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This is a discussion on Lunging within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Free lunging with a headstall and saddle on
  • Free lunging exercises for horses

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    02-26-2010, 05:52 AM
Green Broke

Ok I have recently come up with soo many questions about lunging, and when I get a question in my head it usually doesn't go away

I read somewhere someone said not to use side rein at a walk because it restricts the movement. How is it possible to not use side reins at a walk but a trot??
That got me really confused

Also are reins attached to stirrups ok with lunging?
Is it like side reins?

Or is it best to work with the bridle or the lungung cavesson?

Most of the other questions relates to free lunging

Do you need a round pen to free lunge or can you use an arena??

How do you teach your horse to free lunge if in an arena?

Would it be safe to free lunge with saddle and bridle on??

Lots of questions :)
I will probably never use the answers in real life its just I really like to know this stuff, but I am really interested in free lunging

Thanks in advance if your able to answer any of the questions
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    02-26-2010, 07:49 AM
As far as side reins at a walk, head over to the Dressage forum and look at the thread I started on side reins and following hands. I had similar concerns about them restricting motion too much and ruining my guy's "Forward", and I got some excellent responses.

I would not attach the side rein to stirrups. Far better off to attach them to the girth of your English saddle, or to a lunging surcingle. The stirrups will swing and negate the good side of the restricting action, not to mention they will just act like the worlds worst hands and jerk on the bit when they move.

If you're using side reins, use a bridle. Pretty much the whole point of the side reins is establishing correct contact with the bit, not a halter/cavesson. If you aren't using side reins, the lunging cavesson tends to be preferred. I've always just used a well fitting halter, and I've never had a problem with the horse not responding to it or running through it.

I have used an arena to free lunge, there's just a lot of space to cover. If the horse has never done it before, I would start in a round pen or get them very solid lunging on a line first. My first horse was very solid on a line, and when I free lunged him he was very capable of staying on a circle fairly close to me (i.e. Dennis Reis' Invisible Round pen) rather than barreling around the arena rail.

If you're starting the free lunging in an arena, I would say start with the line. Get him solid on a traditional circle and going through the normal roundpenning/NH lunging maneuvers there. When he's good there and really reading you, turn that circle into your arena's rectangle shape. It's going to be a workout for you, so a rope that's long enough for you to stay near the middle and do less running is a good thing. He'll need a couple of laps both ways to understand that nothing has changed, but when he's reading you again, go ahead and turn him loose. If it all goes to pot, go back to the line and prepare some more.

I wouldn't free lunge in tack. Some horses will roll when they get loose, especially in an area as open and dusty as an arena, and that puts some abuse on the saddle, not to mention the risk for getting tangled. If I free lunge, the most the horse wears is a halter. In a roundpen there's a little less space and incentive to roll, so maybe I'd roundpen with a saddle, but I'd still leave the halter. If you do roundpen in a bridle, take the reins off to avoid them getting tangled or stepped through.

Hope that was helpful to you, and good luck!
    02-26-2010, 07:57 AM
Green Broke
Wow thankyou and I will look uo your post in the dressage forum :)
    02-26-2010, 10:33 AM
I lunge frida in side reins connected to a surcingle with the reins attached to a bridle (noseband removed) but the lunge line attached to a caveson. I love my lungeing cavesson when she's lungeing without side reins. I really think Frida appreciates it too, must be clearer, more concise. I've never attempted to free lunge her in the arena, but I've seen others do it with disasterous results so I just stick with a round pen for that kind of work because I know she has a tendency to zone in and out right now. When I see she can maintain focus during our training sessions, taking more responsibility for her direction, speed, and balance, maybe I'll try to free lunge her in the arena. Right now she still needs reminders. I've seen people twist the reins up and under the throat latch of the bridle, but I would rather take the time to take them on and off the bridle because I don't want my reins getting all twisted or cracked.
    03-07-2010, 11:03 PM
Green Broke
Ok I just thought of another question
I was just reading groundwork exercises for horses and I'm pretty sure it was sugessting to be able to change direction by getting the horse to turn on the forehand, then turn on its haunches

Would this be safe?

I would lunge in a cavesson with it attached the the middle loop
This actually brings me to another question at pony club yesterday we had a person come in to talk to us about lunging and she said to put the lunge rope on the middle hoop, but I was told a while back you should put it on the side that you are lunging if that makes sense.
What is right?
    03-16-2010, 07:38 PM
Green Broke
Bumping anyone??
    03-16-2010, 09:55 PM
Originally Posted by RedTree    
Ok I just thought of another question
I was just reading groundwork exercises for horses and I'm pretty sure it was sugessting to be able to change direction by getting the horse to turn on the forehand, then turn on its haunches

Would this be safe?
All groundwork is good if it takes common sense into account.

My boy could do leg yields, turn on the forehand and hind, shoulder in and the start of the half pass, back up and trot in a frame at age 2 before I even sat on him.
    04-25-2010, 12:24 AM
Green Broke
Another question :)

When lunging I usually only do walk trot transitions because he has always been unbalanced at the canter well the other day I though I would try cantering of course I was on the bad side to start off with and well I got like a stride out but the other side I got like half a circle then slowed him down.
Well I have to questions releating to this
1) I don't think he knows what I'm asking as he goes faster then eventually goes into a canter How would I teach him the voice command for canter?
2) Should I start with bad side not canter do good side canter then go back to bad side then ask for canter?

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