Lunging Exercises?

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Lunging Exercises?

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  • Horse riding lunging excercises for horse
  • Lunging a horse for exercise

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    05-13-2011, 01:30 PM
Lunging Exercises?

Hello! I just recently found out I was pregnant! I had planned on riding up until 12 weeks but due to some complications I am unable to now. My trainer will ride my horse when she can, but in between rides I will be alternating turn out and lunging (because I'd hate to do it more than twice a week) and I need to know how to get the most out of my lunging sessions!

Besides just lunging on a big circle (I walk with him and usually use the whole length of the arena to make it less stressful on his joints) I also will periodically adjust the circle size from smaller then push him out to the whole 20m....but that's all I got!
ANy suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If it matters, he's a 13y/o 16.2hh TB that I use for eventing. Thanks!
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    05-13-2011, 02:32 PM
Green Broke
You could add cavalettis to your lunging routine. Just make sure someone else sets them up for you....gotta take care of that baby!
    05-13-2011, 04:05 PM
I train all of the horses I work with to lunge by vocal commands. It does take a little bit of time, but it is a mental exercise as well as physical for them. If I tell Jack to "walk" he walks. If he tries to speed up I step in front of the girth line and say, "At at! Walk" They get it pretty quickly. For a trot/gait I smooch. For a canter I say,"Hup" He also knows what "Easy" means. Slow down and quit being a turd! Lol. You could also try putting things in the arena while lunging. Tarps, barrels, plywood, stairs, anything and everything you can think of to desensitize. You could also start teaching him a few tricks.
    05-13-2011, 05:32 PM
You could do some join-up, or you can even add obstacles for your horse to go through. It keeps them more alert to you, and from getting less bored. If you just ahve your horse go in endless circles, then they will think that there is no point in it. But if you give them an obstacle, they will see the point in your game, and begin to look forward to lunging. If they spook at it, let them turn away, if they don't, then ask them to do it at the walk (first), trot (second), and canter(last). Just an idea(:
    05-13-2011, 09:32 PM
You can do lots of "sending" exercises on the lunge! With you standing still, you can send him between you and a fence. Gets him used to going into narrow spaces. In between barrels, cones, whatever. Is he bad with trailering? See if you can have the trailer brought into the arena and send him between you and the trailer, eventually working him to send him into it.

Practice lots of yielding the hindquarters, moving the forehand over, backing up.

There's lots to be done on the ground besides lunging in a big ol' circle! :)
    05-14-2011, 04:48 AM
Thanks for the ideas! He is already very keen on his voice commands, so I (or someone will have to set up poles or cavaletti for him. I also agree lots of ground work would be beneficial...I am looking at the next 7 months as a good time for us to build our "personal" relationship since a lot of the time with riding it's based on our "working" relationship.
    05-14-2011, 06:39 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by GeminiJumper    
You can do lots of "sending" exercises on the lunge! With you standing still, you can send him between you and a fence. Gets him used to going into narrow spaces. In between barrels, cones, whatever. Is he bad with trailering? See if you can have the trailer brought into the arena and send him between you and the trailer, eventually working him to send him into it.

Was just interested in how you would go about that
    05-14-2011, 03:44 PM
Originally Posted by RedTree    
Was just interested in how you would go about that
First, to be able to "send" your horse anywhere you need to have the basics down of "lunging for respect". Such as, yielding the hindquarters, moving the forehand, and your horse always giving you "two eyes" when just standing still--unless otherwise asked. Once you have those down, you can practice lots of sending exercises to really help develop the relationship between you and your horse.

So set up some obstacles; anything really. You can start with the basics--sending your horse between you and the wall/rail. Helps to have your horse in a rope halter and long lead and a carrot stick. The key to this exercise is for your to not move AT ALL. Your horse will do all the work and this really helps getting your horse used to going into tight spaces without you having to lead them through; such as sending them into the trailer to load up. Anyways, stand about 15 from the rail and send your horse out into a circle around you by pointing in the air with the hand with the lead rope. Cluck, kiss, or whatever command you give to have them trot. No need to raise the whip yet because he should go off the lightest signal first. He should pass between you and the rail during these circles without much thought or concern about being that close to the rail. If he is, just keep going until he's relaxed.

Then decrease the circle to 10 feet or so; just slowly decrease the circle's size by walking towards the rail. Remember to pick up the slack in the line. If your horse becomes anxious, like before, just send him on until he's relaxed. Again, decrease the circle's size by walking closer to the rail and picking up the slack in the line. By now you might be about 5 ft from the rail and your horse might be tensing up, unsure about the tight squeeze. No worries. If he stops and doesn't want to pass between you and the rail, again point in the air with the hand that holds the lead. If he listens just by watching your hand, great! If not, go ahead and use a vocal command. If no response, tap the air with your whip. If he's not listening, don't be afraid to tap him on the butt. Doing this should "send" him between you and the rail. Once he crosses in front of you, he shouldn't go any farther past your outstretched arm that is pointing in the direction you wanted him to go. In order to get him to stop, crouch down, pull on the line, step towards the horse's butt with your outside foot, and swing your whip to his hind end, thus "stepping on his tail" and making him give you "two eyes." The point is for him to go no farther than your outstretched arm and for him to yield his hindquarters.

Now put the lead in your other hand and switch your whip into your other hand. Now point in the air to the direction of travel; the hand that is now holding the lead rope. Repeating the steps before, send him between you and the rail and having him yield his hindquarters before he passes your outstretched arm. Make sense? Do this over and over until he is no longer rushing. Preferably to the point where he will quietly walk between you and the wall.

You can practice this same exercise by sending him between two barrels or next to a trailer. With the trailer, send him along the sides of the trailer. Once he has that down, with the tailgate up, LUNGE him between you and the back of the trailer. With the tailgate up, he shouldn't be concerned that you're trying to make him go in the trailer.When he is going with that, "send" him back and forth between you and the closed trailer. Once he is confident and relaxed doing that, you can let down the ramp and lunge him over again. Like before, you're not asking him to go in the trailer, just to merely pass by it. When he's relaxed, then you can "send" him back and forth over the ramp. Eventually you can get the point where you can just send him up into the trailer with no problem.

I hope this helps and it isn't too long! This is also good for the OP to read.

Also! I am really into Clinton Anderson, which is where this method is from. :) Look him up!

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