A couple of weeks ago, we started long lines on Jasper. I’ve been watching Mark Rashid’s video called Long Lining 101 and I really like his simple step by step approach. In fact, I am a big fan. He is a wonderful storyteller and I have gobbled up almost all of his books. We incorporate a lot of Parelli in our training but there are some methods where I have felt they do not work with Jasper and I try something else. The refreshing thing about Mark Rashid is he isn’t hawking anything. Although I do hope he puts out more videos.

Long lining with Jasper began with introducing him to the ropes, which he was already pretty familiar with from lunging. But this time they were going to be going around him. I spent about a week just putting the rope around Jasper’s body, and around his back legs and then walking around. At first he would try to kick the rope from around his back legs but it did not take long for him to get used to it and I tried desperately not to get tangled up in the process!

Next we put a surcingle on, looped the ropes through and worked on getting him to bend into the rope and turn, with slight pressure on the rope. It must have felt quite strange at first, here we were pulling in the opposite direction. Usually a horse’s first instinct is to back up, which Jasper did. So we gave him a little guidance by turning his head away and starting him on the path to turn. He figured it out pretty quickly and was soon turning in both directions.

Next Michelle did a bit of driving from behind, which you will see in the clip. For the past two weeks since that lesson I have worked a little bit on driving when I work with Jasper and I must say it is harder than it looks. I am constantly getting tangled up and Jasper will of course wander off while I am trying to get untangled! I’m also having a wee bit of trouble getting him to go. He will walk with me beside him with the lines, but if I step back a couple of steps and try to get him to lead, he wants to turn around and come back to me, which leads to the tangled mess again. So, at the moment this is a work in progress – wish me luck!

The clip is Jasper’s first long lining session with Michelle and you can see he is a bit hesitant in some spots as he is learning this new fangled thing. But overall he did great, and there were no tantrums. Usually what happens in my lessons, is Michelle will work with him for a bit, see how he is, demonstrate to me how to do it, and then I work with Jasper myself until I don’t look like a complete klutz/idiot.
Please excuse my lousy narration!