Ground driving is also called Long Lining. Ground driving is a very good training
technique for young horses to learn how to turn right and left, stop, and back. This
exercise provides a great variety of training for any age of horse or rider.

Handler Coordination
For the human part of this partnership, ground driving works on your
coordination. It provides a focus on what you’re doing with your arms, adjusting your
reins and keeping them organized, your foot fall to stay in line with the horse, or your
foot fall to stay inward on a curving line. You learn how to flex the horse’s head inward
so you can just see his eye.

The Importance of the Outside Rein
The outside rein is longer to keep the horse straight and aligned. You also turn the
horse by using the outside rein to move him away from the pressure of the rein. This is
the same as under saddle, as a horse will turn with the inside rein. However, if you do this

at the trot and especially the canter, you will have a poor turn and your horse will not be
straight and balanced.
This exercise is also an excellent way to learn whether your horse is straight or
not. You can see the top line and his spine. You can also see his head as well as the foot
fall. When a horse is straight, the right hind steps into the right front foot print, and the
same with the left. When you observe this and understand it on the ground, it allows you
to learn it under saddle when you can’t actually see it. For the horse, this exercise is
stress-free, and you can do all kinds of figure patterns as in Dressage tests by initially
using these patterns in ground driving.

When to Trot and Canter
When you accomplish good, controlled responses with the walk, you can move to
the trot work and then to the canter. Remember the trot is the best gait for developing the
horse’s muscles and strengthening the joints. It’s a two-beat gait and you can develop the
horse’s weaker side to be as strong and supple as the strong side. Remember, horses are
right- or left-handed!
I also have a training DVD on ground driving. If you’ve never done ground
driving before it’s an excellent way to understand the techniques, especially your
positioning on the ground for good control. It’s a lot of fun and horses like it!

 Palm Equestrian Academy 352-362-7847

 Cyril and Lynn offer clinics throughout the country and abroad as well as
online coaching. Join them on their teaching tours or their Palm Equestrian
Academy European Journeys.