Lew is out there doing the stuff too

 So Lew had a large chunk of time off at the end of the summer, and re-re starting him this fall was not without it's drama.  I went back to a month of ground work because honestly, he scared me a bit with his rearing and bolting.  As we worked through that part of his behavior became more clear.

The fact that his body was changing so much (old below and new above) probably had a lot to do with it.

Lew is very tight. Like piano wire tight laterally.  This means that even though he will trot on the line with his nose on the ground, bending at all almost makes him lame because he immediately tightens up to the point where the hind end cannot move.  

This tightness to the point of pain, and his baby attention span meant that keeping his brain engaged while doing low key enough work to slowly soften him up was difficult.  Lew wants to please, but gets bored easily.  Enter pole work.  I got a book of stretches and pole exercises that I have been slowly working through.  The first exercise we focused on was a straight line of 3 - 4 poles on the ground end to end.  In hand we serpentined over them making our passes tighter and tighter.  We focused on very slow controlled movement and footfalls.  We did this every other day starting at 5 mins building up to 15 minutes, before trotting on the lunge up and down a slight hill.

We started walking under saddle just focusing on stretching and bending.  We are slowly adding in trot and raised poles in walk and trot.  He is just being the best boy.  It is still very baby work, but he is so sweet and tries so hard.  His rearing and head tossing have disappeared.  I am still taking it very slow because he can bend at the walk in both directions, and to the left in the trot, but the right bend at the trot is really hard. So we work in hand for 5 - 10 minutes, then ride for 20 ish twice a week, and work in hand twice a week.  

We are also looking for monthly places to visit, now that he happily loads and travels.


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