I haven’t met a pro trainer who likes elastic side reins. Most like the leather ones with rubber donuts. Mine are elastic and I like them because they’re really lightweight, a “snap” to switch around with buckles, and can just be dunked in a bucket to clean up. No leather maintenance, and it’s really easy to switch settings with the hooks. Not to mention these are really no investment to speak of at all. I know they will eventually stretch out, but with just one horse they should hold up really well for a while.
Since day one, I committed to lunging this new mare before each ride for a minimum of 3 months, and still regularly from there to asses her movement, soundness, and attitude from the ground. Sandy helped me a lot with instilling the importance of not letting this horse dominate somehow. The mare does that in a sneaky way. It was easy to ignore the fact that here and there, I, as a handler, was taking a step backward. This horse takes advantage of that immediately 🙂
So, we lunge, check that we are both on the same page, and then I get on. She’s very stiff too, so warming up without a rider on her back is very nice for her…
I switch around the settings on the side reins, but not as much now that she’s built some muscle and stamina and there is less tripping and sliding.
January started out with some very interesting lunge sessions. I’m no expert – I have lunged several different horses, but it does not mean I know how to handle an opinionated, out of shape, sort of challenging but cute, alpha mare in each situation. We have come to an understanding now, and its fun to see her each time. Have I mentioned we’ve seen each other 5-6 days/week? 🙂
My friend Christel gave me a new Waverly lunge line as a gift – Thank you so much again Christel – miss you!
Last morning had some light rain. Not wanting to mess up the main arena footing, we just did some light lunging in the small arena. With heavy rain last night and still going this morning, I’m sure it will be swampy out there. We’ll find something else to work on 🙂