I went out to longe Hugo again this past Wednesday. Unfortunately, it had been two weeks since our first longe lesson. Why you might ask? Well, in the wonderful world of stay at home mommy-ness, JR and Hubs got a stomach virus and subsequently puked all over my house for a week, which was immediately followed by a 10-day "vacation" to visit friends and family in Portland and Seattle. Hubs of course mentioned that it was great that I didn't get sick. Ha. I felt that virus trying it's best to get at me, but I willed it away. After all, someone has to take care of JR and with Hubs down for the count that left little ole me. I couldn't get sick, bottom line. Anyway, I digress.
Hugo started out surprisingly good. Walking and trotting around on the longe, seemingly picking up right where we left off. Then, he got tired and decided to test me. I think. I asked for a walk transition, and he did the damn NH halt spin and face me thing. I asked him to walk on. He backed. I got my longe whip toward his haunches applying pressure to move forward. He kept spinning away from me, in a backward motion, doing his damndest to face me like he's been "taught". I HATE when horses do this. This poor horse has been mentally screwed really badly by some back yard "horse whisperer" to the point where he doesn't know how to go forward. I could physically see him shaking while he halted facing me worried about what I might do. What the hell did someone do to him? I stopped myself from going off on a mental deep end rant about back yard NH people and focused on how to fix this problem.
I had to get him going forward, but I also need him to trust that I was not going to do something unpleasant to him. He was refusing to even walk while being led, so we started there. Anytime he halted when not asked I would make him move his feet. Sideways, backward, I didn't care. He had to move when I asked. Quickly he figured that out and started walking on the lead on a big circle. We worked on this a while. Then I gave the longe another try and he started going around at the walk and trot again. Just when I was about to quit, asked for the walk and he halted and spun to look at me again. Damn! He immediately started doing the whole halt and back away from me in circles routine again. Every time I moved the whip toward his hind end he would spin away from it and face me. As such, I couldn't get the longewhip behind him and he refused to go forward again. So, we did some more leading at the walk. He was better this time and it was getting dark. I ended working on walk transitions while leading in hopes that it was enough of a success on my terms that next time he'll be more cooperative on the longe. We shall see.