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Anyone a fan of long lining?

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  • Anyone a fan of long lining?

    Benefits of long lining?

    I hope I spelt that correctly. If anyone noticed in a previous post I was discouraged and having tons of trouble with my tense horse that did not want to bend and supple under saddle. We have been doing roundpen ground work with him since then and things are improving--he is beginning to relax a little. Today we long lined him for the first time. I have seen it done before, but have never done it with my horse. We were afraid that he wouldn't like it and we might have a fiasco for a few minutes, but he took right too it and hardly seemed bothered that a lunge line was on his head while another one was following him behind. He was a real pro and I am very proud of him.

    I am going to try and make this a regular workout for a while and would like to get everyones feedback on it. Do you use long lining in your training program? What are the benefits of it? Have you noticed changes in your horse(s) from using this technique?

    I am asking, because I already see a lot of things that it will help me with. Like a lot of riders, I have trouble using my hands independently and when i take inside rein, my outside rein is neglected and vice versa. This exercise is already helping me to realize how often I do this and is also helping me to work use my hands independently and together.

  • #2
    I used to do it a lot when I was starting to take my spooky baby out of the round pen and into the big scary world, although mostly as ground driving. He went everywhere with me walking behind him.

    Once you get comfortable long-lining, you should try ground driving. That will get your dominant hand issues sorted out real fast!


    • #3
      Love them! I have the hardest time using lunge lines with some tendonitis in my wrists, so I made a set out of clothes line, 2 snaps and 2 pulley snaps. I prefer to line over lunging in side reins or pessoa ropes. The horse I ride now benefits from a 20 minute work out once in a while to get his back lifted and drive from behind. When he was a barely broke greenie, I started him in them and drove him all around our farm. They come in handy with a difficult horse-a friend had one that spooked and reared, and we long lined her everywhere, all over the farm, as well as worked her in the lines in the ring.


      • #4
        I love long lining, and do it with both my baby and "grown up" horse. To make it more realistic (i.e. contact and angle of the reins), you may want to invest in a cheap sursingle (make sure to use a breastplate too to keep it from spinning). Start by running the outside line from your hand, to the far low ring, and then to the bit...the inside line can start from your hand, through the inside bit ring/D, and then to the low ring on the near side. If your horse is good with that, move the inside line up so that it goes from hand, through the low near ring, and then to the bit. As that progresses, continue moving the lines "up" the sursingle rings so they eventually end up on the two highest ones in the middle (similar to where your hands would be).

        I find it an excellent way for them to work on self-carriage--it will also show you really quickly if they are too heavy on your inside/outside aids under saddle as the circle will either spiral in or out if they are unbalanced!

        Good luck!


        • Original Poster

          Thnks for all the replys. I am really excited. A lot of these issues discussed (spookiness, stubborness, hard horse to handle) sound a lot like the issues I am having with my horse. He is by no means bad, he is just worried all the time and this makes him a burden to ride I have to admit because he is just so tense. I am hoping this work will not only engage his hind end, but also his mind and make him into a horse that isn't so worried all the time I will looking into ground driving as well.


          • #6
            i use the long lining all the time,mostly to start youngsters,but older ones as well.benefits are with the youngsters is teaching them about rein/leg aids without someone on his/her back.good suppling exercise as well and allowing back to be free and to use it more.also with the method like you are lunging only outside line is coming around backside towards you,it gets horse to not pop outside shoulder when bending on a circle.theres actually lots of benefits.IMO.
            you get exercise as well especially at the trot.and using your hands independently.

            the only suggestion with the hands with long lining is too just really check yourself every few strides to what your hands are doing and eventually you find you don't have to think about it all the time.it took me a while to get a hang of it when i started to learn long lining as well.i really had to check myself more often more, then if i was in the saddle.long lining is alot about following with your hands and being soft,but still having a contact.i even exaggerate my soft hands for a while,with a bit of a looser lines and slowly take a bit of contact.

            hope this gives you somewhat of an idea.pm me if you like.
            P.S it also has you a head start on teaching your horse to drive..lol


            • Original Poster

              Thanks My_doran. It was only my first time today long lining and the hands were very confusing, and yes I got some exercise as well. I am hoping the next few times I will get the grasp of it with my hands and the whip. I didn't hold the whip today, my trainer did because it was just way too much for me to handle at once


              • #8
                I love long lining and ground driving, you can teach almost everything from the ground that you can do on their backs...I also would reccomend Gastro Ease sold by Farm-vet....I had a very tense, spooky, 4 year old and when I started him on the gastro ease he literally turned into another horse...I kept him on it for about 3 months...he has been off it awhile now 2 months maybe and is still the same horse he was when on it, but I may put him back on it as his training increases as he is a worrier...and this seems to keep his stomach comfortable... just a thought!


                • #9
                  I'm a fan of long lining. My coach does it with the ones she breaks, and the pony she broke for me and when it came time to put him under saddle, he was amazing. There was none of that awkward 'whole body moves like a wooden board' thing, he already understood what he was supposed to do.

                  This spring I spent some time at a Friesian farm in France and their horses are broke to ride and drive and they have a young one that isn't broke yet that they'd been long lining and they taught my friend and I how to do it. I found it a little tricky to manage at first, but I think it's very effective and I think it starts to build that respect for you being the one in charge during work time because it's more interactive than regular lunging.


