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What to do about naughty horse on longe line?

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  • #41
    WHY would someone want to attach a line to the horses mouth? It can cause panic, has no more control, and does not further the training. A horse should learn manners, conduct itself with obedience. It is the handlers job to teach this, turnout or no. THe horse should learn to behave. This is where we end up going back to lunge basics (properly fitted caveson, with side reins) and proper technique. If the handler expects lack of focus, they often allow it, and they get what they sew imho.
    I.D.E.A. yoda

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    • #42
      Yes, Ideayoda. One gets what one expects. If one doesn't paint a mental picture of what is expected BEFORE and during a training session regarding compliance and communication through the aids (whether on the ground or up top), most often you won't get it. Unless of course the horse has already been beautifully and appropriately educated and you're the lucky benefactor of someone who trained the horse for you.
      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

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      • #43
        Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
        WHY would someone want to attach a line to the horses mouth? It can cause panic, has no more control, and does not further the training.
        i guess i don't understand the difference between attaching long lines to the bit or attaching a lunge line to the bit? (assuming a non-naughty horse)

        or do you attach long lines to the cavesson only?

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        • #44
          Originally posted by class View Post
          i guess i don't understand the difference between attaching long lines to the bit or attaching a lunge line to the bit? (assuming a non-naughty horse)

          or do you attach long lines to the cavesson only?
          Because typically you aren't long-lining a horse that might be taking off bucking. And if you are, you're in a grand, royal MESS.

          On extremely well-behaved horses I have attached a longe line through the bit and back to the saddle, accompanied by an outside side rein to avoid over-bending. But this technique should only be used by those with highly advanced longeing skills, much as draw reins should only be used by highly educated riders (and rarely then, in both cases).

          Other than that, I *never* longe with a line through or attached to a bit. I have a specially-designed Portuguese (sp?) longe cavesson with a padded, solid nosepiece that goes over the bridge of the nose. It is designed this way to give complete control while maintaining the stability of the nosepiece on the horse's nose. I have also used commercially-sold cavessons with jointed metal insets in the nose band, which I am not quite as fond of (they can sometimes shift) but will always use before attaching the line to the bit.

          You have only a certain degree of control over a horse's body while longeing. If it bucks, spooks, trips or is otherwise distracted in a short-term manner, you are punishing the horse for natural behavior if it accidentally hits the longe line attached to the bit. There is no give there like if you're riding and the horse spooks (where you would theoretically be following the horse and not nailing it in the mouth).

          A properly-designed and properly-used longe cavesson will stop a horse in it's tracks if it tries to take off, in a relatively humane manner that doesn't hurt or potentially injure the horse. You simply cannot say the same thing about attaching the line to the bit.

          Also, addressing the "non-naughty" horse, attaching the line to the bit prevents the trainer from giving well-defined aids to the horse. If you have the line on a cavesson and side reins on the horse, a half-halt will simultaneously bend the horse's neck and bring it into a half-halt against the outside side rein. If you attach it to the bit, the same half-halt pulls on both sides of the bit (inside with the line, outside with the side rein) which is an unclear direction to the horse.

          Also, if you have the longe line on the bit and an inside side rein, there is the potential for two aids on the same side of the bit at once- towards the trainer and towards the saddle - which is confusing and unclear. Actually, three at once- both side reins and the longe line. Even more confusing to the horse! Three bit contacts in three directions!

          Spectrum.

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          • #45
            Because typically you aren't long-lining a horse that might be taking off bucking. And if you are, you're in a grand, royal MESS.
            typically i'm not lungeing a horse that might be taking off bucking either.

            On extremely well-behaved horses I have attached a longe line through the bit and back to the saddle, accompanied by an outside side rein to avoid over-bending. But this technique should only be used by those with highly advanced longeing skills, much as draw reins should only be used by highly educated riders (and rarely then, in both cases).
            if the horse is extremely well-behaved and this is only for highly advaced longers - what purpose does it serve? what are you trying to accomplish when you run the longe line like this that you can't accomplish otherwise?

            If it bucks, spooks, trips or is otherwise distracted in a short-term manner, you are punishing the horse for natural behavior if it accidentally hits the longe line attached to the bit. There is no give there like if you're riding and the horse spooks (where you would theoretically be following the horse and not nailing it in the mouth).
            how is this different from long-lining then please?

            A properly-designed and properly-used longe cavesson will stop a horse in it's tracks if it tries to take off, in a relatively humane manner that doesn't hurt or potentially injure the horse. You simply cannot say the same thing about attaching the line to the bit.
            how do you stop a horse in it's tracks when you are long lining it and it decides to take off?

