Saturday, October 16, 2010

thoughts on the Mustang Longe Line Futurity

That is one long title!

As I've posted before, the lunge line futurity is going to be held alongside the normal EMM event in Murfreesboro TN for the 2009 yearlings adopted out last year from the previous youth competition.

Allegro and I have been working pretty hard! I won't deny it's been frustrating. The first few months he kept getting sullied up, because he was not at all used to being asked to lung at a circle for any length of time. This was not what I had trained him to do before. Whenever we did lunge before it was with mostly half circles and turnbacks and the idea of walking in a longe line was the least used word of his vocabulary. He's made a lot of progress even though this isn't his foremost talent. Some horses have a natural inclination to move the way that longe line asks for (not that this will be judged exactly on tradition rules) but Allegro's mustangs roots seemed to have a different idea of how to move.

Just recently we had Allegro shod because he had bruised his front foot. It's very frustrating that it was the front foot on his good side because now his former good side had become his weaker side and his former weaker side his stronger side now. He's not much a fan of the shoes. He's been picking his knees up more because of the new feeling (we also have booties on to protect the shoes). I know I'm may be being a bit picky. Just because he's picking his knees up is not a reason to obsess; it'll will probably fix itself once he gets used to them.

I think I learned most of what I know about lungeline from watching YouTube videos. :] It makes good sense

I feel I've really learned a lot from this. For one thing it's good that I was able to work with Allegro entirely on my own for this especially since longe line was something a genuinely had no knowledge on; it was like taking a crash course on how to train and perform lungeline. I doubt I know half the things a profession would tell me about lungeline but no doubt I've learned a lot since working on it. If you work over a 100 days on something every day you are going to have to work not to learn something.

Here's my check list for things I look for in longe line:

  1. Consistent and acurate gaits
  2. An even circle
  3. The handler not "traveling" (having to chase the horse, or having to walk a large circle)
  4. Smooth transitions
  5. Ease of movement
  6. Attentiveness to handler
  7. Style, and overall presentation (longe line isn't riveting exactly so it pays to make it look like more than it is; give it some stage presence!)
  8. Ease of moving into the circle, changing directions, and coming out of the circle.
  9. headset and technically correct gaits (correct lead, not cross firing)

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