Longing yearlings is a controversial thing. I don't want to get into a battle with the 1.5 people who read my blog, so let me clarify up front what I'm doing with Halo. Working on the longe is stressful on a horse's legs, even an older horse, and I know that. Right now I work with Halo only 15 minutes per session, once or twice per week. Usually only once. My goals for her are very simple, and we do walk-trot work only. Mostly walking.
My goals for Halo during her longe lessons right now are that she a) moves away from the whip when cued, and b) has a good whoa. Honestly she can walk or trot around me; as long as she's going the right direction and not blasting off at mach 10 while ripping my arm out, I could care less. I don't want to overload her brain.
This filly is VERY responsive! I have done some work with voice commands while leading her on the ground, and she seems to have instantly translated it to the longe line work. For the most part her whoas have been quick and solid, and she immediately turns into the circle to look at me and receive her pat for being a good girl.
She does have her moments of confusion and wanting to switch directions at random. Basically I've approached this by vigorously insisting that she go the other way by cueing her with the whip near her outside shoulder while putting pressure on the line. As soon as she turns around and travels the way I want, I put the tip of the whip back on the ground and relax. One of the best things about Halo is that while she's quite reactive at times, she's also very quick to calm down and give you her attention.
I wish we had a round pen to work in, as I'd probably just do this at liberty instead. However, using the line will have to do! And so far, it is going remarkably well. We've taken two steps forward...hopefully we can avoid going one step back!