Friday, March 3, 2017

To Longe, or Not to Longe....


That is the Question.

Yesterday, as I was working Tesla  on the longe line,  one of the Barn gals was having a potential buyer try her horse. As I called Tesla in to give her a treat & switch her the right, they remarked to each other (in a tone I was obviously meant to over-hear), that neither of them ever longed their horses as it was the worst-thing-ever for their legs.


So, what are your feelings on longing?



I see longing as a tool, and like any other tool, when applied correctly, can be beneficial, and when applied incorrectly, can do more harm than good.  Do I think every horse needs it? No. Can it be damaging at high speeds and in tiny circles? No doubt. 


I longe because it allows Tess and I to work things out in a "safe" space, and builds her trust in me. 
I longe to help her get out the "bug juice" and to get her soft and focused on me (there is always plenty of gas left in the tank, trust me!). 
I longe to help her build the correct muscles and balance without having to worry about balancing me too. 
I longe to expose her to new things (like ring traffic and contact).  
I longe as Trainer J, whom I respect as a rider, prescribed it.


Do you longe? 
Why or why not?

8 comments:

  1. Don't you just love unsolicited opinions? I've always wondered why lunging on a 20 metre circle is bad while riding endless 20 metre circles is fine?!Not that logic ever solved anything.

    Letting a horse run like a fool on a lunge line - bucking, kicking, digging in and taking off- that's what ruins a horse's joints.

    Careful, thought out ground work on a circe that isn't endless drilling? Nope- it's great for them.

    It's used by the Spanish Riding School in Vienna so I would take their opinion on it over two random people in the arena.

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    1. I try to avoid letting her go crazy ... it happens less and less now, LOL

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  2. LOLLLL how can lunging be worse than doing those same exercises with a big fat human up on top of them?! The ignorance and stupidity is astounding sometimes. And horses will run like fools in pasture and turnout too -- bucking, kicking, and digging in. I'm not sure there's any evidence that that stuff ruins their joints or legs, though obviously the greater forces that they exert upon their joints at those times do put them at higher risk for breaks and tears.

    I'm with you on lunging. It's a useful tool that helps my horse get the focus and relaxation he needs to have a productive ride!

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  3. I'm not a big lunger but it certainly has it's place :)

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  4. My older retired mare I used to lunge for a bit before every ride. She was super hot and it made more sense to fight with her on the ground than on her back. We would to like 10 minuteso or less of walk trot transitions and she was a different horse.

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  5. My older retired mare I used to lunge for a bit before every ride. She was super hot and it made more sense to fight with her on the ground than on her back. We would to like 10 minuteso or less of walk trot transitions and she was a different horse.

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  6. Lolz those ladies sound like jerks.

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  7. Ugh how rude of those people. Everything works differently for different people. I like to lunge personally, but I know my trainer prefers to do it as little as possible

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