Teaching long and low *please read* - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-24-2012, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Question Teaching long and low *please read*

Hey guys! So ive searched the forum many times on the topic of long and low but honestly never got an answer i was hoping for so here i go making a thread! In hunters the classic long and low frame is looked for but i want to achive it the dressage way by seat, legs ect. not just yanking around on the reins so the head is down but the body is hollow. Does anyone have any tips or better than that exercises that i can try to get my horse into this frame? Any help would be gladly appreciated and im not a super advanced rider so keep that in mind, thanks! -Morgan and Fudge

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post #2 of 9 Old 07-24-2012, 08:00 PM
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Long and low isn't a 'frame'. Lol, don't say "frame", if you're talking to dressage people. It's an F-word for them.
And it isn't something you need to teach.
Your horse knows how to free-walk, right? And you know how to ask for it, right?
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-24-2012, 09:26 PM
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Long and low is achieved by asking the horse to stretch or reach into the bridle. I find it easiest to do on a large circle at the trot since it places the horse naturally into the proper bend and the inside leg to outside rein combination.

Pick up an nice forward trot on a long rein. By long, I mean long enough that he still can extend his head and neck, but you can still feel his mouth on the other end of the reins. Next, stay on a large circle and really concentrate on keeping your hands quiet. Do not at any time pull back on the reins. You want your horse thinking forward and stretching, not the other way around. Keep your hands out in front of the saddle, relaxed elbows and shoulders. Follow his motion with both hands evenly, none of that see sawing nonsense. For some horses, this is all it takes to encourage them to reach for the bit. If not, continue reading.

So now you have a nice circle going, but he's still star gazing. You can try two things. The first is spiral in/ spiral out. To spiral in, use the outside rein and leg. It sounds backwards, but it is effective. You want to think about shutting that outside door to keep him on the smaller circle. When you're ready to spiral back out, just reopen that door slowly. If he starts to chew softly on the bit, he's starting to think about using his back and stretching.

If you get that far, next thing to unlock that last piece is to transition within the trot. On that same circle, without changing tempo, ask for smaller steps, then larger, etc. Each time he is asked to shorten his frame and then be allowed to stretch out again, he will be more interested doing just that.

Once he reaches into that bit and you feel his back come up under you, you will proceed to walk around on air for the rest of the day since it is such a fantastic feeling. Ironically the horses seem to love it too which makes me wonder why they all seem to pitch such a fit about using themselves properly in the first place. Good luck!

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-24-2012, 09:35 PM
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Just to add - long and low is not easy for the horse.
I know people will preach that it's great for green horses, building up their strength etc. It's actually a very physically demanding exercise if ridden correctly, as it requires a lot of strength and balance from the horse. Most horses actually find it easier to 'sit' on their haunches when their head and neck is in a higher position. To drop the head and neck, while keeping the quarters engaged without the horse falling on the forehand, requires a lot of skill and feel from the rider, and a substantial amount of balance and strength from the horse.
I never ask for more than a few strides of long and low from a green or unconditioned horse. Otherwise you wil just dump them on their forehand and entirely defeat the purpose of the exercise.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-24-2012, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
Otherwise you wil just dump them on their forehand and entirely defeat the purpose of the exercise.
^agreed!

If you can't feel the difference when your horse's withers are up you will need someone on the ground to tell you and help you understand the difference.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-24-2012, 11:44 PM
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-25-2012, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rascalboy View Post
Long and low isn't a 'frame'. Lol, don't say "frame", if you're talking to dressage people. It's an F-word for them.
And it isn't something you need to teach.
Your horse knows how to free-walk, right? And you know how to ask for it, right?
well ive heard it refferd to it many times sorry. and not really hes a quarter horse and is still partially green sorry sor asking..

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post #8 of 9 Old 07-25-2012, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
Just to add - long and low is not easy for the horse.
I know people will preach that it's great for green horses, building up their strength etc. It's actually a very physically demanding exercise if ridden correctly, as it requires a lot of strength and balance from the horse. Most horses actually find it easier to 'sit' on their haunches when their head and neck is in a higher position. To drop the head and neck, while keeping the quarters engaged without the horse falling on the forehand, requires a lot of skill and feel from the rider, and a substantial amount of balance and strength from the horse.
I never ask for more than a few strides of long and low from a green or unconditioned horse. Otherwise you wil just dump them on their forehand and entirely defeat the purpose of the exercise.
Totally understand all of that just wanting some tips haha but thanks!

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post #9 of 9 Old 07-25-2012, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
this video is a great starter point in understanding long and low.
How To Engage Your Horse's Back - corrected version - YouTube
thanks! ive see this video many times and also thought it was great! Thanks for posting!

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