Saturday, January 24, 2015

Steps In Lunging Your Horse

Why lunge a horse?

 It is a better option to lunge a horse as it is an exercise for them. It helps the horse to relax and release it’s extra energy and also enhance its movement in a circle and flexibility abilities. Lunging the horse has many benefits for you as well; you can clearly view their style and get to know their attitude.

 Some tips to keep in mind before starting the exercise:

      Always stay safe: A horse might get scared during this exercise. It’s better to take safety precautions in case this happens. Use a lunge line that is the size required for you, do not use extra long lines as they can cause a lot of trouble. Wear a riding helmet during this exercise as it can keep you safe in many situations.

      Don’t be rough: Remember, side reins should be kept loose. If too much force is being applied onto them, your horse won’t be able to move his neck freely and that can initiate anger and agitation--loss of focus. Don’t use any other utensil-- such as lunge whip--to abuse or cause any harm to your horse.

      Warm ups are necessary: Make sure your horse is drained of energy before you start the exercise. Any extra energy can surely cause the horse to injure itself. To do this, get your horse to walk or trot around the course for a little while and then proceed with the lunging.

 How to Lunge a Horse

 Before starting this exercise,
use brushing boots or polo straps on the horse to protect it’s legs from any injuries. Then position your horse at a point (in the circular path) that you want him to walk in;  and stand in the center of this circle.

Work the Horse to the Right  

First, hold your lunge line in your right hand, while holding your whip in the left hand. If your horse doesn’t move, tap it with your lunge whip constantly, until it moves. Then, say whatever command your horse understands to make it walk. Ideally, ensure to familiarize your voice, by using words like ‘boy, walk on, trot now, etc.’ Furthermore, don’t walk at all, just stand still where you are, while your horse moves around you being the center. Don’t bring the whip close to your horse’s face, keep it pointed towards the horse’s  ankles or hocks. Additionally, the lunge line should be loose; keep it up in a proper position.

Change the Directions Time to Time.  Exchange the tools in your hands according to the direction that the horse continues to move. Thereafter, increase the radius of the circle, because it is easier for the horse. Remember, as the space gets bigger, his speed increases, so be careful.

Control the Horse. Keep tapping the horse continuously, if he does something wrong. For example, if it moves towards you or walks in the opposite direction, stop tapping as soon he returns back in position. This technique ensures that he realizes that you were tapping him because the act was wrong.

Ease the Horse from Anxiety. Your horse should be relaxed and calm after an event of lunging. Surprisingly, it’s easy to know when the horse is calm. You can witness a change in attitude;  such as it’s head might lowered or his tail might be swishing around.

Remain Patient. Remember to stay patient, your horse may become annoyed or angry; thus, it may take a long time, in order for him to start lunging properly. It takes quite a while for a horse to properly lunge--about 30 minutes each time. Keep doing this exercise, until you achieve the desirable results.
 
 
 




           

 

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