Proper lunging - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Proper lunging

What is the proper way to lunge a horse? I've always just sort of free lunged all my horses, just to help them let off steam before riding. What IS the proper reason for lunging? From what I've seen most people do, you attach your horse to a lunge line via halter, lunging cavesson, etc. Tell them to go in a circle at different speeds and directions while pointing a lunge whip at their hind end. What is the purpose of a lunge whip anyway?

Sorry for the long list of questions, I truly am curious!
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 01:50 PM
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My daughter lunges her horse to remind him who is boss and to get his attention before riding.
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 01:56 PM
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 02:13 PM
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Lunging is the logical succession to handling with a halter a lead. It is an art in itelf, IMHO. You can slop around with it, or focus on teaching skills to your horse that translate to obedience under saddle.
I really think that CA's Lunging for Respect is mandatory training for any horse. There are so many programs and You Tubes of him re-training rogue horses that sometimes his message of always asking with the least amount of pressure, gets lost.
You might get a lot out of watching Lynn Palm's programs. (She was the trainer for "Rugged Lark," who 'retired' him to 10 years of bridleless demos.)
Her horses are practically perfect in the way that they behave. She is demanding, but rewards with her voice, and breaks down all activities into bite-sized steps.
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post #5 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 02:19 PM
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe I'll check them out :)
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post #7 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 03:44 PM
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This is a good video on how to lunge a horse correctly.

This is a good example as to how to NOT lunge the horse

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post #8 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 04:00 PM
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As said, I use lunging to get my horses attention before a ride, and to remind him who he needs to be listening too. I also lunge him when we cannot ride to ensure he is getting exercise.

When he was younger lunging was to teach respect. We started in a round pen, and he knows he is only allowed to stop when I ask, and when he is asked to "whoa" he is to turn in, and walk calmly into the center of the pen with me. There he gets love and scratches. When he is on the outside of the center, he is expected to listen and watch for my cues. I as him to change direction, and transition up and down.

I use a lunge whip as an extension of my arm to keep driving him forward. In some cases, it is nice to have when lunging someone else's horse, and they are being disrespectful and cutting across the circle. I like it to remind them to get out of my space.
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 04:07 PM
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 06:40 PM
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Lungeing/longeing is an art that has to be learnt.

To me having a horse run around a round pen or one on a short rope being chased around the handler is not lungeing.

The purpose is to allow a horse to find its own balance, to get the young horse obedient to the voice and use to movement with the tack on.
From lungeing the handler can move to long reining - working with two reins. This can teach the young horse about the bit and what it is for it also enables the handler to drive the horse out and about so it sees what life is all about.

I genuinely feel that once a horse has been ridden there is no need to lunge. Of course there are always times when it comes handy, if a horse has been shut up and is over fresh, inclement weather, lack of time for riding.

On the lunge the horse, unless very well schooled, should be moving on a 15 - 20 metre circle. Anything less than this and it is extremely hard for them to both balance and work correctly.

A horse cannot be correctly lunged without a proper lunge whip. The handler should always wear gloves and it is safer with the young horse, that they wear boots on all four legs.

There are many lunge aids to help a horse use itself correctly, these are best left to those that know how to use them correctly.
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