Long and Low

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Long and Low

This is a discussion on Long and Low within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Getting horse to long and low
  • How to get a horse long and low

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    10-25-2008, 10:57 AM
Long and Low

I need some advice here guys, I know how to get a horse long and low and how to work them that way, however retraining my standardbred we are having trouble here. He will not for the life of me bring his head down and stretch his neck at all. I sponge the reigns, I give him his head, I ask with some leg, i've even tried with NO reigns. All these methods, and still no long and low......so
What do I do to get him to put the beautiful head and neck down for me?

I mean....you could take a look at his conformation thread, but I see NO reason at all why this should be uncomfortable for him
Conformation Critique

So help?
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    10-25-2008, 07:52 PM
Don't standardbreds normally keep their heads up because that's how they are suppposed to carry them when on the track? Maybe I'm wrong though.

What I did with Sonny is I just let him have his head completely. My reins were EXTREMELY loose and he'd keep his head down . Once he was able to keep his neck down (not long and low...just keep it below his back level) I'd ask him to go from a walk to a canter (no trotting inbetween). Each time I did that he'd back to reach his back legs under and push off, getting himself collected. Then he just found it easier to carry himself from then on long and low...with his head on the vertical....as well as I could tell that is hehe.
    10-26-2008, 12:03 AM
Youre not wrong. The standardbreds are meant to hold their heads high on the track to pull the harnesses and trot quickly

However I need to help him out of that old training. I don't think his conformation has anything to do with how he holds his head...at least that what it seems to me

I have tried even letting his reigns go but his head doesnt go down. I've tried light spongy contact....still no head down. Im not sure how to help him understand that I need him to stretch his neck and head out long and low. We have really good comunication but I just can't relay this to him. He doesnt want to bring it down. So that's where I need help. Im seeing him tmr so I need advice like ASAP =P lol

I'll definitely work on some serious transitions though to help him carry himself and collect. I can get that from him ...i just can't get that silly STB head down LOL
    10-26-2008, 11:12 AM
You don't want to force the head down by spounging the reins...that can actually be REALLY bad for their mouth if you do it too hard. You want him to lowr his head on his own...you want him to WANT to keep his head low

Insteadddd...what does your horse reallly like to do?
Just walk your horse around the arena with no contact (if possible...I don't know how your horse is). The minute he drops his neck...even an inch...reward with that thing that he really likes to do...or give him a treat....soon he'll realize that he will get rewarded for keeping his neck low and that it's a good thing.

Also, I wouldn't use tie-downs or anything to have him keep his head down, because that won't encourage him to do so
    10-26-2008, 05:24 PM
I think it would be more helpful to walk circles and serpentines to bend a lot on a very loose rein. Don't ask him to do anything with his head except to bend. You could also do some stretches on the ground to help stretch his back like carrot stretches and belly lifts. Once he figures out that going long and low is nice and ok then you might be able to start teaching him to stretch under saddle by lightly sponging the reins but not pulling or forcing his mouth. If he's calm enough I would also keep the cavesson 1-2 holes looser than fitted to encourage him to relax his jaw and play with the bit which will also help him relax.
    10-27-2008, 12:13 AM
Well I tried completely dropping the reigns today. He's very well behaved so it wasnt a problem. But it didnt help get his head down at all LOL but however, I did go into the big pasture and did a LOT of serpentines and circles. I felt his neck fall down a few times and it was very nice I rewarded him. So I think we're just going to have to keep working at it and then we should get there. It was such a lovely ride too because I had so much open space to work with. We did circles, figure 8s, serpentines, it was all very awesome and we definitely made progress and I felt him flex and get a little more flexbile. It was very nice
    10-29-2008, 10:38 AM
Equinangel... do you have any pics/video/advice of the correct long and long you are looking for? My new horse is doing the opposite of your horse, yesterday for the fist time he dropped his head very low and really curled his nose under during the canter. I'm trying to figure out what the proper form is so I know if he's too low and bent.
    10-29-2008, 11:36 AM
It will take him a LONG time to realize that that is what you want. Remember he was trained to keep his head up high and now you are telling him that's not the way you want it.
Give it a couple of months.
Reward him when he puts his neck down and make sure you give him a loose rein as that will encourage him to drop his neck
    10-29-2008, 11:53 AM
Green Broke
I've also had success by keeping the outside rein steady, then seriously asking/sponging the inside rein.

Although it won't be impossible for him to do it, it will take a lot of muscle that he probably doesn't have, so I would suggest working on it at the walk a lot first. Just keep asking -- he'll figure it out. It took Boo a solid 3 months to understand that he didn't have to do the saddleseat thing anymore

How long has he been off the track?
    10-29-2008, 08:49 PM
Yes he definitely needs a lot of work on his topline =P He used to be emaciated so the muscleing he has is not a ton to be honest. I"ll have a new confo thread for him this week since he's seeing the vet and farrier tomorrow.

Anyway...a vid of th elong and low im looking for...

Now the vid above has the horse's nose in but what im focusing on is the neck position. It should be a little more down to stretch though. I just want him to be able to really stretch out at the walk at least..maybe the trot later. I feel like he really needs this so I can develope his topline with him. This vid

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