Sometimes we become so relaxed around our horses and so nonchalant about our daily routines, that we forget safety issues. For example, when longeing a horse it’s easy to forget that we’re in a very vulnerable position when we first begin the process of putting our horse out on a circle. Most horses are fresh when they start off on the longe line, so it’s no wonder that they suddenly buck or kick up their heels. But if you’re bending over, looking down and standing too close to your horse’s hindquarters, you could be injured by a striking hoof.
First, make sure that your horse is schooled to quietly walk out onto his circular path, and that he awaits your cue to trot or canter. Next, do not reach down and pick up a longe whip while your horse is within striking distance. He might perceive the whip as the cue to bolt off and buck, leaving you as an inadvertent target. Finally, don’t “shush” your horse out onto his circle. That, too, encourages a fresh horse to leap forward and perhaps kick out. Instead, slowly uncoil your longe line. By making your longeing protocol consistent, you’ll teach your horse some manners and keep yourself safe from a potential accident.