Long-Lining: How to Adjust Your Reins for the Change of Direction

Jeff Campf demonstrates some of the fine details of training in long lines.
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Jeff Campf demonstrates some of the fine details of training in long lines.

Oregon-based jumper rider and trainer Jeff Campf explains the art and benefits of training a horse from the ground in long lines in his November 2007 Practical Horseman magazine story. Here he demonstrates a couple of the fine points that make this traditional skill more effective.

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1. You can tell that Lana is tracking right on the circle: My right rein is a bit back asking for an inside flexion and the left rein is maintaining a steady contact around her hocks. What's more, I'm holding the whip in my left hand, ready to flick at Lana's hind legs to ask for more activity if necessary.

2. To begin the turn, I create an outside bend and flexion by taking back on the left rein and giving on the right rein, then reaching forward with my right hand.

3. With Lana now basically straight in front of me, I take both reins--equal in length--in my right hand. I'm standing still to demonstrate for the photos, but ordinarily I'd be walking forward and following Lana so she'd keep moving forward and not stall out.

4. I reach my left hand forward so I once again have a rein in each hand, and...

5. ...now my new inside left hand comes back, asking for an inside flexion, while my new outside right hand maintains a steady contact around Lana's hocks. There's only one thing left to do--shift the whip from my left to my right hand.

--Photos by Tass Jones