Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Naughty Drifter

I guess things can't always go smoothly. Today was the first day that I long lined her. I attached the long lines to the lunging cavesson. However, they don't attach smoothly or easily. I brought her to the indoor and felt the need to shut the door behind myself.

I took her to the center of the ring and attempted to send her out on the circle, like lungeing. She was walking right on top of me and was a bit tense. I finally got her straightened out and going in a circle. I could see her thinking about being "steered" from two sides. Apparently it freaked her out a little. She picked up the trot and trotted a few circles and then picked up a faster trot. In this case, she then decided that going back to the gate at high speed was a good idea. She straightened her head to the outside and took off. I lost control of the reins and she gave a little buck as she ran to the arena gate. She stopped by the gate and walked into the small barn attached to the arena. She stopped in the stall and was willingly lead out and put back to work.

I thought it best to work at the walk after that incident. I worked more on steering around the arena wall and practicing some halting. She was clearly tense when being steered from the long lines, but held herself together pretty well. After steering around the ring in both directions at the walk I decided that she should work. So I hung up the long lines on the surcingle and attached the lunge line. I had her lunge in both directions at a forward trot. I asked her to work harder at the trot because of her earlier outburst. She was difficult again to the right today with no improvement throughout the session.

After lunging, it was time to walk nicely around the farm. She was good.

Tonight was a big night for Drifter. It was her first night out all night with another horse. She is turned out with another mare, who seemed less like she wanted to be friends and more like she wanted to chase her. Drifter is herd smart and got away from the fence, away from the corner of the pasture and away from her turnout buddy. However, within a few minutes they were both grazing on opposite sides of the field. I think all will be okay.

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