Monday, July 20, 2009

Ellie –- 07/20/09

What a smart pony!  I hate to admit it, but I’m afraid this mare is smarter than me.  It was obvious from the start that she had never been longed before.  I have a feeling her previous “training” was being dressed in a harness, hooked to something heavy, and whipped till she pulled it.  She was terrified of the longe whip in the beginning, so I spent some time just rubbing her all over with it and talking quietly to her.  Within a few minutes she was standing quietly with lids drooping while I was rubbing the whip all over her back, rump, and legs.  Gee, that was easy.

She didn’t understand at first what I wanted when I asked her to walk off without me, but picked it up very quickly!  I made sure to keep my body in line with her hip and the whip behind her when I wanted forward motion and she had the idea in no time.  Once I had her out on the circle and walking calmly, I moved my body to put it in line with her shoulder, moved the whip to my other hand and put it in front of her line of sight, but not in front of her body.  I accompanied that with a WHOA and the little mare stopped.  In her tracks.   And stood there.  Quietly.   I praised her up and down, then changed directions and did the same thing.  She performed flawlessly. 

I stopped there since she did so well.  Next time we’ll work on trotting on the longe and doing walk/trot transitions.

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