To Lunge or Not to Lunge - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-21-2012, 09:11 AM
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Just how tight a gaited horse can longe depends a lot on their way of going.

Under saddle, I've got a batida horse with a very diagonal gait that do less than 5 m. circles all day long. I've got a picada horse with a very diagonal gait that can do a 5 m. circle but I have to ride that circle (keeping her collected and balanced). My center march horse can also go below 5 m. but it's hard for her and I have to ride her, too.

On the longe, however, I'm not in the saddle and cannot help the horse collect or balance. So on the longe line I don't go less than 20 m. unless I've got a particularly good reason to do so. The most common time is with a young horse learning to longe. We'll walk on a very small circle until the horse gets the general idea of longing. Then we open up the circle and will add the other gaits.

The vast majority of North American gaited horses are lateral in the way of going. But even amongst Walkers you'll find a surprisingly wide range of movement. It's tough to make absolute statements about them.

G.
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-21-2012, 09:21 AM
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I used to ride walkers and I had no problems with longing.

Two issues that I have with it.

1. Very young horses should not work too long in small circles as it may cause developmental problems.
2. The more you work them before you get on, the more fit they get. The more fit they get, the more you have to work them before you get on. 10 minutes turns to 20. Then 30......
After a horse is trained well enough that they won't kill me, I just get on and ride without any longe line work.

Celeste
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-21-2012, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
I used to ride walkers and I had no problems with longing.

Two issues that I have with it.

1. Very young horses should not work too long in small circles as it may cause developmental problems.
2. The more you work them before you get on, the more fit they get. The more fit they get, the more you have to work them before you get on. 10 minutes turns to 20. Then 30......
After a horse is trained well enough that they won't kill me, I just get on and ride without any longe line work.
Very well said, particularly No. 2!

For a period of time when she was 8-9 years old my mare required 5 min. or so of work on the longe or in the round pen to "reorient" her mind that it was work time (vice eating time or hanging out time or schmoozing time or etc.). I have not had to longe her in several years. I will, every few months, do a short longing session to renew her skills (and mine ).

G.
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-22-2012, 08:25 PM
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I would always longe my tw mare before riding her. She had good ground manners and for the most part, was pretty respectful. In the summer, she was obviously more relaxed and had a better mind set for work, however, when it was cold, or the wind was up, so was she.

So, we'd longe both directions to get her focused, warmed up and I'd get a chance to see if there were any glitches in her giddyup before I got on. Seeing where her mind was from the ground told me a lot about what kind of ride I was going to have. She was a difficult horse under saddle so it was, for me, important before riding her. Maybe be longed for 5 min. maybe for 15, it depended on her. You can teach a horse a lot from the ground..there's something to be said for having a horse that far away from you and paying attention to everything you are asking and not having their attention drift.

That said, I had an older qh gelding that I wouldn't ever think of longing. In fact, on a freezing cold Christmas afternoon, I'd pull a bit hanger on him, walk him over to the fence, monkey up onto his back and ride him bareback through the neighborhood. He was great.

I'd agree wholeheartedly about NOT longing in a tight circle. Probably not a good idea to longe on the end of a leadrope..for either of you. If you want to teach him to longe, there really is a lot to learn, for both of you and it's not about having a horse charging around in circles just to tire them out either. That's just plain disrespectful of the horse to do not to mention could cause injury.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-22-2012, 09:16 PM
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-24-2012, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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LAWL @ celeste.

We drink to our youth, to the days come and gone; for the age of oppression is now nearly done.
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post #17 of 18 Old 01-24-2012, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
After a horse is trained well enough that they won't kill me, I just get on and ride without any longe line work.
That is what I do too. I've owned horses that won't even walk once you go on a trail ride and I still just get on and ride it out of them, including my Fox Trotter.

But I have never had a really young horse, so who knows, lunging might be in my near future! If/when I lunge, I really prefer to free lunge in a round pen. I've never been very coordinated with a lunge rope.

PS. Perfect song choice Celeste!
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post #18 of 18 Old 02-01-2012, 11:32 PM
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I actually allow our gaited horses to trot on the lunge line. They however never attempt to trot under saddle. They know the difference. My ssh who is four is the only one who does not trot on a lunge line. I believe she actually doesn't know exactly what a trot is because I have never seen her trot.

Shorty * N * Opie
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