02-07-2012, 02:47 PM
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Ist - what do you plan to use around the horse's head - do you have a cavesson , or a training halter, or a bridle?
1st /b - do you think your horse is calm enough to use a bridle - with a very mild bit?
2nd - are your going to use a surcingle??
3rd are you going to use side reins , or pessoa fittings or nothing?
4th is the flat, level, soft sandy training arena big enough?
5th have you access to a lungeing whip?
Since you have never done this before, and there are some questions as to how to fit the horse and try it - then I do suggest you go watch somebody else lungeing before you buy the equipment. Lungeing is one of those activities which can help with training the horse - young, middling or old, but the handler must have some idea of what they are trying to achieve.
When lungeing my mare I have several objectives:
1/ to exercise her without taking her out in the lane
2/ to teach her to respond to commands given through a lead line attached to a mild bit,
3/ to teach her to jump (as if she didn't know)
4/ to teach her to negotiate objects which might frighten her - barrels, poles, buckets, plastic sheeting - you name it, anything you can think of that she won't find in a grazing pasture and she will freak at.
5/ to teach her to follow me at the walk with minimal pressure on the lead rope by her responding to my body posture and position.
6/ to teach her to respond to a light contact on the bit in her mouth
7/ to develop her muscles so as to encourage her to adopt a rounded outline, with the muzzle pointed downwards and her hind legs coming up under her body.
8/ generally to give her confidence that she can face hazards without a rider on her back.
Now, my horse will do a lot of things with a rider on her back, but getting her to do the same things without a rider sometimes proves to be surprisingly difficult and I am never quite sure why - but I do allow for her being a mare.
Every now and again she will flip and I am left holding at the end of a twenty foot lead line, a 550 kilo horse galloping around the arena like a whirling dervish. The faster she goes, the more dizzy I feel. I shall be OK as long as I don't let go of the lead line and neither do I get tangled up in it.
So, - before you ask what to do - what is your objective and do you have the right equipment and facilities?
Today my mare spent half an hour going round and round in circles at walk trot and canter. She then decided that she didn't want to walk over poles laid flat on the ground - so we yet again showed her how to do it.
Then we did some walking , here, there, everywhere, with her at my shoulder
Without my saying a word or putting pressure on the lead rope.
Finally we dropped the lead rope on the ground and with her standing loose
I picked the sand out of her hooves and undid all the straps.
Then I took her in and wrapped her up again - the temperature was barely above freezing.
There is a knack in lungeing - if you can get the 'feel' of doing it then it is a useful training exercise. I am a fan of lungeing but the handler has to know what he/she is doing and why.
Oh I forgot, during the middle of our session today, the guy next door started up his chainsaw and the horses from the local hunt kennels went past on exercise. She freaked out on both occasions.
If you try it, make sure you wear gloves and a pair of sturdy boots with reinforced toe caps.