            Also, addressing the "non-naughty" horse, attaching the line to the bit prevents the trainer from giving well-defined aids to the horse. If you have the line on a cavesson and side reins on the horse, a half-halt will simultaneously bend the horse's neck and bring it into a half-halt against the outside side rein. If you attach it to the bit, the same half-halt pulls on both sides of the bit (inside with the line, outside with the side rein) which is an unclear direction to the horse.
            what happens when the line is attached through the inside of the bit, over the poll and onto the outside bit? or under the chin as i also sometimes see?

            Also, if you have the longe line on the bit and an inside side rein, there is the potential for two aids on the same side of the bit at once- towards the trainer and towards the saddle - which is confusing and unclear. Actually, three at once- both side reins and the longe line. Even more confusing to the horse! Three bit contacts in three directions!
            what about the set-up i described above though?

            i do appreciate your thorough answer despite my follow-up questions! thanks!

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            • #46
              I am with Velvet on this one. You have a horse who has been TRAINED to rat race on the longe line. Probably you did not train him to this, but somewhere back in his past, someone ran him around to "get the bucks out." He thinks this is what he's supposed to do. And that's not always a bad thing, because we would rather he bucks, slips, tears his miniscus, falls over, or all those other horror stories on the longe line without you on him. As Karl Mikolka says, "you can make a mistake not longeing a horse before you ride, but you can not make a mistake longeing him before you ride."

              In a perfect world, we would avoid those horror stories all together. So, you have to go back to square one and retrain the horse to longe quietly. You are not going to retrain him in the midst of an adrenaline surge when he is fresh. Cavesson, sidereins, chain, longe line on the bit, rattle his molars, no method, no technique is going to teach him anything once he's in the midst of a trained in adrenaline surge. Those are all going to correct him once he's made a mistake, but they're not going to retrain him.

              If you're serious about fixing this behavior, here's what I suggest. Find another way to get the bucks out before you ride. Bubble wrap him and let him go in the arena before tacking. Encourage him to race around then, no tack. Then tack him up and ride him, as you normally would. At the end of the ride, when he is going quietly and is relaxed and listening, dismount, go get your longeing equipment and teach him to longe correctly. For the first two weeks or more, only ask him to walk. Every time he breaks to an upward gait, bring him back to walk or halt. Every time, until he learns "whoa" means "whoa." You might be walking him on the longe for 3 months before he's ready to trot.

              When it's 100 degrees this summer, work on his longeing skills. Don't just longe him when you "have to" longe him, because that is what is causing your problem.
              Kathy Johnson

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              • #47
                You reap what you sow. Although you could sew a silk purse from a sow's ear, you sow a field, wild oats, and what you reap.

                WHY would someone want to attach a line to the horses mouth?
                A horse properly trained to longe in sidereins should go with the longe line attached: reins, sidereins, longe line. This is a method I learned from a very classical German trainer. The longeur can use the longe line to soften the jaw, to mobilize the tongue and to ask for flexion, just as in riding. The outside siderein acts as the outside rein, and the longe whip as the inside leg. Attaching the longe line to the bit is not always an incorrect method, but it is in this case, when the bit would be used to punish a misbehaving horse.
                Kathy Johnson

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by Kathy Johnson View Post
                  If you're serious about fixing this behavior, here's what I suggest. Find another way to get the bucks out before you ride. Bubble wrap him and let him go in the arena before tacking. Encourage him to race around then, no tack.
                  Be veeeeery careful about *encouraging* a horse who likes to take off bucking and snorting on a longe in the arena to do the same without a longe line. It doesn't matter how much bubble wrap is on, a silly horse can do stupid damage. I, (ahem), speak from experience here...
                  Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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                  • #49
                    Mixing up all sorts of topics here (LL and lungeing). Why not attach a line to the bit, particularly if the horse wants to jet, because they will be spun in if you have to really vibrate (or pull). With a correctly fitted caveson, you gain much more control because it acts on the nose. Even more so if the (outside) side rein can set limits. All that said, start in walk on a circle, stop the horse immediately if they have another idea. Horses only tend to jet/buck/etc IF they think thats what the lunge is for. All the warnings against work on a lunge are because of the lack of control so often seen. Should only experienced handlers lunge? Ideally, esp if the horse is in training.

