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I love long lining

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  • I love long lining

    Any time I feel stuck in the riding/training of my horses (hot older pony and chill young OTTB) I pull out the long lines. The OTTB took to them the first go round which is a testament to what an awesome filly she is. I feel like I can see how my horses move and better visualize our issues under saddle. Then next day back in the saddle I go! I genuinely think both my horses, especially the TB, enjoy long lining and ground driving.
    I like them better than side reins but I think that’s just my personal preference. For me the long lines have a more dynamic feel.

    Anyone else?

  • #2
    I love long lining and think it is a very valuable tool. I also prefer it to lunging. I've taught a few horses and all have taken to it very easily. Usually if a horse knows how to be ridden and lunged, long lining is no problem! I also taught a friend and her older horse does really well with it. She does it almost weekly.
    In my personal experience, it is easier for a forward thinking horse. I also agree that it's a good tool to be able to visualize things from the ground. I've also taught some movements on the ground/on the long lines that translated wonderfully to under saddle work.


    • #3
      I prefer it to lunging. I used it to introduce lateral work to both of my horses and found they were able to "get it" faster than under saddle. In general it is a nice change of pace for them and I can see what's happening, which I can't do while riding.


      • #4
        I love it, too! It's such a great tool. And it helps me to see my mare's body in order to match that up with what I feel when I'm riding her. She really loves it, too. She likes being asked to change her posture without me on her back effing things up.

        And a word to the wise-- if they can do something on long lines (like produce a smooth trot to canter transition), they are strong enough to do that under saddle, too. Don't buy the hype when the princess says that she couldn't possibly do that without flailing around. The long lines will reveal her lie.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat


        • #5
          Last year I spent months hand walking an injured horse - we were both much happier when I found my long lines and started using them.


          • #6
            This is a great post. I have a half dozen classic books on long lining gathering dust on my shelf... and multiple equines who could benefit from it. In particular, an older, semi retired mare that I want to get more fit and just enjoy for a little while longer... and a coming 2 year old who needs stuff to do. Small stuff. She’s a great baby who is a quick learner and likes activities though.

            You have inspired me to go back and review my books, and schedule a few sessions with a local professional to better develop this particular skill set. It’s something I have aspired to do well forever... but keep on getting side tracked. This is a good time to refocus on long lining though :-) I have great lungeing skills, and have actually done some driving (years ago)... but I enjoyed it. Long lining the older mare, and eventually ground driving my youngster this fall, with some good professional coaching and help? Good goals for this year. :-)


            • #7
              My horse and I are trying to get fit after a 2 month break, he gets 5 minutes each way on the lunge, then we start the long lining, it has helped me so much seeing what he is doing, and I am getting lots of steps in.
              "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

              "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig


              • #8
                I have never been a fan, but I often feel like I'm missing out. I find lunging very useful, don't see anything better from long-lining. Am I doing it wrong?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by no.stirrups View Post
                  I have never been a fan, but I often feel like I'm missing out. I find lunging very useful, don't see anything better from long-lining. Am I doing it wrong?

                  Maybe, I tend to think of long lining as not always working on a circle, I use the full arena, and practice poles, walking the quarter lines or centre lines straight...harder than I thought. I know you can practice a lot of movements but I’m still learning the basics.

                  Rehabbing a horse at the moment, who can’t be lunged, to cold to work outside, so going to start long lining in the arena.
                  "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                  "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by no.stirrups View Post
                    I have never been a fan, but I often feel like I'm missing out. I find lunging very useful, don't see anything better from long-lining. Am I doing it wrong?
                    I'd guess you are missing something. I can almost ride the horse from the ground with longlines. I can shape them, including a bit of lateral work. I find it most useful for making sure the shoulders are in front of the hips and doing transitions in a frame that the horse might not be ready for under saddle.

                    I have already explained how much Iike being able to produce those (challenging) things without being on the horse and while I can see the horse's body. It's the riding horse from the ground bit that I can't duplicate with such precision, or with so many aids if I have just one line to the horse's head.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat


                    • #11
                      I agree that long lining is wonderful. think of the reins as how you would use them sitting on the horse, and the whip is your leg. You can also use the lines themselves to work on lateral work. moving them over the rump is a cue to move laterally and away from the pressure.

                      you can do anything you could do sitting on the horse, if you can keep up! But don't restrict the gaits.

