January 2017 - Book Review: Long-Reining with Double-Dan
Written by CRM
Friday, 30 December 2016 00:41

Long-Reining with Double-Dan Horsemanship
Written by Dan James & Dan Steers
Reviewed by Lucy Bobek

Two men, coincidentally both called Dan, teaming up as the “Double Dans” team. Both are teaching horsemanship, specializing in long-reining. The Dans count farrier skills, dressage and long years of horsemanship and instructing clinics to their resume. The Dans’ long-reining demonstrations are their claim to fame, underlining the wisdom that good horsemanship begins on the ground.

Long-reining can help you and your horse develop a relationship where you are eye to eye. Before you saddle up, long-reining will acclimate a horse to tack and taking directions. Working your horse from the ground is easier with this step-by-step guide. This book will remind you what skills your horse needs to know before moving on, for instance, a horse needs to know how to stop before learning how to back up. The Dans will also remind the reader at what age a horse can be expected to learn a skill. In case you are under the impression that long-reining is for young horses, in fact, older horses can be re-educated. In addition, under-confident riders can continue and embellish their skills on the ground.

Long-reining with Double Dan horsemanship is color illustrated and includes troubleshooting throughout the book to address problems you will encounter. Basic horsemanship through to flying changes are detailed. Yes, it was a surprise to me too, flying changes are possible via long-reining!  The Dans remind us that long-reining uses small unexaggerated movements, soft hands are a must.

One amazing tool used is the “lungie bungie” this equipment can adjust to different tensions. Considering how many people ride, there are few new innovations, the basic tools horsemen use have stayed largely the same. The lungie bungie is likely to become a necessity for long-reining. The Dans are most insistent on getting a horse used to the lungie bungie.

Dan James and Dan Steers are based in Australia, thankfully crossing the ocean to teach internationally.

Reviewer Lucy Bobeck is a South Bay rider with a passion for rescued horses.


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