In long reining, longer reins are connected to the bridle and run along the side of the horse through the rings of a surcingle. (One could also run them through the stirrups of a saddle.) The lines offer a channel for the horse’s movement and are handled much as one would handle reins while riding. One can use two lunge lines as long lines and that works fairly well although 30’ is a lot of rein to handle. I bought a set of driving reins which work much better. These are cotton lines, like short lunge lines, that buckle together at the end.
I started learning long reining with Penny last winter and am now working with Addie. She seems to particularly like variety in our work. We are beginning with basic manege patterns: lines, circles, leg yielding, shoulder-in, and halt. The horses are happily champing the bit as we walk along and I can see very clearly the lightness, but consistency of the rein aids that is required to make the horse move properly. I can see when one hand is too weak or too strong. I can see the horse moving properly into the outside rein when the aids are correct. I can see when she is bent properly, when she is giving in the poll and in the jowl. It is easy to see when the aids are given at the right time with the right balance as well as when the aids are confusing, contradictory, or ineffective.
If you have never tried long lining, I strongly suggest you do. Find a trained professional and begin serious ground work with your horse. You will not regret it. Your horse will enjoy the variety in your interactions. I think working at the trot will be aerobically challenging, but I am up for it. Someday I may do a canter pirouette on the long lines, who knows?!!!!!!!!!!! Stay tuned.