Your Idea Of Long And Low...

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Arnie, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    Troppo, it's what being taught now too.

    I agree with both these and SOTH's comments.

    To me, this is an excuse for incorrect riding. If something is not correct, it's not for a reason. You don't just continue on and think 'oh, it'll be fine when i get to Grand Prix, i'm just an average rider.' You stop, go back a step (or 2 or 10) and get that right.
    Most of the time, things don't work out because people just don't take the time to do the foundation correctly.
    'It's ok if my horse goes behind the verticle, we're only starting out'. No it's not. Stop, think about what you're doing and how you're asking.
    Fixing horses who are stuck behind the verticle is very, very hard later on.

    I would rather my horse have his nose on the ground, really stretch himself out for a few strides, and come back to a normal head position with light contact.
    If my horse ever goes behind the verticle, i correct this right away. And i am 'most riders'.



    What happened to using your legs instead to create forward, rhythm and impulsion. That ideal grey photo, she isn't holding anything anywhere. The horse is there because he is forward, and momentum has been created through the legs, from the back.
  2. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    Originally Posted by SMR
    ... It's very easy to be idealistic and theoretical, but for most riders (including international riders lol) practical methods are those that the horse and rider are capable of at that point in time and help the horse. The conformation of the horse also has a huge bearing in what he is capable of.

    Your entitled to your opinion Cornflower, but believe me, I certainly aim to ride and train as correctly as I can. I am also not advocating riding behind the vertical all of the time - in fact, I am one for making sure that my horse only goes behind the vertical when asked and can be placed in any frame I ask for at any time. I find it quite amusing that this is how you have taken my post.

    Perhaps you should reread my previous posts. I have been repeatedly stating that working the horse from behind is crucial for correct training :}
  3. pso

    pso Gold Member

    interesting reading:}

    I found the perfect example of a BTV horse...obviously very tense in the neck, hind legs are trailing, and the back is hollow *cough* Some of you may recognise the pic*#)


    I'm with SMR/Brew/MC...;)
  4. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    that photo looks like a horse that is deep, definately not long and low though
  5. pso

    pso Gold Member

    thats the point ;)
    everyone in this thread seems to have a different understanding of 'long and low';)
    and the pictures were a tad misleading given the different 'types' of horses
    (WB vs QH? of course one will be on the FH!)
  6. Troppo

    Troppo Well-known Member

    Sad isn't it, like the whole reel them in and jam them up from day one and spur them to get forward.

    PSO that is exactly how I was taught to ride long and low, looking like that, and wondering why it was such a battle all the time? :p
  7. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    sorry bit slow to catch on PSO *#)
    slinking back off to my corner LOL
  8. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    lol pso... ;)
  9. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    sorry PSO will have to go out and take pics of same horse in different frames so its a bit clearer...

    The point was looking at "your idea of L&L" and to *me* the grey is the ideal L&L. The others i didnt say werent, i just said what *I* thought was wrong with them - and asked your opinion from post 1...
  10. Brew

    Brew Well-known Member

    Now we are cooking !! All these posts and where are we ? What IS L+L ? Reading through all the posts leaves me wondering ! Do we have terminology issues or perception ones _ One girls L+L is another ones Deep When is it L+L and when is it stretching ? I for one just don't know !
    For myself I will continue to work my horses concentrating on a soft and supple body and neck using whatever exercises I can dream up to get each horse as supple as I can. This involves neck up and down flexed left and right and school figures etc and I don't intend to worry about what it is called.
    A very wise German riding master once told me that "our legs create the frame" and I prefer to use poles etc to supple the back which often lets the horse create his own long and low
  11. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    to me deep is behind the vert (but not evasion BTV, more like PSO's pic) - and i use this depending on the horse, and the level of roundness or "depth"? varies greatly depending on the feel and balance etc.

    i think some call L&L "down and out" but to me this brings up images of strung out horses, and i dont think thats advantageous.

