Safe Longeing for Horse Health

This common exercise modality can be surprisingly risky; learn how to keep your horse—and yourself—safe.

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safe longeing
Longeing can be useful both for rehabilitation and as part of a horse's regular training. | Photo: iStock

This common exercise modality can be surprisingly risky; learn how to keep your horse—and yourself—safe

Asked by a nonhorsey friend to explain what longeing is, you’d probably say something like, “It’s when you put a horse on the end of a long line and let him go around you in circles.”

Simple enough. But longeing is not a simple activity.  

For starters, it involves managing that long line and usually a long whip as well. (Tangles, anyone?) And at the end of that long line is … well, let’s just say that a lot of people longe when they don’t feel safe enough to put a foot in the stirrup. Combine one horse that “needs to get the bucks out” with lots of revolutions on a smallish circle on perhaps questionable footing and at perhaps questionable velocity, and you have a recipe for injury—to handler as well as horse

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Written by:

Jennifer O. Bryant is editor-at-large of the U.S. Dressage Federation’s magazine, USDF Connection. An independent writer and editor, Bryant contributes to many equestrian publications, has edited numerous books, and authored Olympic Equestrian. More information about Jennifer can be found on her site,

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