Longeing, lumping and splitting!

If you asked most horse people whether longeing their horse was a simple or a complex process, I bet most of them would say it is simple. The horse walks, trots or canters out on a circle at a pre-determined distance from the trainer in the center. But that would be a lumper talking. See, you can be a lumper or a splitter. A lumper takes an exercise/new behavior and looks at it as a whole and expects the animal to immediately grasp all of its parts. Because humans are conceptual thinkers, we don’t always immediateley see all the  individual components of a behavior the way we need to in order to explain it well. A good trainer is a splitter. A splitter looks at the finished behavior and breaks it down into all of its component parts so it is easy for the animal to understand and achieve. I’ve been working on longeing with Dragon, not just go in a circle however you like type-longeing, but move off immediately on the first cue, move off softly, maintain emotional control, remain attentive, have an even tempo, hold your body in a way that is healthy for you type longeing. It’s practically rocket science when you focus on it in this way;) And its enjoyable because you are really focusing on shaping beauty. Here’s just a short clip of a nice, soft walk to trot transition. He is relaxed and has a nice tempo, but his head is too low, which is causing him to be on his forehand/not properly balanced over all four of his feet. My click is for when he shifted that balance.

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