What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Longeing is a time-honored method for exercising a horse sans rider, and for teaching and reinforcing commands. But it can lead to mishaps, too, when the handler’s use of longeing equipment is flawed. How many wrong-way longeing practices can you spot in this picture?

Credit: Lourie Zipf

1. Too much drape in the line between horse and handler. It’s almost touching the ground; if the horse were to cut into the circle or whirl in the other direction, its legs could easily become tangled.

2. Free end of the line left loose and coiled up at the handler’s feet. Without its being held in a series of coils, it wouldn’t take much for a length of loose line to wrap around one or both of the handler’s legs—a serious danger if the horse were to bolt.

3. Line held in just a single, gloveless hand. If the horse were to jerk or pull hard, the handler would have a difficult time maintaining her hold, and without gloves, her hands are left unprotected from a line burn.

4. Lack of protective legwear on the horse. Chances are, the horse won’t suffer any problems going bare, but he could strike himself hard enough to cause an injury.

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