~*~Lunging~*~ - Page 2

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This is a discussion on ~*~Lunging~*~ within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    07-03-2010, 05:50 PM
I think lunging has its time and place, but I would never purchase a horse that had to be lunged every time before a ride. To me this shows the horse either has bad training, a bad back, or a bad temperament that I don't want to be around.

Although I prefer to free lunge, I will lunge if the arena's busy about once a week on my horse's off day. We just don't have a lot of turn out and it's better for him to get out twice a day than once. I lunge long enough to get the blood flowing and his gaits fluent and then I'm done. I may also opt to lunge him if for whatever reason he is incredibly fiesty that day, such as if the rain's really pounding on the tin metal roof of the indoor arena or he hasn't been ridden for a long time. Other than that, for a few riding lessons I will lunge with the trainer coaching me so she can show me what he looks like when he's working correctly.

When he was younger and needed more solid muscling to work well under saddle, he was lunged more often before a ride but certainly not every ride. Almost all days now I just hop on because that's what I expect of a horse I ride and that's what he's capable of.
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    07-03-2010, 06:00 PM
My Arab mare can be "hot" and think she is the boss...lunging and disengaging her hind end seems to help...but my trainer told me to do the same routine everytime...she is a older mare and I am a beginner rider. Learning as we go. Been thrown and bucked off so I think I have earned some rider points! (not by this mare...another post entirely)
    07-03-2010, 06:23 PM
I find the 7 Games to be a better way to find out the horse's mood/physical state, & see his training holes & fix them to the point where it's safe to get on. The Circling game (longeing) is only one of 7. Longeing stresses the tendons, etc. because the horse's anatomy's not very flexible laterally.
    07-03-2010, 09:55 PM
I think it depends on what you want in a horse. I personally wouldn't want something I had to lunge all the time because if they have that much energy you have to lunge them or they will buck you off then to me they are still very capable of doing it when you get in the saddle. But if you compete or anything like that and you have a good horse for what you want but have to lunge it to make it safer and your happy to do this every ride then don't see a problem. However if I was buying a horse there is no way I would by one that needed lunging before I got on!
    07-04-2010, 05:23 AM
I lunge when I can't ride, and only EVER lunge for mental stimulation and strength, I lunge with a purpose to have my horse working as I would like it to be working under saddle. You can't wear a horse out on the lunge, if you let it tear around bucking and kicking in at you, you're merely hotting it up even more! Unless you lunge continuously to the point where the horse has NO energy left (bit pointless to ride them isn't it?), you're not going to entirely wear it out, particularly if that horse is fit. As well as that, how good can allowing them to tear around at a million miles an hour on a small circle be for their joints/tendons??

I'll put a cold backed horse on the lunge for 5 minutes before I get on, not because I think it will buck me off, but because I like to have it happily relaxed through the back before I get on, so it doesn't feel the need to fight me.
If my horse is quite tense however, I much prefer to just do some ground work with it. You don't have a huge degree of control on the lunge if the horse is not in a good frame of mind, so the close you are to the horse, the more control you're going to have. I'll just go back to total basics where the horse has to pay attention, so backing up, walking forward, backing up, walking forward until it relaxes, then ask for yielding of the shoulders and quarters both directions. THEN I'll get on.
I would much rather work the horse in hand to calm it down and get it thinking, than run it around mindlessly to 'wear it out'
    07-04-2010, 07:33 AM
I think you should be able to jump on with no problems ( I can with my horses). That said I do lunge my horses when needed - free lunge for the respect training & lead lunge with roller to build muscle .

I guess it depends on the horse . If you have a horse that is great in every other way but needs to be lunged for 20min before riding its not that bad.
    07-04-2010, 07:22 PM
I personally would never own a horse that I had to lunge for 20 minutes before I ever got on. I expect a lot out of my horses and if I want to catch them out of the pasture after a month off, throw the saddle on, and lope off, then that's what I will do. All of mine figure out that misbehaving under saddle, even when fresh, equals getting their butt worked off before the day's work ever starts. Even those cold backed horses like my Dad's horse Pokey don't get a nice little warm up before they accept a rider because they know that even when they are feeling froggy, acting up results in swift punishment (usually trotting lots and lots of tiny little circles with their nose to the stirrup). I expect this from even my green horses. After the first few days, I expect them to calmly get caught, get saddled, walk out of the barn, and accept the rider with no misbehavior and no warm up. And because I expect it, holy cow what a miracle, it happens.
    07-04-2010, 07:46 PM
^ Exactly. Although, I think those who do lunge before they get on are generally those who aren't equipped or confident to handle anything the horse may do when mounted.

The most I do before getting on is a bit of walking to let the saddle settle. Bundy has a few back issues and I find this really halps him be more comfortable - And now it is becoming habit with Latte. However, it only takes like, a minute.

I have no use for a horse I can't get on and ride. My horses are all pasture kept, so excess/pent up energy isn't an issue, but I wouldn't really call it an issue/excuse even if they were.

I would rather channel extra energy into work than get it out on the lunge - I love horses with a bit of fire in them and can't stand lazy horses (Hellooooo Bundy, lol).

Those who lunge before they get on I find are generally creating the issue themselves, and don't have high enough expectations of their horses.
    07-05-2010, 11:55 PM
I know a horse who has issues with his legs and feet, and will go lame or at least be uncomfortable if you get on him without warming him up on the longe first. His owner sort of uses this as a crutch- she's a bit timid, and he's an OTTB, but I've been working with him, and he really does ride better if he's been longed before I get on.
    07-08-2010, 06:35 AM
I don't have anything against lunging before you ride to get rid of too much energy, but personally I always just get on and ride it out.

As of yet, I have not yet ridden a horse that bucks like a wild bronco at the beginning of a ride, so as long as it's not anything that will definitely get me off (a few bucks at the beginning of a session is alright) I just get on and work out the fizzies and excitement.

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