Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bo Jena on long lining, part 2

So now, if you had Bo Jena coaching you at this clinic,  your horse should be on the outside rein on a circle, and pretty forward. You walk trot and canter. You halt. you do a lot of transitions. Then you come to a walk, and then you start using the whole ring. To get to the rail, Bo followed the same procedure...
  1. Keeping outside rein contact, flip the whip to send the horse forward and sideways, into the outside rein. 
  2. The point is to get the horse to the rail, preferably by leg yielding. If you're Bo, you might have an assistant point a whip at the horse's shoulder to reinforce this idea.
  3. Walk the horse forward on the rail while you walk well behind the horse and at a 45 degree angle. The horse should be straight and handlers were encouraged to make use of the wall.
What could go wrong, right?
Ha! We saw balky horses, jumpy/reactive horses, placid horses, and pissed off horses. Horses kicking out with double-barrels, horses leaping forward with such exuberance I wondered if they would break free. Bo was unflappable. He had empathy for the horse, but not too much. He acted as a strong, authoritative, persistent, but tactful presence. When he got the big reaction (e.g., double barrel), he never backed off but he didn't press further, and as soon as he had the horse's attention again he went to something the horse was comfortable with for a bit. Then he tried again.

Three's not a crowd
Bo often, often, often required a third person to assist. Not a bad idea if you are starting out, and especially if your horse is a bit reactive or tense.

Still more to come!


  1. OK, I'm still with the program as at least two of my horses do all this just fine. Chance hasn't long lined that much, but I'm pretty sure I'd get him there without too much trouble.

    Once again, it's all about that outside rein.

  2. I wish there were videos of the explosions. That's how you really learn, by seeing how things that go wrong are helped to go right.

  3. This all sounds so awesome, I think I'd have to get someone to teach me first before I even attempted this sort of long lining. I've done the long lining from way back behind the horse as a method to get them used to rein contact etc, but never for anything more than that. I'm now officially looking for someone near me to work with me on this! It would be an awesome tool to use with my yearling so we can do FUN things together (besides go on long hand walks) before he's 3!


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