Long-lining involves working the horse from the ground with two lines, or reins, attached to either side of the horse. Whilst its use is diminished in modern horsemanship, advocates of classical equitation value the practice of long-lining greatly. This can be appreciated through the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, who has been training and breeding horses for over 450 years.
Benefits of Long-lining include:
Allows for the influence of inside and outside rein contact. This has a therapeutic benefit, as influencing both sides equally develops symmetry.
Allows for the praising release of contact, providing an elastic connection.
Flexible – long-lining allows for various exercises and movements to be introduced and practiced, such as, piaffe, cavaletti, leg yield, straightness, etc.
Long-lining enables the contact to be influenced by a person, without the presence of a rider on the horses back. This is beneficial as it allows for an insight into how the horse moves and behaves without the weight of a rider.
The visual perspective of long-lining allows for the analysis of specific attributes of movement. For example, the amount of over-track, individual joint range of motion, pelvic movement and rotation, weaker rein, etc.
A simple and clear way to introduce lateral movements to your horse before asking for them under saddle.
Allows for easier engagement and thus development of top line muscles, such as longissimus dorsi.
A clear perspective to test efficacy of energy and voice communication aids.
Identify weaknesses that could be causing trouble under saddle.
A gentle, accurate rehabilitation method.