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Ground Driving/Double Lunging/Long Lining/Long Reining

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  • Ground Driving/Double Lunging/Long Lining/Long Reining

    I am interested in doing 'long lining' with my horse after reading about it in an article in Dressage Today (With Bo Jena.). I didn't get to read the first or second of the three articles, so I may have missed this.

    But how should I go about introducing the long lines to my horse? Any information on the subject is greatly appreciated. Also if anyone has any links to some informative material would be great. Thank you.

  • #2
    yes-- it was a three-part series. There are also several books on the subject - one by a Suamer guy...name escapes me, sorry, and I think one by Jen Loriston-Clarke (again, may have mauled that name too...).
    If you google it, I'm sure you can find some basic "getting started" info too.


    • #3
      I don't think there are many books out there (I've been looking) - and there are so many things of which to be aware. I would start by trying to find someone who can help you with this in person (not that there are many around). But it is a fabulous, fabulous tool - for you and your horse.
      a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


      • #4
        There was a fabulous article in a late 1980s Practical Horseman mag about long-lining by Claus Balkenhaul (sp?)... I still have it. No good for you, of course, but maybe Claus had a book on it?
        View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com


        • #5
          The best book I know about is Wilfried Gehrmann - Doppellonge.

          Am not sure if that is available in english. But if he is ever anywhere near you, try to take part at a clinic !
          I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
          2017: March: Filly by Lissaro - SPS Don Frederico - SPS Prince Thatch
          May: Finnigan - Sandro Hit - SPS Rouletto


          • #6
            Wilfried Gerhmann is excellent--and there is a DVD that is very easy to follow--and gives instruction in English--

            email: info@tv-vogel.de

            and ask how to obtain a copy in English -- "Long-Reining with Wilfried Gehrmann"

            that said--at least as much as riding if not more--the devil is in the details and the FEEL and the process.

            Long lining and for sure double-longe requires a lot of knowledge-experience to do properly and keep the horse moving forward to the contact.

            good luck!
            one oak, lots of canyons



            • #7
              Phillippe Karl - Long Reining - The Saumur Method, is a great book.
              Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


              • #8
                No Offense, but WHO r u People riding with?

                Long Lining, that is the classical Dressage technique of riding and training your horse from the the ground is as refined a skill as teaching the Haute Ecole!
                If you do not have access to someone who is schooled in long lining, not "Ground Driving" which is walking behind your horse with long reins, then please do not take up long lining.
                It is an ancient art, and takes great skill and timing, not a technique for the amatuer!
                Find someone who does it well, meaning their horses, walk, trot, canter, shoulder-in, renvers, travers, piaffe and passage on the long lines and let them TEACH you, THAT is LONG LINING! Bon Chance!
                Heath Curry, Owner/Trainer
                Hunter Crest Farms
                "A horse who is asked will win for you both, one who is told, will lose despite your best efforts!"


                • #9
                  If you are in the midwest contact Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. Dianna Rankin is there and is a longe lining guru.
                  "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist


                  • #10

                    Try 101 Longeing & Long Lining Exercises by Cherry Hill. Some of the book is very basic, however there are some great exercises. I like this book because it can help you formulate a plan and break up the monotony.


                    • #11
                      what is a good place to buy long lines? Also, is there anyone in MD who teaches long lining?
                      Appy Trails,
                      Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
                      member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org


                      • #12
                        Saddlebred people long line all the time, so there are many types available from those types of tack catalogs.
                        These are the ones I have. http://www.nationalbridle.com/product-p/1-1232.htm I broke the pulleys off of them because I have no use for those. I like the way the clothesline ends slide in the rings. Then, after using them for many months, I cut the ends a bit shorter for my taste.

                        Some people swear by leather lines. Many lines come with buckles on the ends. That scares me a little. Too many opportunities to get caught in the lines.

                        other resources:



                        • #13
                          ask on the driving forum as dirver start there horses off by long lining
                          so do dressage,
                          look on any assocation or club or society when a connection to the fei
                          as they all have listed accredited coaches ie 4h american pony club, usdf, etc
                          but check out the driving side of things on here as there might be someone closer to you
                          there are a some good instructors that visit here on coth
                          so ask on here to any event ,dressage, driving. or show jumping trianer
                          if qualifed and accredied knows how to long line


                          • #14
                            As someone who long lines a lot, I would suggest you start off in a round pen or small ring. The hardest thing to get used to is staying with your horse, and if they are not making a consistent circle, you end up with either too much slack in the lines, or too tight of a hold and getting pulled off your feet and confusing the horse, since your only connection to them is through their mouth.

                            I'd first start with lunging in side reins. After trotting for a bit in one direction, ask your horse to halt and stand. It will most likely turn and face you, as is normal when lunging. Do NOT let it walk up to you. Teach it to stand there, and YOU walk up to IT. Change directions by turning the horse towards the rail. Again, this is opposite of what you do when lunging, so it takes some getting used to, for you and the horse.

                            Once your horse can lunge and halt, away from you, and stand quietly while you walk to it and fuss with your lunge line, (and I would also suggest walking behind the horse and teaching it to stand quietly while you move around) then you are ready to move onto actual long lining.

                            Get the horse going in its usual lunge circle, wearing his normal riding bridle and surcingle. Ask for the gaits you'd like to work in, and when you transition down to a walk or halt, be ready with a bit more tension on the outside rein to help keep the horse from turning to face you (once he learns to stay out there, you can reduce or eliminate the tension). If the horse does turn to face you, act normal, just like you did with the lunge line, and apply light pressure to the outside rein and see if you can straighten him back out. If not, just walk up to him and start over. Be patient. Some get it right away, some don't.

