?

It is very important that the horse establishes correct biodynamic positioning even if it finds it difficult and I feel that it is best done "in-hand". Free or liberty work allows the horse to position itself in the most convenient way which is often also damaging.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/704083773048276/

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Tsavo
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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:21 pm

Bats79 wrote:Proprioception has changed with the pulling of the shoes. Even a small amount of "yield" through the hoof that wasn't there with the shoes - also perhaps different breakover - has changed the whole way the energy returns through the leg. Forelegs are particularly sensitive to this.

A good "halfway" measure if you are interested is terraflex shoes from Blue Pegasos. They give support to a barefoot trim whilst still giving the horse a bit more depth and strength than the barefoot hoof might yet have.

When the horse feels different through the foreleg this can cause the whole body to lock up and you might have to do more than "lunging". Have you investigated "straightness training" in hand work?

It is very important that the horse establishes correct biodynamic positioning even if it finds it difficult and I feel that it is best done "in-hand". Free or liberty work allows the horse to position itself in the most convenient way which is often also damaging.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/704083773048276/

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This is very helpful. Thanks so much. Made me think a lot.

What is in hand straightness training? That sounds helpful. I have done lots of in hand work like front and back crossovers, backing on specific lines or circles, flipping the nuchal ligament, flexing the poll, etc..

I will ask my farrier about that shoe.

Thanks again.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:25 pm

kande50 wrote:
Tsavo wrote:
One reason I felt it was time to lunge him a bit is because when I call him in the pasture he trots or canters to me. This is new... he usually walks. So I take that as a sign his feet are feeling better and he wants to move.


That's usually on a straight line though, and if they're sore they can often manage to travel straight on good footing, but will gimp on harder footing or turns. It does always make me wonder how lame they are though, when they're well fed but are still willing to move that much in hopes of getting a handful of grain if they can get to the gate fast enough.


The issue is he almost never trotted or cantered towards me before we pulled the shoes but is doing it now. He usually just walked towards me. It's like he is searching for excuses to move more since he has been out of work over a month. I have no good explanation.

I can't see how shoes could be more stabilizing than barefoot, so my guess would be thin soles and/or abscesses.


None of this stuff is obvious. Who knows.
Last edited by Tsavo on Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:34 pm

kande50 wrote:When I'm trying to see subtle differences I often find free lunging helpful.


Lunging should be like riding, not liberty work. I stand straight with shoulders back and down and hold the line like a rein. He has to move correctly as if under saddle. None of that would be possible with liberty work. I agree with Bats on this completely.

Also, now that I have non-zero aerobic capacity LOL, I can run next to him while he stays on the track the entire time. I can keep up with his trot and slow canter several times around the ring. I count this as a work out on days I don't go to the gym because of the amount for running.

We always do 90% of the lunging not on a circle but on the track. He knows I am asking him to be on the track and still we are at DefCon 1. He goes on the track to the right no problem. He is crazy reluctant to even walk on the long side for 90 meters or whatever it is going left. Yet he has zero concern walking on the long side going right. It is bizarre.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby demi » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:21 pm

Tsavo wrote:
kande50 wrote:When I'm trying to see subtle differences I often find free lunging helpful.


Lunging should be like riding, not liberty work. I stand straight with shoulders back and down and hold the line like a rein. He has to move correctly as if under saddle. None of that would be possible with liberty work. I agree with Bats on this completely.

Also, now that I have non-zero aerobic capacity LOL, I can run next to him while he stays on the track the entire time. I can keep up with his trot and slow canter several times around the ring. I count this as a work out on days I don't go to the gym because of the amount for running.

We always do 90% of the lunging not on a circle but on the track. He knows I am asking him to be on the track and still we are at DefCon 1. He goes on the track to the right no problem. He is crazy reluctant to even walk on the long side for 90 meters or whatever it is going left. Yet he has zero concern walking on the long side going right. It is bizarre.


This is also what I keep in mind when longeing. I rarely longe on a circle, at least not more than a couple of circles in a row. I guess, technically, what I do, isn't really longeing. But I don't know what else to call it. And I agree that it is great exercise for the person. Even though I can no longer keep up with a trot or canter, just walking with good posture, distinct rhythm, and engaged core helps me, and I can transfer to when I am mounted.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Abby Kogler » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:35 pm

Bats79 wrote:Proprioception has changed with the pulling of the shoes. Even a small amount of "yield" through the hoof that wasn't there with the shoes - also perhaps different breakover - has changed the whole way the energy returns through the leg. Forelegs are particularly sensitive to this.

