View Full Version : Longlining the young horse, bridle or cavesson?

Oct. 17, 2011, 02:17 PM
When you start to grounddrive a young horse, do you longline in cavesson or bridle?

Trainer will come & longline horsey tomorrow, so I may end up going with whatever she suggests, however I'd be curious to know how you started your youngster on the longlines.

To be sure we don't run into a freaked out horse tomorrow, this morning I introduced the longlines just off his headcollar, so I could figure out whether he'd be bothered by the lines being swapped over his back or held behind his hindlegs etc.
He responded very positive, wasn't faced by it, eventhough it was quite windy this morning and I'm still trying to find the correct length of holding the longlines.

The steering went okay, but with a slight delay when trying to do a serpentine. I got some trots, but still figuring out how much contact to feel in my hands when jogging behind him.

Here's my worry. One of my other horses does not take to longlining at all. I was stupid enough to try it off a bit, the amount of contact freaked him out. He basically put his chin to his chest, totally cranked in his neck and as soon as he felt just the slightest contact in his mouth would go up, whereas under saddle in the same situation he'd be a gem and has the softest mouth ever. I didn't forced it on him any further, he's about 13 and lunges large beautifully, so I left it at that.

I just have a difficult time understanding how one can be as soft on the longlines off the bit as when ridden under the saddle, since the surcingle will be acting as a leverage to some extent unless you let it all dangle.
Can a horse be expected to stretch down low into the contact at the trot on the longlines or is this better achieved lunging?

If you have a horse with a soft mouth, would it be better to start off with a cavesson & bit attachment instead of longlining off the bit itself?

Thanks for you thoughts. :)