Okay, I lied. He longed a lot better than he did at home in the turnout paddock, where the feed bucket kept luring him into the distant corner (dragging me behind him). In the arena, he longes fine. Or he did yesterday. Today, as I was leading Wyatt into the arena, who should come riding out of the arena but my neighbor and fellow equestrian author Audrey Pavia! Here's a link to a recent article about her on Horse Channel:
Audrey's Latest Gig
Anyway, so Audrey comes riding out and Wyatt is mesmerized by the fact that:
A) there's yet another horse in the world he has never met before
B) there's a gate in the arena railing (translation: Thanks to the invention of The Gate, once a horse is in the arena, a horse can also exit the arena)
I then begin longeing Wyatt. All is going well until he decided-- in the way that only a 3-year-old can decide-- that perhaps he'd longed enough and the gate was a far more attractive option than continuing on going in circles at the canter. He made a beeline to the gate, with me behind him.
Yet since he was bitted up, I had far more control of his body than he anticipated. Score one point for the human.
This game of, "Oh yes I can!" repeated itself a few more times until Wyatt got the message that, "Oh no you can't!" And then we finished our longeing session and he got a lot of pats. Then I climbed on and we worked on bending and circling at the walk and trot. Very mundane stuff but ultimately extremely important basics. Add a few halts and some backing up (with a baby you don't want to over-do going backwards before you've fully mastered GOING FORWARD) and we were done for the day. I know, not very exciting, but I knew that when I bought Wyatt this was a long-term project. As in don't expect much until June.
I wanted to add a note of thanks to everyone who commiserated with me on my horse shopping drama. I got some very insightful comments and emails. In fact, an email from one horsewoman explained how she was ready and willing-- cash in hand-- to buy a horse, yet she kept meeting up with sellers who weren't very accomodating to her requests for a video. How can you expect to market a horse out of the local area and yet not be prepared to provide buyers with a video?
If you'd like to leave a comment, just click on "comments" below!