Today I worked Louie on the long lines again. I think I've long lined him only once or twice since starting our dressage work. Eek! Bad Mom! Just being honest.
The warm weather (high in the 40's today!) had been making large sheets of snow melt and slide off of the roof, which apparently made terrible noises while we were tacking up (really not that bad, but it got Louie a little worried). So I grabbed my stretchies.
When we got into the arena, Sandy was driving her mini, and Louie had never seen this before- like a large dog pulling a lady around in a cart- weird! So he was already nervous, and now had THAT to look at too. It was a good thing I had the bungies. We started down at the far end of the arena (the scary end to begin with), clipped the bungies, and away my saddle seat horse went! Wow, he's starting to give me second thoughts about what discipline he wants to do! His neck and head were up and set like a nice country pleasure horse, and he was working those stretchies, going level or better, and really driving off of his hind end. It took several big circles around the end of the arena in each direction before he settled down enough to take them off.
After a bit, we took off the bungies, then did a few big laps around the whole arena at a trot. I couldn't go too far, I'm a little out of shape for this activity. We settled down and walked and Louie was actually quite calm by this point, so Sandy came back in the arena and helped me get the cart behind Louie. We didn't hook it, but put the shafts through the tugs and while I ground drove, Sandy led him with a lead rope by his head. Louie did great, not a care in the world. I think being between the shafts actually relaxes him. I've been so hesitant to hook him with all of the scary stuff going on between the far end of the arena, snow melting, etc, but I felt better about that today. It's only been a few months since our last drive, and I'm hoping with Sandy being there more often now, we'll be back in the cart again soon!