Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Long Lining during the Great Melt

On Tuesday I decided to try long lining again with Charlie since riding wasn't much of an option. The ring was an absolute mess, the wind was blustering (is that a word?), and Charlie was in lala land, but we could at least walk around, right? Plus I had to do something with my Irish Thoroughbred on St. Paddy's Day.

I really wish trotting would have been an option, because Charlie definitely had some extra energy that needed to be released. He's long lined many times, and does well typically, but this time I could only get about 4 minutes of attention at a time. A few times he mini reared when I asked him to turn (for some reason turning right was hard today), but I couldn't really make him work in the sloppy mess of the ring without fear of him falling. He then tried to cling to me and wouldn't move out, so I had to remind him I have personal space too.

Eventually we started making progress, but we really weren't getting anywhere significant and he really didn't like walking through all that mess (could I blame him?), so I switched to one line and lunged him instead, doing lots of inside turns on the circle and trying to focus his attention that way. That actually managed to cut through the BS, and he started listening, stopped resisting, lowered his head with an ear toward me and began licking his lips.

We ended with a good 10 minutes of "halt and stand" (ground tie) work. Charlie is an in-your-lap kind of horse, but he *should* know how to stand when I walk away (or at least he used to). Today took some refreshing. He kept trying to stay glued to my hip. Every he moved toward me before I asked him to, I'd walk back to him calmly, reposition him to his original position, and then repeat the "stand" command and walk away. It took a little longer than I wanted, but eventually he remembered the gig and I could make him stand and wait, then cluck him forward two steps toward me and then say "whoa" and he'd stop, waiting for the next go forward cue before coming further.

All in all it wasn't the most exciting lesson, but it was something. I'm hoping the crazy wind today will dry out the ring so I can ride again! All of this mental work is good, I'm sure, but Charlie and I both need some physical exercise.


  1. It's melting! Huzzah!! I'm sure once you're both back to a more consistent routine, Charlie will be better.

    1. I think you're right. We're both bored and out of shape, with extra energy and no outlet, but once the good weather hits I'm sure we'll be back in sync and having fun in no time :)