Lunging an 'unfit' horse, advice please

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Lunging an 'unfit' horse, advice please

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  • How long to lunge a horse for
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    05-04-2008, 10:06 AM
Lunging an 'unfit' horse, advice please

My mare's gotten quite... 'unfit'... She has almost no muscle tone and is pretty much all 'fat'...

She's on a break from riding until school ends near the end of this month... After that, I'm goin to start riding her a lot again... but she's so unfit, that, even though she's on a break, I want to keep her at least kinda-sorta fit.

I want to start lunging my girl... (even though she's scared of the lunge whip, it's pretty easy once she figured out what I want her to do)... but I don't want to do too much too fast.

She really needs some muscle and all, and I want to lunge her at a trot both ways for a set time... say, 15 minutes or so... consistently.

She has been ridden a few times just to make sure that I could still control her (when she's not ridden for a long time, she get's to where it's hard to manage her with any type of bridle)... and I've jumped on her bareback a few times, just for the heck of it. She's trotted and cantered under saddle about three times for about five minutes each and we've had one good gallop since she went on 'rest' back in... Feburary, I'm pretty sure. My girl honestly hasn't been ridden that much at all this year so far...

So, how long would be 'good' and how long would be 'harmful' for lunging her ONLY at a trot everyday. I'm planning on getting out and lunging her everyday except on the weekends (she'll get weekends off) for a set amount of time, but I don't know how long would be best...

Here's a picture of what she currently looks like. She still needs to gain a little more weight...

^(Gyps is on the right...)
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    05-04-2008, 10:14 AM
Is that a white patch by her wither?

I think you should start out slowly and work up five minutes to start with, and do that for quite a few days and then ten minutes, then fifteen, twenty ect.

She will build muscle without straining on them.
    05-04-2008, 10:38 AM
Yeppers, it's a white patch. Two years ago I had a synthetic saddle that got really stretched out when I rode up all through her pregnancy... it didn't fit her once it got stretched out. The white hairs are going away slowly, but they'll never fully 'leave'.

I do want to start slowly... I just wasn't sure how long to make her work for the first few times... nor how much tp 'upp' what she does at a time. So, start at about 5 minutes and move up 5 minutes every five days or so?
    05-04-2008, 10:43 AM
Yes and of course if she is rather winded at the end of the five days of five minutes I would extend the five minutes a few more days it until she is not breathing real hard at the end. If it is hard for her to do five minutes, I can't imagine her trying for ten.

I'm glad you saw the saddle didn't fit, that is the first thing that popped into my head when I saw that. Kudos to you for responsible horse ownership.
    05-04-2008, 11:07 AM
Ok... so what if she's not breathing hard at all or hardly at all at the end of the lunge session? Still just go for 5 minutes each way, or should I try to get her where she's breathing a little harder?
    05-04-2008, 11:27 AM
Basically what I mean is, if she is not breathing heavily after trotting five minutes each direction after five days then it is safe to move up to ten minutes. However, if she is breathing heavily after trotting five minutes for five days, keep trotting her five minutes for another few days until she can do so without breathing heavily. Once she can do five minutes of trotting in each direction without breathing heavily, you can move on to ten minutes.
    05-04-2008, 11:38 AM
Oh.. Ok. Sorry, I read your post wrong. I get'ya now. Lol.

I think I'm about to go and catch my girl... I need to desensitize her to the lunge whip again... She's terrified of it, and I don't want to get drug halfway across the pasture by her when I 'snap' it... XD. I don't have a round peg, and lunge her inside the pasture on a flat surface whenever I do actually decide to... so yeah.
    05-10-2008, 01:05 AM
Start her off slowly and increase her working regiment over a period of days. If you go out and get the Pony Club handbook, they have pre-made training schedules to get a horse fit and back in shape.

Start off slow and work your way up. If you do some research online, I'm sure you will find a lot of info there.
Good Luck

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