Lunging concern - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-21-2008, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Lunging concern

Well.. Its not really an issue, but more of a question... I started to lunge my qh again before riding, because it's getting colder and also I can't ride for weeks because of the weather (rain/strong wind) so need her to run off some energy before getting on. However she always starts cantering, jumping in air with all four and bucking like crazy at times. I can't say she's doing it towards me as well as she's not trying to pull away. Just TOO much energy (she's just 4.5 years and fed well PLUS I stall her when it's rainy (this is her choice)). If I try to change directions (see CA or Parelli methods... ) she does it and takes off other directions flying, jumping and bucking. BTW, my other one is much quieter on lunge.

So here's my concern. Could it be too tough for her joints and legs? She usually runs like that for 3-5 mins and then go to slower trot (and she's not even sweating). I keep the lunge rather long so it would be easier on her legs, but just not sure...
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-21-2008, 06:06 PM
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lunging on a line itself is hard on their joints because of the circle. I would think also that if she's constantly bucking and cowhopping on the line it would be hard also, but I'm not too positive
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-21-2008, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Well, there is no round pen around unfortunately, just an arena. It's rather hard to run around arena after her...
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-21-2008, 09:56 PM
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Some horses, especially young ones, need to get the energy out on the lunge line before a ride. It's safer for you, and creates an atmosphere where you don't have to discipline her and start a fight (as it would u/s).

Its up to you what you want to accomplish on the lunge line. Once she is a little older/out of this "stage" you will proably have less issues on the lunge line. You can also verbally reprimand her when she bucks/etc... "EH EH EH! NO!" usually works well. And then a praise when she settles works well too.
If you want to use the lunging time as a training time, then get after her for the behavior. If you want to more or less get out the sillies before you ride, then don't worry too much about it.
I doubt it is agression toward you, it sounds like she's just letting loose a little.

As far as her legs go, as long as you keep her on a big circle (at least 20m) she should be fine. If she is really racing around and being silly to the point where she's losing her footing, then it may be a problem. Try lunging with side reins to encourage her to balance herself better.
Also, polo wraps or some sort of boots will give her some added protection when she's being silly.
If it's only lasting a few minutes I wouldn't worry too much about it, just keep the circle big. They aren't quite as fragile as we sometimes think :)


"The white horse moved like a dancer, which is not surprising: a horse is a beautiful animal, but it is perhaps most remarkable because it moves as if it always hears music."
-Mark Helprin-
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-21-2008, 11:02 PM
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I agree with hrt4dressage, I don't think it will do too much damage to her unless she slips and falls. Keep the circle big. Given her age, she should be nearly through growing so you don't need to worry about deformed growth plates or anything. Even though it won't hurt her, I would work to get her out of the habit of bucking anytime there is a saddle on her back. That can lead to more serious problems. Bucking and playing is fine when she is loose but she should know by now that the saddle means it is business time.

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post #6 of 15 Old 11-22-2008, 12:13 AM
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What I would do if you are just lungeing to get her energy out, is take her in the arena with a lunge whip ( for your safety) and let her go before putting the saddle on. I still do this with my 17 yr old and he will do his fancy trot then break to a canter and then full blown thoroughbred run ( he was a successful racer) It is so fun to watch him go!! This is a great way to let them burn energy while being on good footing and you don't have to worry about small circles and such. You can also use the whip to drive them in the other direction so they get a little work on both sides.

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post #7 of 15 Old 11-23-2008, 03:39 AM
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I'm personally fine with a horse being a complete idiot on the lunge line, as long as they don't get near me and they don't pull on me and go the direction I want them to go. Heck, I've been known to encourage it. Of course, this is after they have learned how to behave properly on the lunge line. I've never had a problem with it hurting their joints, and I use them (with older horses) to let them play. It's safer for both of you to do it on the lunge line than with you in the saddle. It makes your ride easer. Know your horse, know what's safe, and go with it.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-23-2008, 08:48 AM
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Acting up on a lunge is fine provided they are not under saddle. I'll allow my horse the freedom of a few bucks but if he has a saddle on, then it is a no-no. The saddle means work and I don't want my horses to think that it is permissible to buck with a saddle on.

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post #9 of 15 Old 11-23-2008, 02:24 PM
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Be careful with letting her loose in the arena and just letting her gallop until she gets the energy out... b/c with my horse, that only creates mroe energy. Without the lunge line or a round pen you also lose the ability to control the horses speed, up or down. If your horse gallops off to the other end up the arena, it's more a workout for YOU running to the other end to catch up than anything. You cant stand in the center of the ring and expect to have the slightest bit of control...

I think your lunging is fine.


"The white horse moved like a dancer, which is not surprising: a horse is a beautiful animal, but it is perhaps most remarkable because it moves as if it always hears music."
-Mark Helprin-
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-23-2008, 09:34 PM
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its good for a horse to be lunged before riding. lunging lets them get it all out before you get on. it can be kinda scary having a horse bucking right in front of you, but try and stay out of the way. if the horse gets too close, put the pressure on to move them away.
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