    Brew i love using poles too, gets them engaging and they cant shuffle around lol
  12. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    This is definitely the case with my horse. He can be nice and foward, using his back but still likes to be behind the vertical. If you "allow" him more rein he will stretch his neck down but still seems to be a bit behind the vertical, even when going nice and forward. He has a shorter, fat neck so not sure how much this influences it.

    I will keep reading through the rest of the posts now and see if anyone has suggestions on how to better ride L&L. I try to maintain a contact and not throw away the reins, and I don't wiggle him down. Maybe some sprialling in and leg yielding out and then asking for stretch might help?
  13. Brew

    Brew Well-known Member

    The whole point of training is to produce supple horses that use their back end ( the power pack ). The idea is the horse should work willingly with light aids and in balance. From this point the horse can move on to the chosen disipline The benifit of L+L type execises are beyond question but I think that each horse must be treated as an individual and it's needs will vary at every training level so I decide the level and it varies lots but I don't think green horses can engage in a very low or very open position and having gone to great lengths to get the horse of the fore I don't want to put him back there.My experience has been that too low is too much for a green horse. When is it too low ?- When the back end no longer comes under the body.A very well schooled horse can go low and open in the gullet without losing balance but a green horse (Pre medium ) will find it sressfull. When the horse stretches out the back is lifted but it is a consequence of it's position and not the horses effort that lifts the back. As riders we need a strong flexible back - the up - down in sretching makes the back mobile but not strong. The strength of the back comes from the horse using it to engage his quarters hence the more rounded frame to help the horse by shortening his ligaments over his back
  14. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    In a Prelim test they ask for:
    Circle left 20m, rising trot, allowing the horse to stretch forward and downward

    Quality of stretch over back, forward and downward into a light contact while maintaining balance and quality of trot.

    I would consider that this is asking for L&L. I know it is only one circle but obviously it is expected that a relatively green horse (pre-medium) should be capable of this.
  15. Brew

    Brew Well-known Member

    There is no collection at prelim and the test is marked more on regularity of the pace. The exercise also gives away jammed horses and I don't think this is long and low - This is stretching. Advanced tests also look at the horses balance but the requirement is different
  16. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    SMR, my comments were not directed at you personally, but rather at the statement itself. Sorry, I should have explained myself more clearly, as i do agree with some of your comments.

    I have read the 'but for the average rider' comment so many times, it drives me a little up the wall. To me it doesn't matter if you're a beginner or a world champ, you should endeavour to ride correctly and do what is right by the horse. And this should be taught from day 1.
    The excuse that it's ok for a horse to be behind the bit, held it, strung out, not forward enough, nor working properly, not light, etc, etc, etc, are just that; excuses.
    Yes, when you have a green horse, some things can be overlooked or forgiven, but this is the point where you go back a step and maybe try something else so you get the correct response.
    But I don't agree with any horse being ridden behind the bit.

  17. Seahorse

    Seahorse Well-known Member

    Absolutely. But the problem with L&L (and many other things, really), is that it takes a lot of feel on the rider's part. And a lot of "average" riders are lacking that. The trouble with L&L is that it can cause real problems if not done correctly (although we can't really agree about what that is yet :) ). And for the "average" rider, the benefits are probably minimal. So if the risks outweigh the benefits ... why do it? Why not just teach your horse to travel forward, relaxed, light and straight? Oh, because you have to have an independent seat and soft, steady hands to do that. And that sounds like work :D
  18. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    Seahorse, lol, yep totally agree. This is where we come back to good instructors that don't just focus on the horse's, but will actually teach the rider how to develop all those things. Where have all those people gone?
  19. Paddys girl

    Paddys girl Well-known Member

    great thread!!!

    An instructor recently explained it well to me... horse should be 'breaking over' at the shoulder, loosing with a 'no' action of the neck (think how you shake your head for no) instead of using a 'yes' action which would cause the horse to break at the poll. This comes AFTER the horse is listening to the seat and using his back and swinging through. Helps me with the bio-mechanics of it anyway.

    I've still got a long way to go with getting my boy to stretch into the contact properly as he is really weak behind and can't use himself properly yet. Learning heaps from reading all this :)

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