Lungeing and Long-Reining Book Review by Jennie Loriston-Clarke MBE FBHS

When my name was pulled out of the hat at Haynet HQ to review the newly published Lungeing and Long Reining Book by Jennie Loriston-Clarke; one of Britain's leading dressage riders and trainers I was over the moon. I love to learn and equestrian training books are something I treasure, I soak up the knowledge, make notes and poor Oscar is the guinea pig as I attempt to replicate the masters - a favourite technique of mine is to photocopy key pages/diagrams and take these to the yard with me as my notes - I'd hate to drop a book in the ménage or for it to be rained on so find photocopies useful to fold in and out my pocket for whenever I get stuck!

Firstly I'd like to confess where I was at with lungeing before I was introduced to the Lungeing and Long-Reining book:

  • Watching other liveries lunge, what equipment they chose to use, how long they lunged for, their choice of words and body language
  • Learning from a natural horsewoman who disagreed with lungeing as it 'dulled a horse' and limited circles to two at a time and used excellent body language
  • Observing at a showjumping yard where lungeing always included a "gadget" of some kind...along with many many bucks
  • Watching my geegee being vetted, which required work on the lunge
  • Having a classical dressage lesson and being told my horse may require lungeing before I ride on particularly naughty days, I had guidance on how best to do so after my lesson, mainly focusing on my position, to walk an on the spot circle and which part of the horse to face depending on circle size and pace
  • Finally, not to step on the lunge line or else I will trip and die...seriously someone actually said those words to me!

Where am I now? Remember my breakthrough with my lungeing cavasson back in July? I can only describe this book as giving me that eureka moment over and over again, the chapters it covers are:

  • Training foals and young horses
  • Lungeing equipment and technique
  • Introducing long-reins and early lateral work
  • Backing and riding young horses
  • Lungeing over poles and fences
  • Advanced long reining - including cantering, rein-back, shoulder-in, travers, half pirouettes, half-pass, renvers, canter half-pass, canter pirouettes and tempi flying changes.
  • Piaffe and passage
The book is a must read for anyone training a young and/or inexperienced horse, I wish I'd have known a lot of the safety techniques when re-schooling an ex-racehorse we had to stay last Summer - I hold a vivid memory of lungeing him on his weaker rein - his right, after racing left handed his whole career - and he just couldn't turn on the circle, whooshing me from one end of the 60m ménage to the other like a rag doll, not my finest moment but thankfully I had gloves on...oh and didn't let go! 

Easy to understand diagrams throughout the book give the reader a great starting point of how to set your work area up

Since reading I have a deeper understanding of lungeing - why we do what we do- and feel more confident and effective in my training. I have added a new string to my bow in the form of long reining...something I have only ever done once before and I am thoroughly enjoying playing with the technique in the safe confines of the school and as I gain experience I am looking forward to practising the more advanced moves to improve our suppleness.

A few examples of the excellent step by step pictures throughout, these detail how your work should look and discuss what to do when things go wrong - invaluable information

Lungeing and Long Reining expresses the importance of varied, fun and rewarding work for your equine partner and beautifully explains the correct foundations that if followed will reward you back in years to come as you successfully and accurately progress through the scales of training.

A book I know will refer back to time and time again for years to come.

Thank you for reading, Jessica & Oscar xxxx