                  • #10
                    in the dressage i was trained, everything is introduced on the lines first. makes a HUGE difference
                    chaque pas est fait ensemble


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Equsrider View Post
                      I love long lining and ground driving, you can teach almost everything from the ground that you can do on their backs...I also would reccomend Gastro Ease sold by Farm-vet....I had a very tense, spooky, 4 year old and when I started him on the gastro ease he literally turned into another horse...I kept him on it for about 3 months...he has been off it awhile now 2 months maybe and is still the same horse he was when on it, but I may put him back on it as his training increases as he is a worrier...and this seems to keep his stomach comfortable... just a thought!
                      Forgot to say- similar experience using U-Gard. I've tried to swap it for a couple other gastro supps as no one around here carries it, but nothing seems to have the same mellowing effect as the U-gard. I order it by the 10lb bucket now.


                      • #12
                        I think long lining is FANTASTIC. I came from a saddle horse background, where EVERYTHING learned to long line, ground drive, then drive before a saddle came anywhere near their back. By the time you hopped on, it was a breeze. Steering, brakes, and go already installed!

                        It's great for exercise and suppling, too... my barn rarely engages in it, which I think is too bad, but that seems to be the norm in hunter/jumper land.

                        Learning to long line well can be a bit of a challenge... I though I had it down pat and ended up having to take a few lessons in it from a new trainer when I moved in there. Doing it correctly is very rewarding, though, and can be a fabulous break and teaching opportunity for your horse.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Equsrider View Post
                          ...I also would reccomend Gastro Ease sold by Farm-vet....

                          I have always had him on a ulcer supplement. I think someone else suggest U-guard and that is what I have him on. I used to keep him on finish line u-7, but that got really expensive and I found u-guard works just as well for a better price


                          • #14
                            I LOVE long lining. I trained my TB using them for about 3 months before sending him to 30 days of saddle training and my trainer said it made all the difference; to the point she didn't charge me as much as she usually does for training because I had already taught him so much. He was track trained, but had never wore a "regular" english saddle, so I was able to get the bucks out beforehand.

                            I used it to start lateral work, making him walk over scary things "by himself" (without me leading first), turning (including on the haunches), and transitions. It took a few sessions for me to get the feel of it; I wasn't used to having the soft feeling of reins while standing in a circle, but I LOVE it and will use it a lot in the future.

                            I also used it with my horse that was in rehab. Instead of just handwalking, I long lined him to give his brain something to do while walking.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by winegum View Post
                              I have always had him on a ulcer supplement. I think someone else suggest U-guard and that is what I have him on. I used to keep him on finish line u-7, but that got really expensive and I found u-guard works just as well for a better price
                              I used U-guard as well but it did not have the same effect as the Gastro-Ease... I guess like us, they are all different and respond differently as well....

                              Sounds like you are on the right track though!!!


                              • #16
                                I got a set of long lines a couple of years ago just for the heck of it. My TB mare is very well trained and even has quite a few verbal commands. I thought it would be fun to try it(never done it before). My mare took right to it with no problems and within just a short while, I was driving her all over the farm. I don't really have any real need to use it for her as a training aid, but am shopping for a youngster and will probably try it a little with the new horse.


                                • #17
                                  I have used long lining with young horses for years love it and keeps me in good shape.


                                  • #18
                                    I really applaud you for looking for more ways to work with your horse than hop on and jump.

                                    I too have a background in Saddle seat and still use long lining with my TB hunter/jumper. Many years ago I took a clinic with Red Crabtree, one of the best Saddlebred trainers ever. I learned a ton about using the lines to get a horse working off his hind end. When I had my Saddlebred, I worked with a carriage driving trainer who helped me learn to teach a horse to bend in lines. Later I worked for a Morgan trainer with some of the top pleasure/park harness horses at the time in the county. A big man, but with hands of butter.

                                    Like Across Sicily, no one in my HJ barn understands what I am doing. I do it a lot in the winter when I want to give her time off from under saddle work but keep her hind end and back active.

                                    Winegum - you're in TN so maybe there are barns nearby that do Saddle seat that may do lessons in long lining.

                                    edited - i have even started lateral work in our long line work. I hold the outside line, step towards her hind end, point my whip at her inside hip and she moves right over.
                                    “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky


                                    • #19
                                      Huge fan of long lining, especially for the young horse in training.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by ET's Home View Post

                                        Winegum - you're in TN so maybe there are barns nearby that do Saddle seat that may do lessons in long lining.
                                        Oh yes most definitley. A lot of people here use it. In fact the university here uses it for their training horses as a normal part of the training program. I have a friend who is in one of the horse training classes and she is doing that with her horse right now. I am very please with the results already. It was only my second go at it today and I am very awful, but my trainer is helping me and my horse is so patient with me about it all, which is very nice I even had a go at driving him directly behind him today (staying far enough out of kicking range just in case) and that was a big eye opener about how I ride. I had to stay straight behind him, not lean, and use my hands accordinly at the right times. I am going to do more groundwork with him before I hop right back on. I realized he can bend down fine, it is just a matter of how I am asking and how he is responding to me in the saddle.