Thursday, June 26, 2008

Learning to long line

After Drifter's initial reaction to the long lines, I decided to take a second look at the way I was approaching this with her. Upon suggestion, I long lined her from the ground driving position, with the lines lowered and clipped securely onto the rings on the top of the cavesson. Surprisingly, she didn't mind the lines along her back side or along her hind legs. She was really fine with it. She understood the steering much better with the lines securely attached and the cavesson very tight so it didn't slide. She was also able to "whoa" from the voice command several times, when she stopped in an unbalanced fashion the lines were on her haunches to balance her. I have been following the long lining up with lunging at the trot.

The third long lining session has been the best- but she has a short attention span. She is mentally like a two year old in training. She we long line for 15-20 minutes and lunge for the same. I had an excellent lunging session on Tuesday. She was able to stay out on a 20m circle at the walk in both directions and showed an improvement at the trot with less inversion. I have been asking her to transition to walk when she becomes unbalanced and letting her do more of a slow trot this week. Although she understands the concept of lunging, I learned that her body is not able to comply with the fitness and flexibility needed to progress quickly. So, this week was a taking it slow week.

She is doing well with "normal" horse activities like group turnout, taking halter/cavesson on and off, cross tying and fly spray. I can also pick up and hold her hind feet now. She has also gained some weight- just her neck looks puny and skinny now. I can't wait until she is muscled up. I have been doing the belly lifts with her and some stretches for treats to help her flexibility and topline. I am still searching for some more non-traditional activities to do with her. I was reading about equine intelligence testing this week and think it would be a fun activity to try with her. I feel that she is pretty bright and picks up things quickly. I heard several stories about "untamed" or "unhandled" horses this week and am ever thankful that Drifter is as sensible as she is. Again, I look forward to riding her.

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