I decided to long line Chance and Tucker today, keeping it a short session for both of them for two reasons:
First, it was a rather warm day and both of them are sporting their winter coats.
Second, since neither one has worked much in a frame/on contact/on the bit much in the last few months, it was going to be hard work for their muscles.
Each work session was no more then twenty minutes.
Chance was rather a bad boy about it with several instances of protest. He was fine going around with no contact, but once I picked up the rein, he wasn't too sure about it. Still, on the left rein he settled in pretty quickly and gave me some nice forward work, well into the bridle. The right rein was another matter. He was not so keen about that. He tried to bolt, tried to rear and tried to spin around to go the other way. Fortunately, I've been long lining long enough to pretty much catch the evasions before they get too out of hand to send him back out on the circle in the direction I wanted. Eventually, he gave me some good work, so I stopped, praised him mightily and decided we'd need to work this a bit more often just to get the concept back into his head.
Tucker was quite the opposite. In fact, the biggest problem with him was over flexing and getting into a little round ball of horse instead of bouncing forward into the bit. He's the opposite of Chance and was more difficult to work on the left rein as he tends to curl himself to the left instead of staying true to the right outside rein. His main protest was to buck and charge off at the canter if I pressed him too hard, almost as if to say, "All right, already, you want me to GO? Watch this!!"
In the end, he too gave me some lovely work on the right rein, so we finished up with a round of praise and a good sponging off as both he and Chance had sweated up.
Just goes to show I need to do a little more ground work now and then to refresh their memories. But it was a good day for it.
We accomplished a lot in a little time.