                    What is the difference when long lineing if the horse wants to jet? Depends upon the length of the reins....certainly not acceptable on short(er) reins, the horse would be more dependable/ridden first. On long lines the (outside) line either goes behind the butt or over the withers. In either case the horse is stopped straight immediately, and if worse comes to worse the handler can put the horse towards the wall (and a visual barrier).
                    I.D.E.A. yoda

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                    • #50
                      Caveson is great way to go for Nantucket Sleigh Ride.

                      It's possible to break the horse of taking off on the longe line, if every time he does, you get him stopped, walk up to him, back him up and then make him work on a smaller circle.

                      Everyone has a different idea of what should be allowed (let sparky be freee!!! run and be freee!!!! no - not ever, bad, bad bad), and how to control the horse on the longe line, the key is if you are consistent and punish what you don't want in a consistent way the problem will be reduced a great deal.

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                      • #51
                        Be veeeeery careful about *encouraging* a horse who likes to take off bucking and snorting on a longe in the arena to do the same without a longe line. It doesn't matter how much bubble wrap is on, a silly horse can do stupid damage. I, (ahem), speak from experience here...
                        Yes, indeed, be careful. However, the fresh horse can do just as much damage (to the handler and to himself) on the longe line as he can when being turned loose. The poster is in a serious pickle. The horse is too fresh to ride, too fresh to longe, and turnout doesn't do the trick, although that is another avenue I would explore. If he's not playing during turnout, he's not using his turnout effectively to burn off steam. I've had to show several horses how to play in turnout, including finding them appropriate playmates. What this horse is doing is perfectly natural--it's cold, he feels good, he wants to move.

                        Anyone turning out, letting loose or longeing a fresh horse needs to be extra careful the first few minutes. Never cluck, clap or get him pumped up when he's first turned loose. Once he's running on his own (and he will), then you can encourage him to keep moving until it becomes your idea to go and your idea to stop.

                        As for the Nantucket Sleigh ride, during another bout of insomnia last night, I watched a special on the real story of Moby Dick. I didn't even know there was a true story (it was gross--murder and cannabalism and insanity involved; it made Ahab look like a saint). Anyway, a Nantucket Sleigh ride is what they called it when they speared the whale from the little boat, and let him drag the boat until he died.
                        Kathy Johnson

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                          WHY would someone want to attach a line to the horses mouth? It can cause panic, has no more control, and does not further the training. A horse should learn manners, conduct itself with obedience. It is the handlers job to teach this, turnout or no. THe horse should learn to behave. This is where we end up going back to lunge basics (properly fitted caveson, with side reins) and proper technique. If the handler expects lack of focus, they often allow it, and they get what they sew imho.
                          Because I don't own a longeing cavesson, properly or improperly fitted. Because I don't know how to use side reins and I've seen too many people use them improperly and the accidents weren't pretty. Because I've longed my horse maybe two or three times in the past three years. Because normally I just get on and ride. Because my horse has been taught manners and is usually quite the gentleman, but every now and then he has a day when he just can't behave. Because he's a horse.
                          __________________________
                          "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                          the best day in ten years,
                          you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by class View Post
                            typically i'm not lungeing a horse that might be taking off bucking either.

                            if the horse is extremely well-behaved and this is only for highly advaced longers - what purpose does it serve? what are you trying to accomplish when you run the longe line like this that you can't accomplish otherwise?
                            You can ask for bend in a manner more similar to a rider's hand, rather than tilting the nose inwards. And it's a more elastic connection than hooking directly to the bit, which acts in conjunction with a side rein rather than potentially in opposition to it.

                            how is this different from long-lining then please?
                            well, in the above case, where you're dealing with a well-trained horse, it wouldn't be. However if you're working with a young horse, your potential for occasional "baby" behavior goes up. They are totally different tools. One is for teaching more advanced aids, and one is for establishing elasticity and relaxation in an environment which maximizes horse and handler safety. I'm sure you can figure out which is which.

                            how do you stop a horse in it's tracks when you are long lining it and it decides to take off?
                            Couldn't tell ya. I sure as heck wouldn't be long-lining a horse I was worried would take off! Yikes!


                            what happens when the line is attached through the inside of the bit, over the poll and onto the outside bit? or under the chin as i also sometimes see?
                            Besides gagging the horse if it leans on or hits the line? Or putting the trainer's entire weight against the horse's mouth if it does a joy-buck? That's alot of pressure for a soft area of the body to take.

                            what about the set-up i described above though?
                            see above reply. I don't like it and won't use it for those reasons. Additionally, see ideayoda's reply about how a properly fitted cavesson works and why it will stop a horse better than a bit attachment.

                            i do appreciate your thorough answer despite my follow-up questions! thanks!
                            You're welcome!

                            Spectrum.

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