Lunging is all very well, but it’s hard work and it’s borrrrrring. Rebel’s weight had significantly decreased, and although his hooves would get warm occasionally, I haven’t felt digital pulses since he started his journey towards driving. The horn quality had not improved, but his hoof boots saved the day.
We would intersperse lunging with walking in hand, which was getting more difficult for me as my lung function continued to deteriorate despite my best efforts to stay fit. I decided it was time to introduce harness, and to try my hand at long reining.
Back to the internet for books, videos, buy and sell sites ... And what sort of bit?!
Still prone to infection, and now adding in debilitating fatigue, mind fog, loss of memory, and increasingly painful flares of oral lichen planus, I used my bedridden days wisely. For equipment searches, and reading, and watching everything I could find on learning to drive, starting a pony to drive, and realising that actually!, I needed driving lessons!
Again, knowing no-one who drove horses, or where to get lessons, I decided to book a couple of lessons with someone with a reputable qualification through the sport’s governing body, the British Driving Society. I explained what I was doing with my pony, what I wanted to achieve with him, and what I wanted from my lessons: how to harness, supervision on harnessing, how to put to the vehicle, supervision on putting to, and basic road safety. The instructor demonstrated harnessing and putting to, had me drive in the arena, changing reins, walking, trotting, stopping. Then we went for a pleasure drive. I was told that since I’d ridden for years, my driving was fine; this is how to hold the reins; hold your vehicles line on the road to avoid drains and soft verges ...
Rule 7: what you ask for isn’t always what you receive!
© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021
Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion