Long and low exercises
 
 

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Long and low exercises

This is a discussion on Long and low exercises within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Exercises to get horses working long and low
  • How to do long and low trot on a horse

 
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    09-30-2010, 08:01 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Long and low exercises

Some of you have suggested to do long and low exercises, now I knw this means to get the horse to stretch down and encouarges them from the hind end (well I'm pretty sure that's what they are)
But how do I get my horse to do this, he will stretch down at a walk and like reach for the bit-if that's the right word- but when I ask for a trot his head goes up, and I can't seem to get him to strech down no matter how much I try and push him forward into the bit.
How do you achieve long and low exercises??

If that makde any sense at all haha
     
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    09-30-2010, 08:54 AM
  #2
Yearling
It is usually easiest to teach it to them on a bend because when they are bending they naturally come up under themselves and drop their heads to see where they're going. A lot of big trot circles, serpentines and figure eights will be your friend. Also, how familiar are you with a very giving contact? The only true way to get long and low is to have a light but firm contact and they are stretching down into your hands. If you are not familiar with contact or have trouble maintaining consistent contact then you can still get benefit from this exercise but you need to do it a little differently. If you or your horse is not comfortable with contact then you want to ride on as loose a rein as you can while maintaining pace and steering through the figures I mentioned above. You want to stay tall in your upper body and work on really turning at the hip and leading with your pelvis into the turns and circles while maintaining a very active and forward gait. The key is to ride the body correctly and the head and the rest will naturally come around. It takes a lot of practice and muscle building to get a steady and level frame out of a horse that is correct so don't get discouraged if you only get a few nice steps to begin with. Good luck!
     
    09-30-2010, 09:04 AM
  #3
Green Broke
Okay thankyou, I am fimilar with contact but I often lose it get picked up for it all the time haha, it is one of those things I am working on.
So with working long and low his head doesn't need to be low to achieve it at first but as he gets better it will go down, lightbulb just went off haha.
I don't think I ever really got that concept no matter how many people told me but I think I just got it haha.
I am just going to explain it to make sure though

I should do lots of circles, serpentines, bending and what not keeping coontact at all times this will encourage him to use his hind end more and as he build up muscle he will lower his head.

Wow everthing has just clicked I can't believe I never understood it before
     
    09-30-2010, 09:11 AM
  #4
Yearling
Correct. If you get technical about it he doesn't actually lower his head as you drive him up from behind you're "engaging his motor" and you have two choices once you've engaged it. You either contain it and channel it (collection and frame) or you let it run out the front end. So you want just enough contact on the face so that all that energy is going from your seat to his hindquarters, through his back to his neck and then back into your hands and through your hands back to your seat.This circle of energy is what gets the horse to lift it's shoulders and "go round". Long and low is the beginning stages of being round and collected and to truly achieve long and low you want your horse to lift it's shoulders, engage it's hindquarters under the body and round over it's poll which results in a "lower head" visual as the nose will be tipped and the forehead perpendicular to the ground when they round over the poll instead of forehead parallel to the ground and nose up and in the air.

IF it helps I can probably dig out some pictures of the same horse being what we call inverted and going long and low.
     
    09-30-2010, 09:17 AM
  #5
Green Broke
That would be great if you could show the pics and thankyou so much
I don't know but everything has finaly clicked what everyone has told me so many times is making sense now.
     
    09-30-2010, 10:47 AM
  #6
Yearling
Glad I could help. Sometimes you just need to hear it a certain way for it to make sense. Here's some pictures. You tell me which ones are inverted and which are long and low and which are collected and why. And then I will explain each picture.
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    10-01-2010, 07:44 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Long and low-2 and the last one
Inverted-3
And the others confuse me haha
I said 2 and the last one because his head is tucked in like all the others its out.
3rd one just looks like his fighting
The other ones confuse me it looks like his is long ang low in them but then I thought the nose had to be tucked in, like in the first one theres a lose rein and his head is just blehh the energy is just going out the front.
Haha how did I go
     
    10-01-2010, 03:20 PM
  #8
Yearling
1- This is the first stage of long and low. See how he is bringing his hind end under himself, his back is lifted and he's starting to round his neck? Even though his head is poking out he is rounding and using himself correctly. This is how we warm out horses up with a lot of riding the body and making them move out and loosen up.
2-This is a little misleading. Here we took him from long and low to a little bit of collection but he was leaning on it a bit and likes to hang just behind the vertical which is mostly due to the way he's put together. It is very hard for him to be truly vertical. This is a decent working trot on contact.
3&4- Here his back is hollow, his head is up and he's inverted. Notice how it makes his stride shorter and he loses that nice frame.
5&6- These are kind of like 1. These are pictures of warming up and you ride the body not the head. In these pictures if the rider had added light contact he would have gone long and low. For now if you can get your horse to look like this you're on the right track. You want him freely swinging his back, tracking up with his hind feed and raising his back and front end while reaching out with his forelegs. I put these in here to show you the different stages of how to achieve long and low.
7- This is the "stretchy circle test". Ride your horse on contact and when you think he's really "on the bit" and "round". Then you put him on a circle with a nice big trot and start to just slowly feed him rein. If he "chews the reins" out of your hand and keeps putting his head down like this it means he's looking for the contact. This is a good sign. This gelding likes to get carried away with how far he puts his head down during this exercise as you can tell.
8- This is a decent picture of a horse doing long and low. His head and neck are coming levelly out of his shoulder, his head is near vertical and he's starting to engage his hindquarters. I would like to see him raise his back and bring his neck up a little more for a "perfect" frame but this is certainly acceptable.

Hope this helped!

Also, here are pictures of the same horse on the lunge line doing a fantastic long and low.
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    10-01-2010, 10:43 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Ok thankyou I thought the other pictures were sortof long and low but his head through me off. But now I know they are the beggining stages of it so that is what I want in my horse.

Another quick question when you work your horses do you go straight away into contact or long rein it for a bit?
     
    10-02-2010, 11:10 PM
  #10
Yearling
It depends what you call contact. I can always feel my horse's mouth yes, but I don't have them in my hands and pushing into the bridle and the contact until they are ready. For long and low you want a very slight contact. Just enough to encourage your horse to drop his head and start to push into the bridle but you don't want to be holding him in it, or forcing him into it. Think of on the buckle as a smile, light contact as a handshake and full contact as a bear hug in human interaction analogies.
     

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