You have a goal - lets say it's to teach your horse to side pass with grace. It's common to teach this exercise while in the saddle.
Most use on line ( lunging) to get the bucks out, or allow the horse to let off pent up steam. Few use on-line strategies to unlock mental and emotional blocks or brace a horse may have.
Consider bringing on-line exercises into your routine to sky rocket a horse's level of understanding, confidence, and willingness. What awaits you is, eventual, 'immediate success' in the saddle.
Side pass is an exercise where a horse needs to understand, moving away from pressure is a good thing; it brings release and comfort.
It's like a breath of fresh air flooding into the arena when I first ask my horse to side pass in the saddle after I've had success with side pass while walking along his side. There is no frustration, unconfidence, brace, or any other displaced behaviour. Instead, I am delighted to feel a harmonious immediate response of him reaching a leg across and underneath as he floats across the arena.
I'll never forget the first time I experienced this.
I tend to be a purest when it comes to following a method I believe in. There are no short cuts, cheats, or lame excuses. I need to belief in what I'm doing, I look for the response of what I've asked from my horse, and we go from there.
Years ago I had a lovely sensitive Arabian mare.
I was excited to eventually one day ride off into the sunset with her, but was smart enough to understand I needed a foundation or the riding off part would look more like a horse loosing her mind.
I faithfully practised many on-line exercises, including side pass. My goal was to get it good enough so I could pretend I was off line ( liberty) and she still would respond to my (ever so light) finger touching her side where my heel would eventually lay once on top of her back. Satisfied her side pass was soft, willing, respectful, and engaged, I saddled her up and proceeded to try the same thing in the saddle.
Voila ! It was like magic !
I remember wondering if she would actually respond the same way to the touch of my heel when I was in the saddle as she did to the touch of my hand on-line. I asked with the same lightness, on the same spot along her side. It was like magic, it made no difference, on the ground asking for side pass, or in the saddle, she responded with understanding and willingness.
Once you experience the power of on-line and how it leads to success in the saddle, you will be more conscious of what the out come of 'all' exercises can look like.
The west coast of B.C. has been enjoying a rather warm Cozy Fall. The leaves are mostly fallen and yet Mr. Frost hasn't yet shown his icy face to entice us to wrap up in winter woollies.
One of my horses Coliced the other day. She's fine now, but looking back, I think it was the grass that was the villain. I had decided being Fall I could leave the gang out on the 'grass growing pasture', longer then I usually leave them. They should be fine I thought- I thought wrong.
For the most part, my herd of horses roam a diet field and over the spring and summer they've enjoyed their time in the mornings out in the big pasture. I'm alert to the amount of sugar in the grasses in early spring and summer, and in the fall we know to be careful of the grasses after a frost, but what about these warm fall days with lots of rain and the occasional warm sunny day thrown in?
Some horses tolerate more sugars than others. It's for the sensitive ones we need to be very diligent in deciding whether to put them on grass or leave them in the diet field. I made a mistake and left the horses out too long, and one of my horses paid the price. I guess it comes down to simple science; warm temperatures accompanied by rain and sunshine equals sugar filled grass. It doesn't matter what the season .