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Long Lining - Do You Do It?

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  • Long Lining - Do You Do It?

    So I come from the world of saddle horses. We long line every single youngster and most are broke to cart before being backed. It's very natural for me so it's something I incorporate into my OTTB training.

    With my new gelding I"m seeing tremendous success with it as he is so much better balanced without my weight and I can really get him to move forward and balance in a total frame and build up his back muscles.

    But I've found at my barn I get a crowd because no one's ever seen it done and/or no one does it there but me. So I take it this is not a common Hunter/Jumper technique? So just wondering how odd it really is that I do it?

  • #2
    I always teach horses how to long line and also do proper in hand work before putting them under saddle, but I don't find many others that do.


    • #3
      I spent a bunch of time in the H/J world and never saw one long lined- though many of the horses in our barn were seasoned, rather than youngsters.
      I'm currently a dressage rider w/ a mare that has been out of work for three months- long story which included a colic surgery and an unrelated wither injury. We have just started long lining her and will continue for another couple weeks before I'm allowed to stick a saddle back on her and ride. It is very good from a rehab perspective (particularly when there is not a leg injury involved) as she is using herself much more correctly than just lunging, and we can also do much more than just buzz around on a circle. I can see her stretching down in front, tracking up behind and raising her back. We are doing lots of walk work; also walk trot transitions we have also incorporated directional changes and begun to work on leg yields and a little shoulder in. Its pretty amazing actually. i also have the luxury of a mare who is generally quiet and easy going so she's not trying to be stupid during the learning process!
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


      • #4
        Love to long line and ground drive. I too had a crowd and they thought it was easy until someone tried it on their high strung Wb. Great tools......
        Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
        Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
        "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"


        • #5
          I was taught by my mother - she always long lined them as part of starting them, and as another poster mentioned, it was one of many things that she did with them before actually getting on them. One of many valuable things I learned from my wise and old-timey Mom! So yes, I continue to use it as a tool when starting horses.


          • #6
            Love to longline, to change directions alot, to do caveletti and small jumps.
            I.D.E.A. yoda


            • #7
              I long line with young ones I'm breaking. It's nice to have steering and some brakes before I get on.


              • #8
                Nah, I swear by Carolina Gold and Pessoa rigs. Why should I learn to DO something that involves work and practice when I can get a client to buy me a $250 Pessoa rig instead?

                "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                • #9
                  Originally posted by War Admiral View Post
                  Nah, I swear by Carolina Gold and Pessoa rigs. Why should I learn to DO something that involves work and practice when I can get a client to buy me a $250 Pessoa rig instead?

                  This was quite funny, WA
                  We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ivy62 View Post
                    Love to long line and ground drive. I too had a crowd and they thought it was easy until someone tried it on their high strung Wb. Great tools......
                    I long line horses, including hunters and jumpers. But I learned it from a dressager who used it when she started her horses in western tack.

                    And I do tell people, "It's harder than it looks" if the one I'm working with doesn't get tangled.

                    I get things done with long lining and horses don't get hurt in the process. But I don't think of myself as an expert. Sadly, there are few of these folks around. I'll *always* go watch someone long lining a horse.

                    Oh, and I own a Pessoa rig. It cost $100 or so when I bought it. If I needed another one, I'd make it (if I could find the hardware), but I wouldn't pay $250. IMO, the Pessoa rig and long lining do different things. Both are more work for the horse than people think, but long-lining is the harder of the two.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat


                    • #11
                      My trainer long lines some of her horses, specially the young/green ones.


                      • #12
                        I tried it for the first time with my boy on Wednesday having read a great article in Horse and Hound about training aids. First time on the lunge I've got him balanced and straight. We also did lunging on the circle with the two lines, first over his back and then he accepted it on his hindquarters, it was amazing!


                        • Original Poster

                          First, I just realized how many times I used the word "so". I'm sorry, I'll proofread better next time.

                          Second, good to know it is more common, just not necessarily at my barn. But it does seem most of us picked it up other places rather than h/j.

