Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Recommendation


"Nate"

I’ve recently finished reading one of the most instructive and comprehensive books on working with a horse on the longe.  This book delves into each aspect of *longeing * long lines * long and short reins* when working with your horse.  What I liked about this book is the way each step is taken and dissected into specific easy to follow instruction.  There is also a detailed list of all the equipment needed to accomplish your training. 

Properly longeing a horse is a great asset not only to the horse but also to his human counterpart.  In my opinion there are too many people who don’t take the time to learn the proper way to longe a horse.  I’ve seen many riders in barns and at shows simply put the horse on a longe and let them “get the bucks out.”  This isn’t fair to the horse because it doesn’t teach them anything but to run around irrationally with no goal in mind.  There is a real chance for injury too.  Not just to the horse but to the handler. 

Teaching a horse to longe properly can be used in so many constructive ways:
Starting a young horse, restarting a horse who needs corrective training, keeping an older horse strong and fit, maintaining training and fitness when riding isn’t possible, therapeutic work for a horse that can’t be ridden, evaluating a medical or training problem or warming up a horse prior to a lesson.  I could go on and on but I won’t. 

Longeing correctly is an art form unto itself and should be taught to everyone involved with training horses. To me it comes under the category of   “what I wish I knew back then.”  It’s never too late to learn something new or the proper way of doing things.  I find it fun and rewarding and it keeps me thinking on my feet.

The book is: HORSE TRAINING IN – HAND
By Ellen Schuthof-Lesmeister and Kip Mistral
Forward by Sylvia Loch
I found it on Amazon for $20 down from its original price of $31.  I think it’s a good price for a book packed with invaluable information.  Check it out if you’re interested.

Until next time
Quote for Today

In training horses, one trains himself
    - Antoine De Pluvinet-

28 comments:

  1. I really enjoy longeing, partially because I like being able to watch what's going on rather than guess from her back. But I'll be the first to acknowledge that I'm not very good at it, as much as I try. This sounds like a book that I would really enjoy and benefit from! And at $20? Good deal!

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    1. The book is really very good. Amazon says they have 10 left. I don't think you can go wrong for the price.

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  2. I totally agree with you there. I was fortunate to have been shown how to "ride my horse from the ground" a few years back. There is a huge difference between letting my horse just run around the round pen or at the end of a rope, and using my body to drive him at the speed I wish him to go. I am learning that if I cannot get good transitions on the ground, I won't get them while riding either.
    I see a lot of people just chase their horses around the pen, without any real "control" and then they get on and wonder why they still have so little control.
    I could not believe the difference in my horses when I learned to incorporate that into my riding routine. Even with my "runaway" I find that on the days when I can transition him back to walk while on the ground, those are the days he is less likely to run through my hands. On the days that I short cut, so does he.

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  3. You make a good point about getting transitions on the ground and also about taking short cuts. Longing is such an integral part of training I feel it should be taught as a basic skill.

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  4. Thanks for the recommendation. That is something I've been thinking about lately and am planning to attend a longeing demo at our upcoming horse expo. I like to longe Misty, not just to use up energy, but to help her bend and get in tune with me. I'd like to do more with it. Especially when I can't trailer out for a ride.

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  5. Hope you enjoy your longeing demo at the horse expo. I think the more we learn the more our horses benefit from our knowledge.

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  6. Sounds like a really useful book - it's on my list now. I'm not very good at groundwork and could use some learning. And it's so important as you say to do groundwork just like ridden work - I see too much of the driving around the round pen stuff and running horses on the lunge - not much communication going on there.

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    1. The reason I really liked this book was because it was written so everyone can understand it and the pictures are helpful too. It's done in a step by step format and breaks everything down so its good for those of us who aren't professionals.

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  7. My favorite is long lining. Thanks for the book recommendation!

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  8. I have this book, and love it! Very good instructions, thorough, and also very pretty pictures. I keep it on the coffee table because it's so nice to look at.

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    1. I've got it sitting next to me on the end table. I agree the pictures are beautiful.

