Issues with long reining - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-17-2010, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Issues with long reining

I have been attempting to teach Reeco to Longrein.

we started with lunging, and aside from one explosion when I first put a roller on him we have been fine.
He lunges beautifully in sidereins at walk trot and canter.

I then moved on to long reining.
Every time I attempt to pass the second line over his back he explodes. He just will not accept it. I think it is genuine fear as every time , when the explosion has stopped, he stands there shaking.

I've tried getting him used to things going over his back, saddle cloths, rugs, brushes, me slinging an arm over him even had a measureing stick on him. he is fine with all that.

Any Idea's please.
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-17-2010, 09:52 PM
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Remove all tack except a halter. Clip one lead rope to the halter and just hold another in your free hand. Put the rope over his withers and if he is comfortable with that, pull it back and forth so he get's use to the rubbing action. Sack him out like this right down to his rump. Make sure he is sacked out very well to ropes dragging and banging anywhere on his body. How are you attempting to pass the line over his back? Does he spook when you have him at a standstill passing it over, or when he's actually being lunged?

Long reining can be a pretty dangerous and tricky activity for a horse who isn't mentally ready for it. I've seen some pretty nasty accidents from training driving horses. If you can, get someone experienced to help you. Driving with long reins is a tricky concept even for the trainer so even if you had a seasoned horse to practice on would be a great asset.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-17-2010, 09:59 PM
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He needs ALOT of desenstization to get him over his anxious-ness of anything above and over him.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-18-2010, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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He is absolutely fine with me putting things over his back/withers in the stable. It is when we try to do it in the school that he has the issue.

I am not willing to push him too far as I don't want to loose his trust. I do have a more experianced person helping me and even she is at a loss as to why he has a phobia of it in the school. we have now got to the point where we can get the line over his withers if we have a person standing either side of his head (just standing near him, not doing anything else), he seems to take confidence from this. He will walk on with it over his withers If you walk next to his head, but when you take a step away from him he panics and explodes.

He will be a ridden horse, not a driving horse but I intend for him to be a top class show horse, I've got all the time in the world

Last edited by faye; 10-18-2010 at 04:08 AM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-18-2010, 10:38 AM
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I had a pony with the same problem. Could do anything in the stable, but outside was a different story. You need to do a lot more desensatizing. If you do it the right way you won't lose his trust. He has to learn that you won't hurt him. Go back to ground one, touch him all over, rub him with different items etc....
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-18-2010, 11:09 AM
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So, have you only worked on desensitizing in the stable? Thats what I'm getting...
If thats the case, then you definately need to do everything you've done in the stable, outside. Work on it in many places. Another element you could add in is to use a long lead rope and gently swing it around (while clipped to his halter). . . . .
I went and found a video real fast.... this guy is doing several things with the lead rope that would benefit your horse. Granted, he is obviously using a broke horse already and you won't really learn how to do these things.... but I wanted to show you what I meant. It's a longer video, and there are pointless things in the beginning, but skip to about 2:50 and go from there.
This was the first video I looked at after searching, so there may be better ones that show you more. This gives you an idea of things I was going to suggest..

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-18-2010, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Northern lights, Touching any part of him outside is not an Issue. I can very easily walk up to him anywhere, regardless of where he is. I've rugged him up whilst he was loose in the field, picked up his feet, picked them out, treated his little knick and bumps, I've even clipped his bridle path with him loose in the field. He just will not let me pass a lunge line over his back and it is driving me to destraction.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-19-2010, 11:58 AM
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You said that you can have someone stand near his head and he seems to be ok, that he seems to explode when you step back.

My suggestion would be - have a lead line on him also. Have a person on the lead line, and then you set him up in the long reins, pass the long rein over his back, and have the extra person lead him while you follow in the position you would normally be in driving. You can do this at the walk and trot both sides of him. Gradually work to remove the leading person. I would only hesitate because if he does blow up, I would worry about the person leading.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-19-2010, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Well we had a bit of a brake through today. I'm fairly sure that it is something to do with the outdoor school.

I took him in the indoor on my own and whilst he was tense and unsure he did let me pass the line over his back and we went for a short walk with me about 5ft away from him but useing longlines.
I left it at that for today.

I'm going to get him long reining happily in the indoor school and then take him back into the outdoor school and try again there.

Indoor school is also better for my nerves as he cant jump out and he cant plow through any fencing so less risk of him injuring himself if he does explode, he is far too valuable to risk him injuring himself (by far the most expensive horse I have ever owned!!). Also less chance of distractions.
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-19-2010, 03:10 PM
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I would lunge him with his saddle on and tie pieces of baling twin all over the back of the saddle. Make sure there are strips across his back, down his flanks, etc. Lunge him with that then add lead ropes/reins to add a little weight and then try again. If he flips out on the end of the lunge line then let him until he realizes it's not a big deal. If you continue to back off every time he gets nervous he will not move forward, you have to push him a little bit and let him figure out that it's not going to kill him.
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