Originally Posted by Saskia
Lunging isn't that important. I'd be reluctant to lunge a young, inexperienced horse if I'd never lunged before. Its not particularly hard, but its easy to get tangled up if you don't know what you are doing. Do you need to lunge? Do you have a round yard?
Sorry Saskia, I completely disagree!! I think Lunging is very important for every horse to know and is a good foundation for both horse and owner/rider as it allows a horse to be sent away, to come back, listen to vocal commands, and, where a bit fresh, can let themselves have the buck and a fart before riding ;)
I wasn't a huge fan of lunging, until I got Duffy in the condition she was and I wasn't prepared to ride the poor horse like that, so to get her to move, and use her hind legs correctly. When done correctly its a great workout!
Firstly, I don't know enough about starting a horse lunging, so hopefully someone will give some help.
Best place is a round pen, if not, mark off half a school with jumps so that a horse, especially a young one, can't barge out.
Start by lunging in a good headcollar so you don't pull his mouth too much, not too sure if a cavesson will work better, I've never used one!
Always wear gloves.
I'd start by leading him round, and if he is booted, possibly good idea, as if he spooks or gets faster because he's learning he won't catch himself. As you're leading him around, have the lunge whip trailing behind you so he is aware its there and you don't suddenly brandish it. Slowly start moving away from him round by round, bringing the lunge whip round to his hind quarters, but pointed down, praise when he walks on his own. If he domes towards you, walk towards him, and point the whip at his barrel with an 'out'.
I'd go like this to start off with, lots of praise. Make sure he's listening to you with his inside ear. For a young horse its going to be harder to keep his concentration, so don't over do it.
When you're ready, ask for trot on, flick the whip, step towards his hind end, that's his motor, and if he doesn't get it at first, keep asking, once he's got it, loads of praise!
As for bringing him back down to a walk, position yourself out his fore, lower the whip and wooaah, its easier if he knows this from groundwork as well. If he doesn't respond, I normally go right to the front of Duffy as to cut her off, whip pointed at her bum so she can't spin, and a tug on the lunge line with a 'SCHRITT' nice and clear.. walk in German ;)
I hope someone else can develop this a bit??
Also do things like poles, walking around, over, stopping between and over, walkking backwards in hand etc. Great bonding time!