10-22-2012, 11:14 PM
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Hello, I'm new here too, and after reading the original post, I would highly recommend not just watching a horse cantering on the longe line but riding while being longed by your instructor. I am a huge believer in beginners starting out on the longe. When I started riding at the age of 7 well over 30 years ago, I learned on the longe line. We were not allowed to have our reins until we could walk, trot, canter on the longe in addition to riding without stirrups, being able to post (with and without stirrups) and knowing our diagonals. This requires a horse that is very steady on the longe obviously, and a good instructor. I am not a professional instructor, but over the years when friends or family have asked me to teach them to really ride, on the longe they go. I'm not quite as strict as my stable was with me as a little girl, but I do want my students to be able to post and walk, trot, canter before they get their reins. I see so many people giving lessons to beginners these days and they are hanging on the horses mouths and out of balance. It is ridiculous and easily corrected. Even the most advanced equestrians with take time out to ride on the longe, especically dressage rideres, to really focus on the feel and balance of the gaits without having to worry about the horse. It also saves lesson horses mouths and spirits. The barn I learned at as a child used the same lesson horses for very beginners as they did for advanced jumping students because the horses were not ruined by careless hands due to the whole longe line system. By the time we got our reins, our balance was fantastic and we could then focus more on use of leg commands, and properly guiding a horse with the reins.