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Horse Behavior and Training

long lining problems: too lazy


I have a problem when long lining. Already after half a circle my horse is asking me (by putting his head down to the ground) whether we could please stop. Moving my offside reins against his hocks does not really help. It just seems to confuse the steering and makes him stop. I even tried with a pole and a plastic bag fixed to it (see Monty's book "From my hands to yours")to keep him going, but unfortunately my horse knows that sometimes carrots come in plastic bags and therefore was rather drawn to the bag instead of running away from it. I would have to put a lot of agressive energy against him in order to make him move away from me. Yet, I do not want to spend that much energy just to insist on him moving around me in circles. Moreover, I do not want him to be afraid of me. I have taught him that whenever something bothers him he can come to my side and is safe. Are there any suggestions how a lazy but very intellegent horse can be motivated to be long lined. Monty always demonstrates long lining on horses that are easily scared and run away from the handler once he gets into the driving position or uses a little bit of agressive energy (klicking with the tonge or lifting the arm seems to be enough).
Thanks for any suggestions, Beate

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I have the same situation with my mare. She is smart, willing, but LAZY! As with your horse, she trusts me very much and is not at all affected by any of my attempts at getting her to move foward. She just looks over like "yeah, I've seen all this and I know you'd never hurt me, so why move?" (too bad I can't get someone with an attack canoe in my arena!)

What I am going to try when she is not lame, is to have a helper use a longe whip to snap the ground, which she already knows means to move foward. That way I can concentrate on steering rather than getting her to move. I think that this would also be kinder to her, as I've noticed that if the lines are jiggled too much (to get her to move) it will tug on the mouth, which would give the exact opposite comand.


Thank's for your suggestions Kim. What I sometimes do to be able to long line Felton, my horse, is that I use a whip very carfully, because I noticed that other people tend to use the whip too agressively (wissing of the wip through the air). I do not like it when Felton starts worrying about the whip and looks to me for help. He should understand the whip as the prologation of my hand giving him cues to move forward. When he tries to move towards the center, I quickly point the end of the whip towards his shoulder (Sometimes I even have to vibrate the whip a little. otherwise he would just ignore it and come in anyway). The drawback of this method is, that I am not able to handle two long lines and a whip. Thus I longline with a single long line fixed to the centre ring (on top of the nose band) of a special head collar we call "captun" here in Belgium (It is not the Spanish "captun" that has metal in the nose band and inflickts pain, but a confortable leather one). Using the middle ring on top of the nose brings his head down and whenever he gets distracted by something outside the round pen, by lightly pulling on the line I can make his head come back inside. I have tried elastic side lines (up to now I did not manage to find the kind Monty uses) but Felton is so distracted by the strange things interfeering with his head that he does not pay much attention to me any more. I must also say that the only side lines I found are fully elastic and too short to allow his extremely long neck to move freely in the beginning. Due to all these problems I ran into, I decided to long line verw rarely (Only when I am not able to ride him).
Best regards,

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Sounds to me that you need to go back to just lunging your horse with the energy of you meaning 'business'. Your horse is sensing your softness and is getting away with what he wants. Once the 'seriousness' of your intention is accompanied by your right 'energy' conveying your intent, doing single lunging, then perhaps you can move on to the double long lining. In other words, go back to the previous step, master it and then move forward. Your horse sounds to be very smart, and keen to your energy so change your energy and intent and dont allow the softness reveal itself. You dont have to be mean but firm and you can be firm and loving still. Have a blast and happy New Year:-)