There’s a big difference between a guide on lunging a horse and one that teaches you how to train a horse to be lunged – this guide falls into the former of the two categories. So, assuming the necessary training has already been carried out, here’s a simple overview of the lunging process:
Lunging a Horse
You’ll need a lunging cavesson in most instances to lunge your horse, though in many cases a horse may have been trained to lunge without a cavesson. Your horse should be guided to the arena or the ring in which the lunging will take place.
If you’re intending to work in a leftward direction, the lunge line should be held in your left hand, leaving your right hand free to use the lunge whip. You now need to form a triangle, with your arms forming two of the sides and the side of your horse the other. Of course, if planning to travel to the right the whole thing should be reversed.
Stand in a relaxed position with slight bends to both arms. It’s now time to give your horse the ‘walk’ command, for which it’s of the utmost importance to use the same inflection and tone every time. When asking your horse to walk or trot it’s better to use short and sharp commands, switching to a more drawn out command when asking the horse to stop.
Make sure the lunging line is lifted slightly off the ground and continue to turn in a circle as your horse walks around you. It may be necessary to walk a very slight circle, but generally you should be the center of the circle and therefore move only in a rotatory fashion. As such, there’s a chance you may end up a little dizzy when first practicing!
Direction Changes and Stopping
As your horse gets used to the idea of lunging, you’ll be able to try coming to a stop and changing the direction of the exercise. This can be done by using your halt command to get the horse to stop, after which you should ask it to turn, swap your hands as already mentioned above and set off again in the opposite direction. This can be a little disorientating for both of you at first, but does get much easier with time.
· You can try varying the length of rope you use as you go along, in accordance with the size of the enclosure
· A round pen is always best to start out with as it encourages the horse to naturally walk in a circle
· If your horse tends to move rather fast, you’ll need to lunge in a large circle as he won’t be able to run fast in a small circle.
Steps to lunging your horse