                          Third. Where do you guys start them at? I start in the round pen, to help limit tangles while the horse is learning then move quickly to large arena so I can run along with them and work on straightness as well. This is where my lvoe of running is helpful I guess


                          • #14
                            When breaking, I'm normally lucky to have a helper lead them the first time on the long lines. I actually just got a new set for Christmas and played with my now mature horses - I love doing it to mix things up, see what they are doing, and have more control than just lunging. Great to do walking long line work when it's too cold to get them breathing hard! I also learned it from a dressage type, though, and never saw any of my h/j trainers do it.


                            • Original Poster


                              Found that link and you'll see a SB person talk about the fact that even our older horses get done. It's super common for even the top of show string to get long lined 1-2x a week.

                              I couldn't do it on my last retrain very much because she'd had knee surgery. But I missed it. It's a great workout for the person on the ground too!


                              • #16
                                Great topic!

                                I believe you'll find a smattering of individuals in the H/J world that long-line, but I do not believe it's common per say. It does seem to be something that's commonly used in Saddleseat and Dressage. I think some Thoroughbred Race trainers use a little bit of long-lining on the babies, too, but I don't know how prevalent that method is in TBs.

                                Personally, I love it! I come from the H/J world, but my first horse is a Saddlebred, so I love researching about the Saddleseat world. When I heard about all the long-lining they do on babies, I thought that was a novel idea. So, I went out and learned. I'm no expert by far, but it's a great tool. I have a coming 3 yr old ASB (headed for Jumpers eventually) that I'm just about to start long-lining to get her prepped for her first rides. The horses I've long-lined really do stretch down and use their backs well when long-lining - it's amazing.
                                ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

                                The equine love of my life: Gabriel
                                4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3


                                • #17
                                  We incorporate long lining in our your horse program. It is great to teach them to go forward, stop and steer. It also helps get them used to having someone behind them and makes the transition easier (IMO) once you get on them. The only thing I caution is to make sure you really have them moving forward as they can easily learn how to go BTV if their hindlegs shut down. As another poster mentioned, lots of changing directions will help. We usually start in a round pen and once we are sure they are ok with the lines touching them behind, we move to the ring and then to hacking out all over the farm. We have our own farm now, but I can remember being at a strictly H/J farm and breaking out the long lines for a problem horse I was working with. It drew quite the crowd and I was told I was crazy and had a death wish when I took him out and about after 10 minutes of getting used to it in the round pen. He loved it!
                                  It does take some getting used to and you should have some finesse or you and your horse can get tangled up. The other great thing is, you can burn some major calories doing it Which is always a bonus!
                                  Worth A Shot Farm
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                                  • Original Poster

                                    I'm actually thinking about offering it as a class at my barn! Just need to get my gelding a little more consistent so that I can trust someone else to do it as well.

                                    It IS a great technique. I love that I can watch him going and moving forward and dropping into the bit, like he just isn't ready to do under saddle yet. If I still had a jog cart I'd teach him to drive as well. Really helps build up those butt muscles.


                                    • #19
                                      Having backed some without and some with long lining, I found that doing it made my life SO much easier!

                                      At 41, I don't bounce as well as I used to so it only makes sense that the horse should know some cues before I get on. You can even do it before they're big enough to ride, and that also helps. You just need a smaller surcingle. It's really fun, and they love it. Good exercise for us too!


                                      • #20
                                        I always long line my guys first, before sitting on them or of course driving them. My husband and I drive, but I have trained a few riding horses and I felt that this really helped them before I got on their backs. I do start in a round ring. First I teach them to lunge w/t/c and whoa. Once they have that, I introduce them to the long lines. I like to start in the round ring since they are used to it. Once they get the steering and stopping, I move them up to the big ring and do lots of transitions etc. Then I get on their backs. It has worked really well for me so far and I find that they pick up the riding really quickly since they really know verbal cues (up and down) as well as how to steer and how to whoa before I get on them. Very helpful!