Along The Right Lines

HQ magazine|October/November 2019

Along The Right Lines
The benefits of basic long-lining
Training the horse is a long process, and it is common for lots of different training methodologies and techniques to be employed in the process of getting your horse ‘ready’ for his future. One of these techniques, often considered to be one of the key foundational building blocks of training, is long-lining. Longlining is thought to be beneficial not only for the young, unbacked horse, but also for horses with specific behavioural difficulties, and even for the very top competition horses. Lots of top trainers and riders employ long-lining as part of their training regime.

WHAT IS LONG-LINING?

Long-lining is quite similar to lunging, in that the horse is worked from the ground, but two long leads, or lunge reins, are used. It also bears a resemblance to ground driving, except that the horse is worked from the side, rather than from behind.

Long-lining is well known as a safe training tool, and once you’ve got the hang of operating the two long lines and a whip, and moving with your horse, you will be able to reap all the benefits of this valuable technique.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Long-lining simulates the aids given through the reins when working under saddle, so it is particularly beneficial to young, unbacked horses. The horse will be able to get used to the cues from the reins without the added inputs coming from a rider on his back. This allows him to get an understanding of the rein aids in isolation, without any confusing messages coming from the rider’s seat or leg aids. It also keeps the rider safe in those first few weeks and months of training!

Long-lining educates the horse through pressure and release. It teaches the horse to yield to pressure, which many consider incredibly valuable in creating a sensitive horse under saddle, who is aware of and attentive to even the subtlest of aids. Moving forward, turning and halting will all improve once long-line training begins.

EQUIPMENT

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October/November 2019