I'm just curious....

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I'm just curious....

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    07-15-2009, 01:41 AM
I'm just curious....

I've always heard/read that you shouldnt do much lunging with 2yr/olds because it can cause growth/joint problems. But what I don't understand is young horse do much more, harsh (is that the right word?) things on their own, running, bucking, etc... So my question is why would lunging them be hard on their joints?

Just curious :)
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    07-15-2009, 01:57 AM
Doing smallish circles is the problem. If you were doing big ones - eg. The end of a 45' line or such, or if you weren't doing endless circles in one direction - eg. Just a few circles in each direction/speed, that should be OK.
    07-15-2009, 02:00 AM
It is the continuous circling and usually the ground slopes in the round pen when it is used a lot too and that also causes strains on the joints.
So when they are out playing they are usually changing directions and it isn't a constant strain like circling over and over in one direction on sloped ground in a somewhat tight circle is.

That is why ponying is great so you can get out there and long trot for conditioning. A lot of trainers will put young horses on a hot walker at a walk for an hour a day to condition them (still somewhat of a strain, but not as bad as trotting or loping). Line driving is another good option.

I will round pen my youngens, but I try to limit what I do and I change directions frequently.
    07-15-2009, 10:12 AM
It's the repetition and torque that's the problem.

Most horses don't go in a 20m circle more than once or twice before going straight or changing direction (on their own).

Lunging is more repetitive stress. Think of it as a bit like carpal tunnel. The actual motion that got you it isn't the problem, the issue is with the repetition.
    07-15-2009, 10:29 AM
Super Moderator
...which always confuses me becasue many horse circuits have longing classes, for yearlings and 2 year olds... why is that? Knowing the damage it could cause...
    07-15-2009, 10:39 AM
I WILL lunge my filly when I get her if it's necessary. Not hard. I think it's a must to gain respect from a pushy horse. I won't be doing it for exercise, but if she balks at me, you betcha I'm going to get her feet moving.
    07-15-2009, 10:41 AM
Super Moderator
I longe mine. Not everday but I longe him sometimes before I ride...to get the edge off...

I did a TON of in-hand work w/ him when he was a baby. We backed and side passed, I led him, we trotted and halted... did all the stuff you see in showmanship. I think it helped us to bond...
    07-15-2009, 10:44 AM
I really don't beleive that this could cause any damage. Its just always better to try and make your circles larger.

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