Horseback riding can be a dangerous activity both for you and the horse. Because of this, it is necessary to train the horse properly, to maintain safety at all times. One of the best trainings you can give to a horse longeing. Though regarded as a simple exercise for the horse, it is also a safety precaution for handlers. However, not all longeing can bring positive results. In cases where it is done inappropriately, it can cause harm to both you and the horse. Therefore, if you are a horse handler, you need to understand how to properly longe a horse.
Preparing the Equipment
One of the most important things in this horse training exercise is for you to prepare the right longeing equipment, such as the following:
- Space. You need an enclosed space for this exercise. It can either be a ring or a small closed pasture. Make sure that the space is enough for the horse to run with a 20 meter diameter.
- Gear. As a handler, you need to wear sturdy yet comfortable boots and gloves for your safety. For the horse, give him a longe cavesson as well as brushing boots.
- Rein. You need to prepare the longeing rein by folding it backward and forward. Do not roll it. Be certain that the rein is not twisted. Hold it comfortably in your hand.
- Whip. Though not necessary, you can use it as an aid for the exercise. However, never use this to inflict unnecessary pain on the horse.
Conducting the Exercise
Now that you have all the equipment, you are now ready to start the longeing. Here are the proper ways to perform the exercise:
- Go to the center of the longeing ring or space. Hold the longe rein in your left hand and the whip on the other. This is if you will be longeing to the left. Otherwise, hold the rein with the right hand and the whip with the left.
- Get the longeline now and make sure to keep your wrists, arms, and shoulders relaxed.
- Make use of the whip to have the horse walk or move.
- You can cluck at the horse if you want the animal to move faster.
- Make sure that you remain in the center of the ring, your eyes focusing only on the horse’s hips.
- Command “Whoa” to let the horse stop after a few rounds.
- Walk towards the horse in a slow manner and give him a reward such as rubbing him on the face and neck.
- After this, you can change the position and start longeing in the direction you have not taken up.
After this exercise is finished, you can be sure that this has done something good to both you and the horse. Always remember, longeing is an exercise needed by every horse. Therefore, be responsible enough to provide this to the animal.