Wooohooo!!! We did the new year right! Nope... I still haven't gone for a ride but I did pull out the lunge line today to see what he would be like after six weeks of inactivity.
Surprise Surprise -- he was a quite excited walking to the ring. Excited enough that I decided that it probably would be more activity than my healing leg could handle so once we were in the ring (which is about 200 x 100 feet) I let him loose, pushed him away and said "go play".
He had a great time galloping around the ring, snorting and bucking. Here is a pic...
After he got his Golly Jollies out, I picked up the lunge whip but still left the lunge line off just to see how he would behave without it.
Surprisingly he was quite good. I wish I could have taken a picture of him being good but I was so focused on him that I couldn't get the camera out. Despite the ring being 200 feet long, he stayed in approximately a 60 meter circle as if I had the lunge rope on him. He obediently walk trotted and cantered on cue. What a boy!
All the gait transitions were made with just a verbal cue except for the canter to the right which took a single crack of the whip. If you have read my previous blog posts, you know that canter has been a difficult journey for us so considering the time off and the easy transition to the left, I was super happy with what he gave.
I also put up a small jump about 12 inches high and 3 feet wide. By just pointing to the jump, he eagerly approached and jumped it each time I requested it.
Golly is never going to be a fancy horse but I am very thankful that he and I have a relationship where he trusts me enough to free lunge upon cue even though he had every opportunity to run to the other end of the ring to escape. He's my boy.. :)