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    2. BUT properly working a horse in a round pen has its benefits too. Some people might think I'm just chasing my horse around in the round pen, and that's probably what some people do, but I am controlling everything my horse does. I'm not against a line. But I mostly use the pen. I don't see anything wrong with using it to let him get the bucks out. It's a good way to see what's under the hood, so to speak. I've got nothing to prove. In a couple of minutes, he's relaxed and ready to focus. If he wants to run around wildly and I'm worried he's going to hurt himself, I just slow him down. Sometimes we have training sessions. I might be working on how he's bending. I might use a surcingle. One time I used it to train a horse who was refusing the bridle. There are so many things I can do in the round pen. I can step back and study how equipment looks as he moves and I can see how HE is moving, whether that was really a limp or not. Sometimes, if my horse is acting up, I'll take him to the pen and work him for a few minutes. I've never had to do it for more than five minutes. They are ALWAYS better when I get back on and it's not because I've gotten him tired. The main thing is I am teaching him that I am the herd leader because I made him move his feet the way I wanted to. As you can probably tell, the round pen is my favorite piece of equipment, lol.

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    3. I'm sure if the round pen works best for you and your horses that's your best option. There's not a hard and fast rule that you have to use lines, I would guess, as long as you can control the movement and pace the way you want. This book is very instructional about how to get certain advanced movements that I don't think are possible without using the lines though. To each his own.

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  9. Sounds like a good book to have on hand. I am still learning about long-lining with the pony and loving being able to see his body from the ground - the bend, the tracking of his hooves, etc.

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    1. I think you would really enjoy this book if you're currently working with a horse/pony on the long line.

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  10. i'll have to borrow it! i'd say probably half of my training is done from the ground, and probably even more in the early stages. it's so much easier to explain to horses from the ground, move them where you want them, and watch the effects from the ground before you get on and try to feel and direct! i love groundwork for training and rehabbing horses :-)

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  11. I know you do a lot of training and rehabbing from groundwork. And I have to say it's worked wonders for a lot of the horses.

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  12. It does sound good. I would agree, with longeing and ground work in general. Lots and lots of wonderful lessons that can be utilized from in-hand work.

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  13. I agree there are so many good things that come from ground work.

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  14. I have this book, too!

    I bought it when I started long lining my horse. This actually turned out to be a bit of a let down, because I do not own the leather long-reins shown in the photos. My long lines are the long, flat cotton ones from Dover. There is way too much line to do a lot of the really neat stuff in the book. I also wished for a true longeing cavesson. I did not have it in my budget to buy more (quality) equipment, so I kind of put it aside in frustration.

    I learned from this book that if you want to try some of the tricky stuff, your horse has to be really forward in the lines. That is the first step, whether it is riding or groundwork. Of course this does not mean running away and that is even more evident when you must walk behind your horse as he works!

    Great book recommendation.

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  15. It's nice to have the book anyway even if you didn't have the cavesson and leather long reins. Maybe some of the other exercises will come in handy in a few months ;)

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  16. Great review! I have to get that one for the library. I love winter, when it means you do book reviews!

    It's an.essential.tool for sure.
    My L Cavesson is laughed at in my barn, in sister's too unfortunately. The" NH" movement has corrupted the propose of lunging.
    I've got one of my sissy's called "Lunging, The horse and rider"
    By Sheila Inderwick
    It's old and from England..but good.

    Thanks for the review, maybe I'll do some today, been sick( but that it's am indoor activity) need to stay indoors.

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  17. Haven't read the book you mentioned but it sounds interesting too. Take a rest today and get well soon.

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  18. I love doing ground work with my horses. Have to look into getting a copy. I have another book somewhere I need to dig out.

    I started Toby and Tucker from the ground and it made a HUGE difference when they started under saddle. It was as if they were already trained.

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    1. I agree I think doing groundwork is a great training tool for all horses.

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  19. Sometimes I also use the lines IN the pen. I call myself "round pen dependent," lol.

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  20. I don't think it matters where you use them. I like to work in the indoor or the outside riding ring.

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