Here is a video of my daughter’s horse, Abbott, free lunging. Free lunging is when you put the horse through its paces around the arena without a lunge line. Abbott is trained to respond to clucking noises. So in this video when you see him stopping and then resuming his paces, my daughter is off camera clucking to encourage him to keep going. Free lunging is less stressful on the horse’s joints because you’re not constraining him to a small circle when he’s moving. Abbott is a 2005 quarter horse/paint gelding. His shire was a western pleasure champion, which is apparent in his movement. My daughter enjoys showing him in huntseat equitation. Abbott is the apple of her eye.
And here is a picture of me riding Abbott. I enjoyed horseback riding at a place called Patty’s Riding Stable in Fairfax, Virginia in the early 1970s. Back then it cost $3.00 per hour to ride the horses. I diligently saved my weekly allowance (.50 cents per week), and when I had accumulated enough money, I’d go for a ride. I had no idea what I was doing but I didn’t care, I had fun anyway. Apparently the horses knew I was clueless because one Chestnut mare named “Chessie” would slam me into the corner of a barn filled with grain every time I rode by it in an effort to knock me out of my saddle. I had to take my foot out of my stirrup and push off against the building with my foot to keep her from body slamming me against the side of the building. Somehow, I always managed to hang on. When this photo was taken, I hadn’t ridden a horse in over 30 years. It felt so much higher up there in the saddle than I remembered, and I was initially quite nervous. Abbott was very patient with me.