SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI—Having spent the better part of her morning trying to keep her toddler alive while pulling him off of high countertops, away from electrical outlets, and within a respectable social distance from the family dog, mom of two Jennifer Moore found herself fending off that familiar state of exhaustion. But, for the first time in a long time, she also felt inspired.
“I looked at my three-year-old, Ben, who was screaming Raffi songs, hitting his sister with a pool noodle, and inexplicably without clothes for the 18th time that morning, and I thought, There has got to be a better way.”
Jennifer, who’s had horses all her life—and brought along her gelding, Chuck, since he was a three-year-old—suddenly realized there may be more in common between her toddler and her Tobiano paint than she thought.
“When Chuck was young, and fresh, and we were gearing up for a horse show or just a successful ride on the farm, I thought nothing about throwing him on the longe line for 10 or 15 minutes to get his sillies out,” Moore explained. “So why not my three-year-old son?
“He has all this pent-up energy he can’t control, and our small house doesn’t allow him the turnout space he needs to kick up his heels. Giving him a safe outlet to burn off his energy, just as I would for Chuck, wasn’t just a good idea, it was the fair thing to do. A toddler’s ability to focus, listen to direction, and regulate his own behavior are no different than a horse’s,” Moore says.
So, the part-time mechanical engineer got busy, designing a kid-safe longe line apparatus that allows your toddler a full-range of circular, forward motion, while preventing parents from being inadvertently bit, kicked, spit, or stomped on.
“Of course, when it comes to children, the ‘driving aids’ we use with horses are generally frowned upon, so the Toddler-Longe employs the proverbial carrot over the stick—a fishing pole equipped with a hook for your child’s favorite snack, which can be used as a lure to keep him or her moving. Really anything works: you can use actual carrots, or healthy snacks like granola bars or yogurt pouches. But, to be fully transparent, here, Ben really trots out when I hook up the Oreos!”
Though her patent is still pending, Moore says she needs no more proof than her own, at-home results to know that Toddler-Longe is destined for international success.
“I’m so much less stressed by my kids’ behavior than I used to be,” she says. “I yell less, I enjoy time with them more, and my wine consumption has gone down by almost half!
“You know how they say, ‘A tired kid is a happy kid?’ Well, it’s even better than that. A tired kid is a happy kid—but Mamma’s happier still!”