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
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
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
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.
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.
Guide to Lunging your Horse