                      I also love long lining for introducing horses to going out and about on trails. in the absence of a good pony horse, long lines are your best friend to do this with young horses.

                      I spent many hours this summer long lining my horse that came down with EPM. He was not strong enough to carry a rider, but I started building him back up with long, long walks on the long lines, gradually working him more and more. Now he is in regular work under saddle looking great but for something like that, introducing work slow and steady is the best, and NOT on a circle. Of course, he wasn't doing lateral work. just building strength and bravery and responsiveness.

                      Like any rein tool, you need good hands. a heavy hand will make a heavy mouth.


                      • #12
                        I'm also a major fan of long-lining; it's completely different from lunging, with so many more possibilities. I love seeing my horse while working in this fashion.

                        Not being restricted to circles is a big plus.


                        • #13
                          Fan here as well!! I adopted a 3 year old OTTB 2 years ago and she has really struggled with balance and contact. I have been doing tons of long lining, I work with a bio-mechanics instructor who has some unique approaches to it which my mare really loves and it has helped transition into riding her.
                          Lori T
                 for product updates on the lines I rep


                          • #14
                            Thanks so much for starting this thread tikkamasala!

                            I'm suffering from the winter "blahs", and it inspired me to pull out the long lines for 2 mares -- one, a been-there, done-that semi-retired gal rehabbing from a soft-tissue injury, and another that came to me with some behavioural issues and some glaring gaps in her training. I've done one session each, but the first mare enjoys something different, seems to engage her brain, and I like being able to assess her movement from different perspectives. The other mare is struggling with one-sidedness (mine and hers), and some issues with bit acceptance. She's also very smart, wants to please, and takes well to ground work (she's a worrier; ground work seems to keep her anxiety down). This feels like a good way to teach her about rein communication (how it connects to the whole body) in a slightly different way -- less complicated because she doesn't have to worry about carrying me. She really seemed to be processing it mentally in a positive way.

                            So many possibilities and exercises to work on!


                            • #15
                              I’m a long line expert..for true! I come from a driving background and have been utilized on many occasions for not only re-habs but even GP level horses benefit from the shape and strengthening exercises I use! It’s also a great to for breaking young horses ... you actually can install your power steering and brakes before you get on! A true professional may be needed for the odd lessons ( both horse and human) which is where I’ve been used. My set up is distinct mimics a Pessoa for lack of a better analogy as in I run the outside line through a drop ring and around the haunches to enable indirect and direct reins.... I swear longlines can only benefit any level horse and keeps them happy and engaged! I’m actually lining up a bunch of spring clinics to help folks longlining...and I love every minute of it ...especially when the horses react and the owner/riders feel a difference when riding after a bunch of sessions!
                              Your village is calling. Apparently their idiot is missing!


                              • #16
                                Q for those of you who are proficient in long-lining:

                                What is your preferred rein configuration and why? Outside rein around the bum or through the top (or other) ring on a surcingle and across the back to you? Inside rein direct to bit or also through a surcingle ring? Side reins?

                                I've long lined before, but it's not a tool I've had the occasion to pull out frequently. I have a new horse in who I'd really like to LL rather than longe, so looking for some inspiration!


                                • #17
                                  I'm usually starting long-lining with a horse that is proficient at longing, and going well under saddle. In that scenario, I start with the inside line backwards - through the bit and clipped to the surcingle, and the outside line normal, through surcingle clipped to bit - but brought over the back behind the surcingle.

                                  As they get comfortable with that on the circle both directions over time - I flip the inside line to the normal position, and bring the outside line behind the butt.

                                  Once that's working well, we're free to depart from the circle and start working on figures, etc.


                                  • #18
                                    If someone could upload pictures I have a million of my set up...or instructions??
                                    Your village is calling. Apparently their idiot is missing!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by willowoodstables View Post
                                      If someone could upload pictures I have a million of my set up...or instructions??
                                      You should be able to upload them! when you go to post a new reply to the thread, look at the upper left corner of the text box you are typing in. If you click on the icon of the camera it gives you the option to upload images from your computer.

                                      I'd love to see them.


                                      • #20
                                        I like long lining but just be careful. I’ve seen people get into trouble when trying to do it in a ring with a lot of jumps set up. So I personally only will think of doing it when the ring is mostly empty. Most horses take to it really well....I use it both for super super green and experienced horses. I do have one right now who it is a no go....freaks him out...but I would say he is the exception to the rule.
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **