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Benefits of Lunging?

This is a discussion on Benefits of Lunging? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        03-08-2010, 10:32 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    I lunge for different reasons. When my goofy arab mare has a spaz and looses all focus when on the ground just leading or w/e im doing Ill stick her in the round pen and free lunge to regain her focus. It works well for her.

    I never lunge romeo...he doesnt ever need it...for any reason...the only reason I lunge him is to make sure he remembers how to....so maybe once every 3-5 months? I also sometimes lunge him when its to cold or yucky to ride but he needs some exrecise.

    I believe lunging can be a way to bond with your horses as well if done right. Im a firm believer in the Join-up technique and I've preformed it with both my horses. Round penning can also be used for respect and punishment.

    If Bause losses focus but doesnt throw a fit ill only get her moving for a few minutes to re focus her and its just trotting. This mare is also fat an sorta lazy...but my lord she can pitch one holy fit from hell. In these situations I make her fat Butt Run till she chooses to properly listen and give me the respect I expect. Once she is listening to her voice cues I stop and we go back to buisness as usual. She knows the difference in a kind "hello pay attention please" and "Your running because you can't act proper" she is a super intelligant horse. If I saw that she didnt know the difference I would find a better way to do things. Example is romeo doesnt give a flip why he is in the roundpen he just does it. Blah end of story. He doesnt enjoy backing up though to when he gets in trouble on the ground he has to back up. Simple as what works for each individual animal.

    I also only believe that ground work fixes ground work, saddle work fixes saddle work. If the horse has handling issues on the ground, then the round pen is an option. If your only leading at a walk and the horse throws a fit and you make them run circles they go "Geez I was only having to walk...now im having to run. I shouldnt do that again if I don't want to run." If its an issue undersaddle it has to be fixed under saddle. Getting off and lunging for issues undersaddle just makes the problem worse. The horse sees it as "Hmm...I threw a fit and the rider is off now all I have to do is run a few circles instead of ride..."

    So does lunging have benefits? Yes, its a great tool for respect, bonding, focus and on occasion punishment depending on the horse. Should it be used to fix all issues? Heck no...only ground issues...not saddle issues. Do your horses need to know how to lunge? Probably not so long as they don't give you an issue.
         
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        03-08-2010, 11:36 AM
      #12
    Foal
    I don't know if this will apply to you but I've been using lunging to teach my 2 yr old his voice commands and get a little exercise (cant ride him so there isnt much in the way of "work" that I can do with him. I can't lunge for too long since his knees arent set yet,but a few minutes both ways before we work on other stuff gets him warmed up and paying attention.
         
        03-08-2010, 12:56 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    I too lunge for a couple different reasons.

    NEVER to tire a horse out...people who do that have missed the point.

    My arab mare needs to be lunged a bit to have a good ride. I tack her up and put her through her paces in the pen. She bucks, leaps, snorts, gets all her yayas out. If I fail to longe her before riding, she is spooky and has a lot of excess energy that I sometimes do not care to deal with when I just want a leisurely ride. I also do it to work on her voice commands from the ground, which I think helps translate directly into the saddle. Not saying saddle issues should be solved on the ground and so forth...it's just another piece of the puzzle that ultimately helps you communicate easier with your horse.

    There are periods when we don't ride for a couple days and have just walked in hand around the neighborhood. W/t on the line is a helpful way to continue our schooling and help keep her in some sort of workout routine.

    With the new guy, we need to be excersising him but he can not walk on hard surfaces (i.e. Pavement or roads) until his feet grow out a bit more. So handwalking is out for now. In place of this, every other day we are and will be lunging him for gradually longer periods in the soft sand of the pen. He is really out of condition and has not been worked for two years...when we first started he was stubborn and obstinate and kicked. Second time around I can at least get him to go in both directions without throwing a fit and he is responding better to voice cues. It's also helping him learn that I am the lead mare here and I will not let him get away with being a butt. Easing him back into the mindset of work.

    If we were not lunging I could foresee many problems down the road.

    So in short...I think lunging is a useful skill. It warms them up...would you ask an athlete to perform without warming up? Taking my mare who has been napping all morning and just hopping on her and asking her to tackle some hills would qualify her as an athlete in my mind. It gets them in the mindset of schooling and is useful for those times when you aren't riding as often, or there is no other form of excersise available. Just my personal opinion, not telling anyone else how to handle their horses. What works for some people may not work for others and whatnot.
         
        03-08-2010, 12:58 PM
      #14
    Started
    NEVER to tire a horse out...people who do that have missed the point.