                            To teach the horse to reverse, do it in small steps. The first few times, walk up to the horse just like you did on the lunge, carefully slide the lines over his rump to the other side, walk around to the other side, and using that line, gently ask him to turn and face the other way and stand quietly. Back yourself towards the center of the circle and resume working the horse. Again, you might need more tension on the (now) outside line to keep him from following you into the middle.

                            Gradually, you will be able to ask the horse to reverse from further and further away. My horse is so trained now that if we halt and I raise my hands (as if to raise the lines to slide over his rump) he just turns himself around. I don't need to do a thing.

                            The worst thing about long lining is moving out of the round pen and learning to steer with 30' reins. They are heavy and will act differently on the horses' mouth than normal riding reins. You have to adjust your reaction time accordingly - usually you must react FASTER when long lining than you can under saddle, and to add to the difficulty, you only have visual cues. You cannot feel your horse shift his weight or balance, so you have to watch carefully and learn the signs. Transitions, rating, balance, collection, steering - all require a bit of relearning for both of you.

                            An important word of warning I must mention is if the horse starts to turn more than one revolution, wrapping the lines around his neck, body and/or legs. It is usually caused by "too late" or "too soft" rein aids during a reverse, so pay attention when asking your horse to turn that you don't forget to "stop" the turn by applying the OTHER rein. If it goes too far, or the horse panics, this is where you need to have FAST reflexes! I can halt a spin before it even gets one revolution, but I've been long lining for over 20 years and I can see it coming a mile away. So, if you sense your horse is about to turn, or is in the process of turning and for some reason doesn't stop, you need to immediately give a hard bump to the outside rein (do not take ahold or the horse will begin backing up because the inside line won't release fast enough) and stop the turn. Remain calm, don't freak out - it happens. Once the horse stops turning or backing up, walk up to him and just restart.

                            Long lining can be a wonderful way to exercise a horse or introduce new concepts to them. I use it to introduce cavaletti's to a horse who's never seen them, as well as to do a lot of bending and hill work, when a rider's weight might be in the way or too much.

                            But like everything else - practice practice practice!!!


                            • #15
                              I thought of something else... Another technique I use with young horses is to line them from nearby, and I do a lot of walking/running. (Makes for a great workout for me! )

                              I'm not sure which would be an easier way for your horse to learn, since obviously I don't know his history. Since traditionally, ASB folks do very LITTLE lunging and really only use it as a precursor to teaching long lining, we don't have to break as many habits that are formed through years of lunging.

                              It might be easier for your horse to learn in a way not associated at all with lunging. In this case, you would walk/jog with your horse, slightly behind and to the inside of the circle. It gives you a closer feel to the mouth, and may not be as confusing to either of you. You also don't run into the issue of the horse turning and getting into trouble as easily.

                              As your horse figures out that you are steering from the ground, you can gradually move yourself further and further away until you're long lining from a greater distance.

                              I work every horse a bit differently - it depends on what they need. I find close work is best when I'm trying to teach a more difficult maneuver or help a horse find their confidence, but it also tends to teach the horse to rely on me and my body language for signals, instead of the reins (and since, when horses are driven, they cannot see me, it's not a good idea for me to allow this reliance). For your purposes, it may not matter.

                              Anyways, if you can find a trainer to help you out, that would be the best way to learn. Good luck!


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Tiffani B View Post
                                An important word of warning I must mention is if the horse starts to turn more than one revolution, wrapping the lines around his neck, body and/or legs. It is usually caused by "too late" or "too soft" rein aids during a reverse, so pay attention when asking your horse to turn that you don't forget to "stop" the turn by applying the OTHER rein. If it goes too far, or the horse panics, this is where you need to have FAST reflexes! I can halt a spin before it even gets one revolution, but I've been long lining for over 20 years and I can see it coming a mile away. So, if you sense your horse is about to turn, or is in the process of turning and for some reason doesn't stop, you need to immediately give a hard bump to the outside rein (do not take ahold or the horse will begin backing up because the inside line won't release fast enough) and stop the turn. Remain calm, don't freak out - it happens. Once the horse stops turning or backing up, walk up to him and just restart.
                                I had one horse who would "wrap up" He did it to me twice, and I've never had the problem before or since. It's sort of like being on the end of a yo-yo string. All of a sudden you're being realed in,and before you know it, you and the horse are nose to nose with a "What the Heck" look on your faces. I think most horse's instinct would be to stop not bolt. At least an ASB, because as you know "dem Saddlebreds is smart"
                                Both times it was because I got to far forward towards his shoulder at the halt and he backed out from under the lines. Always stay in a driving forward position near the hip.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                                  Always stay in a driving forward position near the hip.
                                  Good tip! Yes, never get yourself in front of the surcingle. Try to stay at the hip or behind.


                                  • #18
                                    We offer instruction on this topic. You can PM for more information. Safety is a big issue.
                                    "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist


                                    • #19
                                      I was thinking more about this as I drove back and forth from the barn today. It is really imperative to teach the horse to stop on the longe and not face you if you are preparing to teach the horse to line. It is when the horse faces you that you get in front of the surcingle and risk the horse wrapping up.
                                      I longed my horse yesterday, which I don't usually do, and I realised how he had learned from years of longlineing to halt at the end of the line and wait for me walk up to him and not turn to face me. This is a huge safety issue.


                                      • #20
                                        Bo Jena

                                        Bo Jena has given clinics at Blue Bird Farm in Maryland. Might check there to find out if he is coming back. Long lining is a art and I would highly suggest that anyone wanting to learn (thumbs up) to find someone well proven in the skill or get a group and bring Bo or another clinician in. I know Bo very well and studied with him for almost a year when he was living in the USA. He is very easy work with, bring him in for a clinic to long line and ride. It's worth putting in the time to make it happen.