A good "halfway" measure if you are interested is terraflex shoes from Blue Pegasos. They give support to a barefoot trim whilst still giving the horse a bit more depth and strength than the barefoot hoof might yet have.

When the horse feels different through the foreleg this can cause the whole body to lock up and you might have to do more than "lunging". Have you investigated "straightness training" in hand work?

It is very important that the horse establishes correct biodynamic positioning even if it finds it difficult and I feel that it is best done "in-hand". Free or liberty work allows the horse to position itself in the most convenient way which is often also damaging.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/704083773048276/

Image


Thank you!

A hoof issue easily turns in to a body issue. Horses are onions, you need to peel and peel. The inhand straightness training work is great. Legerete people teach it, Manolo Mendez work is great, Marijke de Jong is great...I disagree about free lunging but it does need to be done in a schooled and methodical way, in a square or rectangle, not just running around willy nilly.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Abby Kogler » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:39 pm

Tsavo wrote:
kande50 wrote:When I'm trying to see subtle differences I often find free lunging helpful.


Lunging should be like riding, not liberty work. I stand straight with shoulders back and down and hold the line like a rein. He has to move correctly as if under saddle. None of that would be possible with liberty work. I agree with Bats on this completely.

Also, now that I have non-zero aerobic capacity LOL, I can run next to him while he stays on the track the entire time. I can keep up with his trot and slow canter several times around the ring. I count this as a work out on days I don't go to the gym because of the amount for running.

We always do 90% of the lunging not on a circle but on the track. He knows I am asking him to be on the track and still we are at DefCon 1. He goes on the track to the right no problem. He is crazy reluctant to even walk on the long side for 90 meters or whatever it is going left. Yet he has zero concern walking on the long side going right. It is bizarre.


Its not true that free work cant be controlled and very useful. It can be extremely useful but the horses have to be taught, sent through transitions, direction changes, etc. They can absolutely taught move correctly understand and it is terribly useful in diagnosing soundness issues. You get a true picture of how they are able to hold themselves and then you can go from there.

I think you have gone beyond a hoof issue in to a neck or shoulder or rib issue. I cant understand why you agonize and post endless about his soundness issues but refuse to ever consider that he might benefit from some sort of body work. Its so unfair to him IMO. I just don't get it.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:55 pm

demi wrote:This is also what I keep in mind when longeing. I rarely longe on a circle, at least not more than a couple of circles in a row. I guess, technically, what I do, isn't really longeing. But I don't know what else to call it. And I agree that it is great exercise for the person. Even though I can no longer keep up with a trot or canter, just walking with good posture, distinct rhythm, and engaged core helps me, and I can transfer to when I am mounted.


Yes it feels like riding in many ways! Exactly. ☺

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby khall » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:29 pm

In hand work is extremely benefitting to horses to learn how to use their bodies correctly. You can teach all of the lateral work in hand and be able to do it all in WTC in hand. Mark Russell was a master at WIH and I was able to learn from him (so thankful for my time with Mark!). You start with teaching the horse about releasing the jaw and releasing the neck and releasing the poll (lateral flexion). Once the horse knows the releases and can do so in movement then the real work begins. Mark would also teach the release to the inside rein and then ask for the horse to move the shoulders away using the whip on the inside elbow of the horse. So release to inside rein and then step away from handler with shoulders first HQs just following. Once that understanding is reached then add in the outside rein for the rest of the lateral work.

My horses can do SI, Counter SI, HI in draw and away, HP in draw and away, full pass, TOH, TOF in renvere, renvere, all in walk and trot, Rip is close to starting WIH at canter. Done both on bending lines and straight lines. Manola does it different using just caveson.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:34 pm

khall wrote:In hand work is extremely benefitting to horses to learn how to use their bodies correctly. You can teach all of the lateral work in hand and be able to do it all in WTC in hand. Mark Russell was a master at WIH and I was able to learn from him (so thankful for my time with Mark!). You start with teaching the horse about releasing the jaw and releasing the neck and releasing the poll (lateral flexion). Once the horse knows the releases and can do so in movement then the real work begins. Mark would also teach the release to the inside rein and then ask for the horse to move the shoulders away using the whip on the inside elbow of the horse. So release to inside rein and then step away from handler with shoulders first HQs just following. Once that understanding is reached then add in the outside rein for the rest of the lateral work.

My horses can do SI, Counter SI, HI in draw and away, HP in draw and away, full pass, TOH, TOF in renvere, renvere, all in walk and trot, Rip is close to starting WIH at canter. Done both on bending lines and straight lines. Manola does it different using just caveson.


