Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Old Shuffle Step


After chores last night I helped Liz for a few minutes. She was trying to get her pony going on the longe line, and she had never started one before. I have started several, so I was trying to direct her.

You know when you get to that spot where you cannot tell, but you can show? Got there quickly. This pony has obviously had some handling, and I think that at some time someone tried to start her longing and messed her up. She knows every trick in the book.

With Jack, our other pony, purchased as green as a new-shined emerald, I showed him once or twice what was wanted and he did it. Never bothered to polish him up, but when you shake out the line he gets out to the end and gets going.

Diamond stands in the center and pivots so it is really hard to get behind her and make her move. Essentially she is longing you.

However, after some running around and cajoling  I did get her to where she would circle, a little shorter than I might have liked, once or twice, before she started the pivoting business again.

She is a very sweet and likable pony and I think if Liz is patient she will pick it right up. She was trained really oddly when she got her. She is perhaps the gentlest young horse I have ever seen, but she had no idea about picking up her back feet. I wonder how they trimmed her. She is fine now...

Somebody has certainly taught her something at some point in her life though. At one part of the frustrating little lesson, Liz happened to shake the longe whip near her heels. She immediately shuffled her front feet forward and her back feet back, tucked her head and parked out in a perfect pose. Wish I had had the camera with me.

It was obviously no accident, and she looked like a little Breyer Saddlebred. If she can just find the cue to get her to do that in the show ring, a lot of her work is already done.

The coolest part for me though, the very neatest thing in several weeks of tumultuous upheaval, was that I participated. My horses are all long gone, died of old age related stuff years ago. I am gimpy and halt and not terribly confident any more, so I don't do stuff like longe green fillies. I don't even try.

But I could just SEE what was needed. I HAD to step in there. And I didn't fall over my  feet. She didn't drag the line out of my hands. I did get her out on the circle. She didn't like it much but she longed...at least for a minute.

 It was so darned cool I can't begin to tell you. Surprised I didn't dream horse longing dreams last night

5 comments:

thepoodleanddogblog said...

You are ALWAYS cool. We had no doubt.

Cathy said...

I don't think I've ever observed this process real-time. But it is a really cool exercise. And I so understand your delight in 'moving' . . gimpy or not. Oh yeah. It's good. Congrats :)

thekitchensgarden.com said...

There is a wonderful sense of accomplishment when all your knowledge pops in and it works,that must have been a sublime minute when the horse got it right!.. have a lovely day.. c

Floridacracker said...

Coooooool ...(snaps fingers coffee shop style to show cool appreciation)

threecollie said...

Jan, that was supposed to be "it". Cool left the stadium a long time ago. lol

Cathy, it is a very useful training exercise.

TKG, thanks, it was neat. So satisfying. She is a nice youngster and a lot of fun

FC, and that is what a typo will do for you. Slaps head. That was supposed to be "it". If I ever was actually cool, it wasn't recent. lol. I am not even cool enough to know exactly what you mean there.