TRAINING – Long Lining

This two-year-old filly (see video below) was working in long-lines at home for about 6 weeks before going to a professional trainer.  She has been with the trainer for a month.  My questions for the trainer  and the answers follow.

Why do you work her without a cavesson?

Ans: To teach her to relax her jaw while she works.  Relaxed upper and lower jaws result in a relaxed poll with a nicer turn to it.  With a cavesson on she will tend to brace herself against it and clamp her mouth closed resulting in stiffness at the poll.  That stiffness is then transmitted along her spine, affecting her entire frame.

Why are you reversing her direction every few steps?

Ans: I’m teaching her to focus on me.  Also, by running the lines around her butt and reversing, I’m teaching her that her rear end is connected to her mouth.  When I pull on one line to reverse her, she feels the pull on the back leg on that side before she feels the pull on the bit.  Once she understands the quick reverses she will start to bring her rear end up under herself to create impulsion.

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