    So in short...I think lunging is a useful skill. It warms them up...would you ask an athlete to perform without warming up? Taking my mare who has been napping all morning and just hopping on her and asking her to tackle some hills would qualify her as an athlete in my mind. It gets them in the mindset of schooling and is useful for those times when you aren't riding as often, or there is no other form of excersise available. Just my personal opinion, not telling anyone else how to handle their horses. What works for some people may not work for others and whatnot.[/QUOTE]
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    Agreed chesire!!!
         
        03-08-2010, 02:38 PM
      #15
    Foal
    Don't do much lunging but I do a lot of ground work. Seems to build a stronger foundation. Start em young with ground work and move them along and most turn out steady headed and ready to move on.
         
        03-08-2010, 05:15 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    No I don't lunge. I barely have enough time to ride. I used to lunge my horse but it became pointless. I also learned how to lope on a lunge. The only time I EVER lunge is after a workout and my legs are sore I just let him walk around me and cool off.
         
        03-08-2010, 05:45 PM
      #17
    Trained
    I rarely get out a lunge line and lunge my riding mare, it's much more fun to just ride. I do a little free-lunging in the pasture when they are feeling fresh, and it's more a game than anything. I also do some free-lunging in the pasture when she "forgets" how to be caught. When I do use a lunge line, it's when I think she's off or a little lame and want a better look to see if she is and on what leg. It's also the way I check to see if she's okay to be ridden again after coming up lame.

    My little one is too young to be ridden, so I lunge her two or three times a week, about ten minutes each time. Just enough work to get her focusing on something, as well as getting her used to moving with a surcingle and bridle on.

    I think all horses should be taught how to lunge for no other reason than if they need to be rehomed. It's that fact alone that I think all horses should be taught everything they could ever possibly need to know. Just because you don't believe in, say, giving your horse a bath, doesn't mean that he won't need to learn how to be bathed in another home.
         
        03-08-2010, 05:53 PM
      #18
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cheshire    
    I too lunge for a couple different reasons.

    NEVER to tire a horse out...people who do that have missed the point.

    My arab mare needs to be lunged a bit to have a good ride. I tack her up and put her through her paces in the pen. She bucks, leaps, snorts, gets all her yayas out. If I fail to longe her before riding, she is spooky and has a lot of excess energy that I sometimes do not care to deal with when I just want a leisurely ride. I also do it to work on her voice commands from the ground, which I think helps translate directly into the saddle. Not saying saddle issues should be solved on the ground and so forth...it's just another piece of the puzzle that ultimately helps you communicate easier with your horse.

    There are periods when we don't ride for a couple days and have just walked in hand around the neighborhood. W/t on the line is a helpful way to continue our schooling and help keep her in some sort of workout routine.

    With the new guy, we need to be excersising him but he can not walk on hard surfaces (i.e. Pavement or roads) until his feet grow out a bit more. So handwalking is out for now. In place of this, every other day we are and will be lunging him for gradually longer periods in the soft sand of the pen. He is really out of condition and has not been worked for two years...when we first started he was stubborn and obstinate and kicked. Second time around I can at least get him to go in both directions without throwing a fit and he is responding better to voice cues. It's also helping him learn that I am the lead mare here and I will not let him get away with being a butt. Easing him back into the mindset of work.

    If we were not lunging I could foresee many problems down the road.

    So in short...I think lunging is a useful skill. It warms them up...would you ask an athlete to perform without warming up? Taking my mare who has been napping all morning and just hopping on her and asking her to tackle some hills would qualify her as an athlete in my mind. It gets them in the mindset of schooling and is useful for those times when you aren't riding as often, or there is no other form of excersise available. Just my personal opinion, not telling anyone else how to handle their horses. What works for some people may not work for others and whatnot.
    I couldn't agree with you more!
         
        03-08-2010, 06:02 PM
      #19
    Showing
    I'm not a lunger either, but I did teach Saro just for exercise. When she was having problems with stiffle lock, there was a problem with her falling when under saddle. It was the best way to exercise her. Other than that I prefer close work.
    I can see it being good exercise for an out of shape horse too.
         
        03-10-2010, 11:46 AM
      #20
    Foal
    Thanks for all of the posts guys!

    So if I understand correctly, it's pretty much up to if I want to do it or not? It's not one of those things that -has- to be done?

    I'm thinking about using Reykur in the Extreme Cowboy events, since I've never ridden him before and it's been at least a year since he was last ridden, think it would be a good idea then, to work with him using lunging and an obstacle course? Also, I've been and still am sick so I'm not able to ride right now. It will probably be a few more weeks before I can ride at all, even then I will have to take it slow for a while.

    Thank you so much for the information and advise!
         

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