Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central Florida
• Horses: 0
I would always longe my tw mare before riding her. She had good ground manners and for the most part, was pretty respectful. In the summer, she was obviously more relaxed and had a better mind set for work, however, when it was cold, or the wind was up, so was she.
So, we'd longe both directions to get her focused, warmed up and I'd get a chance to see if there were any glitches in her giddyup before I got on. Seeing where her mind was from the ground told me a lot about what kind of ride I was going to have. She was a difficult horse under saddle so it was, for me, important before riding her. Maybe be longed for 5 min. Maybe for 15, it depended on her. You can teach a horse a lot from the ground..there's something to be said for having a horse that far away from you and paying attention to everything you are asking and not having their attention drift.
That said, I had an older qh gelding that I wouldn't ever think of longing. In fact, on a freezing cold Christmas afternoon, I'd pull a bit hanger on him, walk him over to the fence, monkey up onto his back and ride him bareback through the neighborhood. He was great.
I'd agree wholeheartedly about NOT longing in a tight circle. Probably not a good idea to longe on the end of a leadrope..for either of you. If you want to teach him to longe, there really is a lot to learn, for both of you and it's not about having a horse charging around in circles just to tire them out either. That's just plain disrespectful of the horse to do not to mention could cause injury.