Lunging - Who should be doing the lunging? - Page 2

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Lunging - Who should be doing the lunging?

This is a discussion on Lunging - Who should be doing the lunging? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    09-20-2012, 07:14 PM
I agree saddlebag, which is why I'd be afraid letting a child lunge a horse without the horse already having been started lunging by an experienced handler. Sometimes they just get excited, jump and kick to get the bugs out, a child could easily get knocked around.

Where as line-driving gives you the same sort of feel for how they'll be for the day but without the speeds or sense of freedom/friskiness that horses get on the lunge.
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    09-20-2012, 07:16 PM
Thanks y'all! I'll have to look into line driving as it is not something I'm familiar with.
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    09-20-2012, 07:21 PM
I think line driving is infinitely more difficult than longeing. Especially since the handler is managing not one, but two very long lines that horse and handler can easily get caught up in. It is great if the horse already knows what it is doing, but horses that are new to line driving take some time to get used to the handler behind them. Not at all what I would recommend a child start doing, supervised or otherwise.
    09-20-2012, 07:25 PM
Essentially, you put the bridle or halter on, whichever is safer in your situation, if you're daughter doesn't have soft hands and your horse responds well, use a halter, if the horse needs a bit, use a bridle.
Then run lines 2, 14 feet lunge lines from the bit/rings through the stirrups on your saddle. If you're English, I like to roll up the stirrups so the reins are held higher, if western just set them slightly higher. Then you stand well behind and slightly to one side (so you're no where near kicking zone) then you can either use a whip or I personally tap the reins on the horse's hind end and use the 'walk on' verbal command.
Use the reins like as if you were riding. Most well trained horses know this skill, most are taught before they are ridden, if your horse doesn't know it doesn't take long for them to figure it out if they understand reins and the 'walk on' command. Eventually you can do this at the trot too. But I like to do this through obstacles, over poles, tarps and all sorts of interesting things! Trying to weave cones while line-driving is interesting fun too!

Obviously you should try this yourself first to see how your horse does and work out all the bugs so you could teach your daughter. I do this out on trails too just for the fun of it!
    09-20-2012, 07:29 PM
Really Sahara? That's interesting to hear that opinion, I've always found most horses already know or pick it up incredibly fast. And obviously you're not directly behind the horse xD Sometimes I start with the horse walking lunging with the two lines then slowly introduce straight lines using the outside rein.
Yes the two lines is a little more complicated, but if she knows how to ride it's not confusing. And assuming you're using split, short enough lines you would never get caught up. I like two use 2, 14 foot lunge lines and find there's not too much line left in my hands to worry about.

But your right it could be confusing, I'd figure it out myself before teaching a child, especially to be sure the horse responds well.
    09-20-2012, 08:03 PM
I just started ground driving my dad's 4 year old filly. She has longeing basics down pat, as well as tarp, obstacle, cone, bridge, teeter-totter work, etc.. She is used to being at my shoulder. It took her 20 or 30 minutes to figure out that I wanted forward movement when I was behind her. She got herself wrapped up in the lines several times, as well. It could be a disaster in the making for someone that rushed the horse or wasn't reading body language.

I just think for a 10 year old child, there are much more effective ways to establish leadership with a horse. Nevermind the fact that I don't see the advantage to ground-driving a horse that is as well-broke as Ace seems to be.
    09-20-2012, 08:15 PM
Wow! Definitely sounds like you had trouble. I had a bit of trouble the second time I line-drove my mare, but my mare had no previous riding and only the basics of lunging down. I found keeping the lines taught, doing circles, then gradually asking for short straight lines with the outside rein. That quickly teaches a horse how to do these sorts of skills. But of course, rushing to teach a horse anything will end in disaster. I wrote all that (if you reread it) under the assumption that the horse is a well trained horse, who may already know how or the mom had the time and skill to invest in properly training the skill.

I find the lower speeds and the more intricate work to be safer - IMPO. But of course a horse half trained to do anything wouldn't be safe for a child to do that task with.
    09-20-2012, 08:51 PM
Personally, I'd wait until she was bigger. You never know what is going to happen, and having the horse on a 5' lead and right beside you is different than the horse being 30' away. A lot of momentum can get built up in 30' and if the horse is spooked toward the center of the circle I think we can all imagine what would happen to the kid. As well if she spooks and runs off, 60# isn't enough to stop the horse if your daughter gets caught up in the line.
It's just a bit too dangerous for my liking. I am far more cautious when lunging a horse I don't know than when I am riding it because I feel a lot more can go a lot more wrong on the lunge.
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    09-20-2012, 10:24 PM
Your question was more to the value of having the rider herself lunge so that this "respect' would transfer to the correct person. There's something to be said for that, but it works the other way, too. If the lunger lunges incorrectly, then this reinforces sluggishness or resistance int he horse. Training works both ways.

I think that anyone lunging the horse ahead of riding will likely help the horse be more awake and ready to accept direction from ANY rider, assuming the lunging is done correctly.

So, the real thing is not that you want the horse to build respect for HER vs YOU. But rather that you want your daughter to learn how to lunge. So, I would recommend standing right next to her, slightly behind , and be with her while she does it, so that it is successful, and builds in successful training, rather than builds in bad habits, that could happen if she was left unsupported to just figure it out on her own.
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    09-21-2012, 12:49 AM
This may or may not suit you.

At that age : I like to start my students out with hind and fore quarter yeilds and back ups. Then they move further away and do the same yeilds.

Then at the end of a 12 ft lead teach them to 'lunge' at walk. Incorporating yeilds. Give them a lunge line and practice the backups and yeilds further away. Then lunge at walk with yeilds and eventually trots.

I find it really solidifys their body language. Also those yeilds are great control tools on the line.
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