Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Longing as a brief training technique

I am not a fan of longing horses.  In fact, before this past Sunday, I cannot remember the last time I longed a horse.  But with Reva's canter being a bit wonky at times (she will pick it up but has a hard time maintaining it whereas other times she is fine...) my instructor Judy recommended trying to build her canter on the longe for a short time. 


My "ring" where I ride is really just a (not very level) area of Dreamy's grass pasture.  It is certainly not ideal to ride in, much less longe a horse!  Add to that my dislike of longing and I made the choice to bring Reva to Judy's for her first longing lesson.  While I feel as though I am a capable horsewoman, I wanted to be with Judy in her level ring with excellent footing.  And plus, I figured I would need help teaching Reva how to longe and would need another person.  There is always the scary fact that a horse can fall on the longe line, so I wanted to be with Judy for support and help.


Judy offered to try her out first, which was fine with me.  I really wasn't nervous, but I did want Reva to have a good first experience and I knew for a fact that Judy could do that.


Reva acted like she had been longed before.  I highly doubt that, but she was so calm and quiet.  I realized she had done some baby longing at the Chris Lombard clinic back in 2010, but even then she acted like she knew what she was doing. 


Chris Lombard clinic in 2010...


Here we are on Sunday morning at Judy's farm....


Being a complete pain and pawing while I try to take a pic.  She is a good girl, but she does have the 5 yo ADD problem at times!
Just starting on her first circle!  Good girl!
And here she is trotting for the first time!!  :-)





She was so good!  When in doubt, she stops.  I love it.  I much rather have a horse who stops and thinks than bolts, bucks, and farts.  LOL!  She is super sensitive on the longe, meaning she is very aware of your body language and will easily move or stop with only subtle prompting.  I love that!


I brought her over to Judy's again on Tuesday to use her ring and Reva was excellent.  I think longing might be a key to helping her canter.  :-)  I will ride her the next few times and go back to longing in a few days.  

1 comment:

Now That's A Trot! said...

Good girl, Reva!

It's funny but I don't really like longeing either... It has its uses, and I've used it to teach horses voice commands before starting under saddle, but I rarely ever use it, though I think all horses should know how.

Oddly enough, this week I found myself longeing too! I put Will on the line for 15-20 minutes just to change up his routine a bit. He never did quite get the hang of cantering on the longe line...