Long Lining is a SERIOUS art... You and your horse can become injured and scared half to death if done incorrectly. I enjoy long lining, but I had a GREAT teacher help me with it early on. It is a dying art, not used (correctly) by very many current trainers. I would suggest trying to find one though, and getting some hands on help.
There are two books I found useful when continuing my long lining experience. The first is "From Birth to Backing". It's a book written by a short Englishman on everything from halter breaking a baby to the first few rides. It has a good section on long lining and has some trouble shooting tips at the back. Amazon.com: From Birth to Backing: Richard Maxwell, Johanna Sharples: Books
I use my western saddle to long line. I tie my stirupps together (just a twine under the belly) and run the lunge lines through the stirupps to the bit. April and Chloe both long line and I really like it. It helps with their head set and it doesnt crank on their backs as munch because they have to turn their whole body instead of just their necks.
One thing is at first the horses don't usually like the rope touching their back legs...it can be a scary thing you know, lol. I always start in an enclosed arena of some sorts (round pens work best)... You have to really be careful that the ropes don't get under the legs and tangle... could cause the horse to get hung up. I had a couple lessons to learn how to do it and it really helped when I was training Chloe to drive.
I have a 16.3h standardbred gelding that is actually off the track now. He's 13 and longing has been a biiiiig part of his training actually. I have to retrain him to canter and get him to actually use his back. I tried longing and I use it as a warm up sort of thing.
I use my english saddle and run up the stirrups and make sure theyre secure and wont roll down. I now use side reigns to connect to the bit from the girth so that he'll start to carry his head low for comfort and stretch out his back. I put a halter over his bridle and connect the longe line to that so that his mouth doesnt get pulled on. This method works pretty well for him, it definitely warms him up and has helped him a LOT with his frame.
I haven't been doing it much lately and I can def see a difference so im going to be starting again. Starting with a 10 minute warm up on the longe before I ride on saturday. Depending on how long I decide to ride and the weather it will vary from 10 to 15 to 20 minutes max. I think that when the weather starts to get rele cold for winter, ill be longing him for a 20 minute session to make positive he's very loose.
I've noticed also that working him in increasing and decreasing circles helps with his flexibility.
ANY other tips on longing and flexibility? Because I know my horse is very stiff since its all so new to him
Long lining is different than lunging or longeing. Long Lining is where you take TWO lunge lines, or a set of driving lines, and connect them to each side of the bit. You have the horse go in a circle around you, with the off-side line going around his rear end to your off-side hand. The near side rein goes to your near side hand, either directly or through a surcingle ring or stirrup.
(My Husband long lining his young Anglo Arabian gelding a few years ago.)
I will see how Montana reacts to having someone behind his bum, but I can't see it bothering him.
I don't have any access to a round pen, but I can use the arena, or a smaller paddock. The small paddock is uneven and kind of rocky, so I'll see which one I'll use.
I wasn't sure if you could use lunge lines, or if there were different lines to use. I'll go pick up another lunge today.
Luv2ride-when your husband was long lining his gelding, where did he have the lines go through? I can't tell by the photo.
I actually have one of the Cherry Hill books you mentioned, I will have to find it and read up on it.
I will be contacting an instructor I know and set up some lessons :)
Thanks for looking out and being concerned about safety :)
He just had the reins directly to the bit, not through the stirrup or surcingle ring. That is IMO the best way to start out, as you have more freedom with the line should the horse start to balk or freak out. Once he's good, I like to run the lines through the stirrups, with the stirrups tied together under the horse (so they stay roughly in the same position).