No matter what kind of horse you have the language is the same and subtle cues are as important as big ones. Animals are so much smarter than we give them credit for being...watch the little things
Longeing /ˈlʌndʒɨŋ/ (US English, classical spelling) or lungeing (UK English, informal USA) is a technique for training horses, where a horse is asked to work at the end of a long line and respond to commands from a handler on the ground who holds the line. It is also a critical component of the sport of equestrian vaulting. Longeing is performed on a large circle with the horse traveling around the outside edge of a real or imaginary ring with the trainer in the middle.
The word is believed to be derived from either the French word allonge,meaning "to lengthen", or the Latin longa ("long"). In both cases, the root word featured spelling with an "o" and emphasize lengthening and extension, so although always pronounced "lungeing", the traditional spelling of the word in English is "longeing", This spelling has been used by the majority of past dressage masters who wrote in English, and remains in use by traditional horsemanship organizations in the United States such as the United States Pony Clubs.
The phonetic "lungeing" spelling dates back to the 1800s, but has only become popular since the late 20th century. It is now used by an increasing number of books and magazine articles on the subject and in the United Kingdom, is the spelling both the British Horse Society and the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) use in their material. It is also the usual spelling in both New Zealand and Australia, and, since 2009, by the FEI in their equestrian vaulting rules.
Longeing has many benefits for both horses and riders.
For a young or green (inexperienced) horse, longeing is used to teach a horse to respond to voice commands and the trainer's body language, to accustom them to the feel of a saddle and bridle, and to begin their introduction to the feel of reins and bit pressure. In many training stables, a horse is first introduced on the longe to nearly everything it is going to be asked to do under saddle, including movement at all gaits, response to hand and voice commands (called riding aids), and remaining calm in unusual or stressful situations.
On horses of any age or level of experience, longeing is used to exercise a horse when it cannot be ridden, or when additional work is needed to develop balance, rhythm, and to improve the horse's gaits. It is also useful to help settle a horse before riding, especially a high-strung horse, a young horse, or a horse that has been confined more than usual. However, longeing for long periods or with the intent to tire a horse out can cause joint strain. It can be used to "blow off steam" or "get the bucks out" before a rider gets on, though proper turnout or liberty work is a better alternative, because a longeing session is training time, not play time.
Longeing a rider is valuable for teaching, as the rider may develop their seat and position without having to worry about controlling the horse.Classical schools of riding and training, such as the Spanish Riding School, require new riders to work extensively on the longe before they are allowed reins or stirrups, and riders are required to periodically return to longe work to refine their seat and balance.
The longe line (or longe) is about 30 feet (10 m) long, so the longeing circle can have a diameter of 60 feet (20 m). It is usually a flat woven webbing made of nylon, cotton, or Dacron. In the natural horsemanship tradition, the longe line is usually made of round cotton rope, and often much shorter, as short as 15 or 20 feet. In general, cotton longe lines are less likely to burn the trainer's hands than nylon, but nylon is more durable and less likely to break.
It may have a snap, buckle, or chain on one end to attach to a longeing cavesson or bridle. A chain, although sometimes used with difficult horses, has no subtlety of contact and is quite severe. In most cases, it is best to use a snap-end longe line. Many longe lines have a loop handle at the other end, but this is dangerous to use, as a person's hand can be trapped in the handle and be injured should the horse bolt.
The longe line takes the place of the rein aids while longeing. It can be held in a rein hold (coming out the bottom of the hand) or a driving hold (coming out the top of the hand), and the extra line is folded back and forth rather than coiled, as coiled line can tighten and trap the trainer's hand or fingers if horse bolts.