Yes I have done in hand work for years. I have used it as part of the warm up. I would love to learn long lining at some point. One of my trainers does it and I have considered asking for lessons.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Bats79 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:18 am

Free work certainly show you what is going on. Liberty work can certainly be done with the horse correctly positioned biodynamically.

What I find is that once you have understood how to bring your horse to the correct position in-hand people fall into two categories - those who are interested in liberty and those who prefer to ride and don't have the extra time to do that and liberty work.

If something has to fall by the wayside it is liberty training for me. That said I always try to interact with my horses socially in their domain, and I develop our communication in this manner but it is purely social. I simply don't have time to take it that bit further that requires the correct environment.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby kande50 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:30 am

Tsavo wrote:
kande50 wrote:When I'm trying to see subtle differences I often find free lunging helpful.


Lunging should be like riding, not liberty work. I stand straight with shoulders back and down and hold the line like a rein. He has to move correctly as if under saddle. None of that would be possible with liberty work.


The purpose of liberty work would be for diagnosing lameness, not training.

The problem with lunging is that the handler would then be interfering with how the horse moves, which can mask lameness issues. In hand work is limited in the same way, as well as putting the handler too close to the horse to be able to see the entire horse. Videotape could be useful, but it would need to be good quality to see subtle differences.

Hoof boots might be useful to sort out whether the problem is likely thin soles.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:12 pm

If liberty work is better than lunging for diagnosing lameness then why do you think the developers missed that and developed the instrument while lunging and trotting in hand? There is a reason they developed it with lunging and trotting in hand.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Abby Kogler » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:57 pm

Tsavo wrote:If liberty work is better than lunging for diagnosing lameness then why do you think the developers missed that and developed the instrument while lunging and trotting in hand? There is a reason they developed it with lunging and trotting in hand.


Because its easier? You don't have to know anything and can let your horse go around falling on his face and/or shoulder or snap those side reins on or that Gaitmaster thing and tell yourself (universal you) that you are doing something productive? Because training your horse to move correctly while free in a square or rectangle at all gaits and with transitions takes a brain and some experience and skill?

I disagree with Kande that free work is not for training. IMO it certainly is.

You get a horse, you watch how it wants to carry itself when not influenced by a person either riding or on the ground. You see how it holds its head and neck as it approaches a corner and how it gets through the corner and how it comes out of the corner. You see how it carries itself in upward and downward transitions, you see how it halts and then moves off. You see where it is crooked or falling and you know that it is the horse, not a crooked rider or tack issue. And then you build your conditioning/training program from there. Its a huge part of monitoring your program to see if your ridden work is useful and its IMO the only way to truly assess how a horse is using his body.

I love inhand work, its hugely useful and productive. Work on a line all over the arena, with straight lines etc? Fabulous. Standing in the middle of an endless circle while your horse does the best he can to manage that balance? Lunging in side reins? meh. I don't care if people have done it for a million years.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:54 pm

Vets do circles and straight line jogs for lameness, not free longing.

I would really limit longing for a horse with ringbone, I had one and that is one of the worst things you can do. Anyways, I don't do much circle longing on any horse now, it can be hard on the legs.

I prefer flexions/in hand for gymnastic training, vs a circle. I don't use SR anymore, but I have options in case I need to. I find they are too fixed for my current tastes.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Chancellor » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:09 pm

Sometimes, it may be necessary to agree to disagree. This thread has some very interesting information in it and it would be a shame to have to close down the discussion.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby Tsavo » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:37 pm

Ryeissa wrote:Vets do circles and straight line jogs for lameness, not free longing.

I would really limit longing for a horse with ringbone, I had one and that is one of the worst things you can do. Anyways, I don't do much circle longing on any horse now, it can be hard on the legs.

I prefer flexions/in hand for gymnastic training, vs a circle. I don't use SR anymore, but I have options in case I need to. I find they are too fixed for my current tastes.


As I mentioned, my horse is working not on a circle but on the track for most of the "lunging".

Also, it is my understanding that correct lunging is not harmful. If lunging has been shown to be harmful then that is probably due to the high prevalence of incorrect lunging as far as I can tell.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby kande50 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:27 pm

Abby Kogler wrote:
I disagree with Kande that free work is not for training. IMO it certainly is.


The Queen of Clicker Training at Liberty disagrees too, but when I said it I had this conversation about diagnosing lameness in mind.
Last edited by kande50 on Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Adventures in lunging

Postby kande50 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:29 pm

Tsavo wrote:
As I mentioned, my horse is working not on a circle but on the track for most of the "lunging".


Same here, which is why I often have markers in the corners that he needs to go over or around, so that he can't cheat and cut the corners. (Well he can, and does, but he doesn't get rewarded unless he goes outside the marker.)


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