Why is Monty Roberts against lunging? - Page 5

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Why is Monty Roberts against lunging?

This is a discussion on Why is Monty Roberts against lunging? within the Horse Trainers forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    08-23-2012, 06:36 PM
Super Moderator

Lungeing should never be used to wear a horse out - it defeats the object of it. I use it as part of a horses education to understand commands prior to riding whan those commands get translated into cues from the rider - it may not the US way of doing things but its how many of us break horses in the UK
My horses have to work on a loose line so no pulling on the head. They have to learn how to walk, trot, canter, whoa, back up and turn. I wouldn't essentially go from whoa (stand still) into turn or back up as this creates a pattern that the horse soon picks up and does automatically rather than listening to me. I also start horses off jumping on the lunge before moving on to loose work.
I know nothing about reining but I'm sure that the training involved in producing horses for that is going to be very different.
darlaflack likes this.
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    08-24-2012, 11:27 AM
I think there are a lot of people out there who don't really "get" lunging, and they use it (or think it's used) just to take the edge off a spirited horse, get the bucks out before riding, etc.

And those same people will put a lunge line on the horse and chase it in an unbalanced, banking-to-the-inside, whip-cracking, frenzied, dirt-flying-everywhere circle until the horse has worn itself out to a satisfactory level. Then they get on and ride and have to fix the horse's tendency to want to speed up in order to balance itself.

I'm not in that camp. I believe lunging (when done well and with a "plan") can be very useful for developing balance, rhythm, and it's great for teaching voice commands. I don't really like lunging exclusively in a round pen because I don't want the horse to "use" that barrier to guide its direction.

I've seen some horses that have been round-penned so much that, if you take that outside wall away from them and lunge them in a larger arena or open area, they don't know what to do with the back half of their body. They're usually the same horses that have only experienced "lunging" as what I described above - being "chased in a circle" until they were worn out, but having learned nothing else from the experience.

Personally, I don't like having a horse that turns in to face me all the time. When I lunge my horse, and I tell him to "whoa," he stops on the circle and waits. Sometimes I'll have him move on again. Sometimes I'll walk out to him and do a full walk around him while he stands there (good practice for ground-tying). Sometimes I'll pat him on the neck for a job well done. Sometimes I will change the setup of the lunge line and begin working him in the other direction. But in all cases, he stands and waits for further instruction.

Lunging is just one of those things that, to me, works well when it's done well. And it's useless or even harmful if it's done poorly.

But at some point, if you're going to use that horse as a riding horse, you do have to actually get in the saddle and learn how to deal with a horse that hasn't had all of the "bucks" lunged out of him.
tinyliny and jaydee like this.
    08-24-2012, 12:09 PM
Also do not confuse saying whoa and having the horse stop and back up with disingauging the rear end. When I say whoa I want the horse to stop stay straight and at the very least think about backing up. If I want the horse to change direction or such I will disingauge their rear end. It is a different cue.
Jolly Badger likes this.
    09-06-2012, 10:20 PM
Originally Posted by corymbia    
Appreciate info from knowledgeable users of MR or similar on why MR thinks lunging is so bad for horses.

What are the differences between chasing a horse in Join-Up (MR) or lunging it on a line? And what is the difference between the long reining MR does and ordinary lunging with two lines?

Any insights would be great. Thanks
I google searched for that question and I found a section of his website called Ask Monty, someone asked that same question and here is that part of the posting. The entire page can be found at this link:
Monty Roberts | Join Up Ask Monty

"Question: Why do you dislike single-line lunging?

Answer: I consider single line lunging the second worst piece of horsemanship there is. Just think about it and it’s obvious.

A secretary working with a telephone propped to her ear, balanced off her shoulder for any amount of time generally gets a crick in her neck and a backache. Hang the weight of even a light long line on one side of y our horse’s head for any amount of time and it will affect how the horse carries its head, which in turn will affect hot its body travels as well – out of balance.

Double line lunging (also called ground driving) incorporates a long line of each side of the horse’s body allowing it to move in a natural and balanced manner. This is what we desire. The horse will be more comfortable and able to concentrate on his lesson and the messages your are transmitting through long lines.

Don’t forget that you can continue to incorporate your body language in the driving or blocking positions as additional communication aids. On double long lines you can teach and the horse can learn contact. On a single long line, you can non-abusively only teach voice commands while your horse is circling – constantly out of balance.

~ Monty
    09-07-2012, 12:02 PM
Super Moderator
A lot of people use what we call long reining in the UK as a next step from lunging to train a horse to move forwards while you are walking behind it and respond to direction and resistance from the reins - not just work in a circle. I've done both and couldn't see any huge benefit in long reining so not a fan of it but if people like that method and get good results for what they want to do then its really down to personal choice
When you work a horse in a circle using a rein off either side the horse has to also get used to having a rein drawn around its rear end and you have to be able to handle two reins and maybe also a whip which for most people is too much to deal with if the horse is totally green to whats going on as well.
I've worked horses like this in a circle and if Monty thinks that you can maintain even pressure on both reins he is very wrong
Some horse react really badly to this way of lunging with some pretty disastrous results but most will deal with one rein happily when they understand whats being asked of them. A horse should be constantly turned on the lunge - no one should be working a horse for long enough in one direction to cause the type of RSI you see in office staff and other people who work in similar conditions so I think his comparisons are well out
    09-07-2012, 12:06 PM
Jaydee I'm not agreeing nor disagreeing. I was simply providing the answer to the question....don't shoot the messenger!
    09-07-2012, 12:09 PM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by AbsitVita    
Jaydee I'm not agreeing nor disagreeing. I was simply providing the answer to the question....don't shoot the messenger!
Oh no - sorry, apologies. That's not what I meant to do at all, I get annoyed with some of the stuff people like Monty hurl out so it often comes out wrong
Please forgive me !!!!!!
    09-07-2012, 01:10 PM
I do some double reining when I first start a green horse but only a small amount. It is more just a way for me to make sure they understand pressure and it also serves to get the horse better broke as they have to get use to the lines hitting them all over and flipping around them.
    09-16-2012, 10:21 PM
Hmmm when I longe (correct spelling) a horse, he or she doesn't pull on the line, nor do I pull on him or her. If the horse is pulling, then you're doing something wrong.....when you use a single line to longe, the horse should be made to balance hi self, why on earth would you allow a horse to pull and race around like a lunatic is quite simply beyond the realms of acceptable behaviour for a horse, if a horse is pushing or pulling against me, then it is disrespecting me. You CAN get a horse to balance himself on a SINGLE longe line, and all it requires is eye contact.....also using driving reins can help balance a horse, but he has four legs, let him use them and balance himself.....we hold the hand of a baby to help him learn to walk, but eventually we let that hand go and watch him run.....why is it any different with a horse?

Also, just re-read one of the posts above quoting MR, haha had to laugh, there is no way while I've got driving reins on a horse am I going to help the horse balance, the only way to do that is to apply contact to his face and let him lean on me because I am on the ground, like I said a horse has four legs, let him use them....and the rest comes down to people having some common sense, of course if you long line a horse in a small round pen it's going to use the round shape of the pen to balance himself, put him in a wide open arena with no shape to it and he'll quit stumbling around and balance himself.....heck no horse wants to fall over....
Jolly Badger likes this.
    09-20-2012, 05:30 AM
Just replying to the thread title... Because it shows you can teach a horse a lot more in a yard than getting them to run around & then submit to you!

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