Contact information:

Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

September 27, 2011

Made some good progress this evening.

It took some doing...but I managed to get Journey longing at the walk using Nicole's suggestion for simulating ground driving in a big circle.  Actually I tried several things mentioned and just went with the one she seemed to understand and respond to best. That is what is so good when you get varied advice since not every horse responds the same.  (thank you all)  It took about an hour and half of general calm work to get there.  She even slowed down her trot and kept her nose to the ground which was a first when she did trot.  But mostly, just calm and forward walking on the longe-line.  Once that was working well I slipped off her rope halter to see how she would respond free longing.  She worked fairly independently off her near side, walking the circle, yielding away from me, and backing up on cue (my body language).  On her off side though she was hit or miss, so that tells me I'll need to do a lot more off side work to balance her out.  Best of all a lot of calm licking and chewing going on, and the calmest I've seen her be since she been in training.  All super good stuff. Now how long should I do this before I ask for the trot? ~ E.G.

1 comment:

  1. Good progress!

    I'd say you'll know when it's time to move to trot, then cantering. You'll have more control of her at slower gaits, so you might want to wait until you can count on her to stay going the correct direction consistently.

    I'm glad she slowed down without you having to focus on that. It really sounds like she's been paying attention - with the licking/chewing. I also always try to look for the nearside ear to be flicked my direction.

    But do keep in mind that even if you do have a looooong longe line, it's not easy for a horse to longe, no matter the gait. Staying on the arch of a circle works muscles differently than riding on a trail. An hour and a half on a trail (even using all 3 gaits and going up/down hill) I think puts less strain on the horse than longing. So be careful when you start adding trot and canter work - keep those sessions short, Journey will probably thank you :-)

    You got a lot of really good advice on the last longing question(and it's good too that there were a lot of different ideas - every person and every HORSE is different, there's more than one way to get things done!) Hopefully more will chime in with their input.