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RABT Summer Cross Country Derby - July 12, 2020

At the beginning of July, Ellie and I tackled our first ever BN level XC course at a competition! We take jumping lessons with Babette at RABT Farm (Rest & Be Thankful Farm), so having Babette there that day to coach me was perfect.  We did have some bobbles on my part, like not riding to each fence and not enough leg (NEVER ENOUGH LEG) so we had one stop on course, but I was super pumped to have a chance to jump around a course at a place we are totally comfortable but it was a crazy chaotic day with 50 horse/rider pairs and a ton more activity than our Wednesday lesson days!  ready to go I paid for a second unjudged round after our division of nine riders jumped and we went clean. It was a beautiful summer day and such a fun opportunity. All COVID protocols were in place and people were super respectful of them.  Due to our stop, we ended up in 8th place with a 3rd place team finish! I paired up with two of my Epona PC teammates for the team competition and they both won their di

Longing as a brief training technique

I am not a fan of longing horses.  In fact, before this past Sunday, I cannot remember the last time I longed a horse.  But with Reva's canter being a bit wonky at times (she will pick it up but has a hard time maintaining it whereas other times she is fine...) my instructor Judy recommended trying to build her canter on the longe for a short time. 


My "ring" where I ride is really just a (not very level) area of Dreamy's grass pasture.  It is certainly not ideal to ride in, much less longe a horse!  Add to that my dislike of longing and I made the choice to bring Reva to Judy's for her first longing lesson.  While I feel as though I am a capable horsewoman, I wanted to be with Judy in her level ring with excellent footing.  And plus, I figured I would need help teaching Reva how to longe and would need another person.  There is always the scary fact that a horse can fall on the longe line, so I wanted to be with Judy for support and help.


Judy offered to try her out first, which was fine with me.  I really wasn't nervous, but I did want Reva to have a good first experience and I knew for a fact that Judy could do that.


Reva acted like she had been longed before.  I highly doubt that, but she was so calm and quiet.  I realized she had done some baby longing at the Chris Lombard clinic back in 2010, but even then she acted like she knew what she was doing. 


Chris Lombard clinic in 2010...


Here we are on Sunday morning at Judy's farm....


Being a complete pain and pawing while I try to take a pic.  She is a good girl, but she does have the 5 yo ADD problem at times!
Just starting on her first circle!  Good girl!
And here she is trotting for the first time!!  :-)





She was so good!  When in doubt, she stops.  I love it.  I much rather have a horse who stops and thinks than bolts, bucks, and farts.  LOL!  She is super sensitive on the longe, meaning she is very aware of your body language and will easily move or stop with only subtle prompting.  I love that!


I brought her over to Judy's again on Tuesday to use her ring and Reva was excellent.  I think longing might be a key to helping her canter.  :-)  I will ride her the next few times and go back to longing in a few days.  

Comments

  1. Good girl, Reva!

    It's funny but I don't really like longeing either... It has its uses, and I've used it to teach horses voice commands before starting under saddle, but I rarely ever use it, though I think all horses should know how.

    Oddly enough, this week I found myself longeing too! I put Will on the line for 15-20 minutes just to change up his routine a bit. He never did quite get the hang of cantering on the longe line...

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