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Proper lunging

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  • Lunging for fitness

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    04-29-2013, 10:29 PM
  #11
Started
This is interesting; many different viewpoints of the same task.

To me, lungeing is riding from the ground - it has to be done well to give benefit. My voice and body, extended by the whip gives cues (some not subtle, some more so) to ask the horse for upwards and downwards transitions. I teach responsiveness and attention to me through lungeing.

A developed horse can be lunged in a bridle, with side reins or Pessoa etc if that is what floats your boat, in order to develop muscles and fitness. Top line can be developed on the lunge that will serve the horse well when being asked to carry a rider, and perform in whatever discipline he is in.

I like the horse on a lunge line, but never 'leaning on' or 'hanging off' the line. He must be in self-carriage. I can see his movement and assess his use of his body. I am in the centre of the circle, with my lunging arm and my whip arm pointing roughly towards the nose and tail of the horse. If I get behind the movement, he has a chance to turn in. If I get in front, I will confuse or block him.

The whip is used by me to mentally extend my driving forward arm nearer to the horse. If I am lunging a horse with attitude who is refusing to move, I can flick the end of the whip at his hocks. He will only need this done once to know that he shouldn't be ignoring me.

I personally don't use lungeing to quiet or calm a horse before I ride, but I know that many people do. I think that it's more a 'collecting of the brain' in this respect.

Like Foxhunter, I also think that lungeing can be followed by long reining as part of a horse's education.

What I don't think lungeing is for is to 'wear him out before I get on' - because a fit horse can hunt all day, so is not going to be tired out by running round on a lunge for 10 minutes. I also don't think lungeing should ever be used as a punishment in the 'he bucked me off so I put him on the lunge and made him sweat' kind of way. This might make the person feel better and get revenge, but it won't achieve anything by way of training for the horse.
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    04-29-2013, 10:59 PM
  #12
Weanling
Id be lunging for over 1 hr if I was to lunge and wear miover out lol
     
    04-29-2013, 11:07 PM
  #13
Super Moderator
I agree that lunging can be an art, or , at it's best, is an art. But average people can utilitze it to some benefit without knowing all there is to learn about it. On the other hand, you can get a lot more out of your and your horse's time on the lunge line by having a knoweldgeable person teach you how to do it right. Just like riding, I guess. You can ride without lessons, but if you want to ride well, then you need outside help, or a lifetime to learn by making a lot of mistakes.


The video of the girl shown lunging with the chain on is a typical example of how a lot of average horse owners do it. I would take the chain OFF , or at the very least, it should always be wrapped once around the nose band part of the halter to keep it in place and reduce it's ability to really bite in hard. Without being held in place, it can slide down to where the bone is very thin , then a sudden pull will be capable of breaking that bone.
     
    04-29-2013, 11:10 PM
  #14
Weanling
Ive never heard of horse chains how sad lol
     
    04-29-2013, 11:36 PM
  #15
Super Moderator
That is called a "stud chain". The nose of the horse is very sensitive, so this can be used to keep a horse under control if he is very hot and you don't have good enough control by your own training or handling ability. I have used them in the past when I used to lead a warmblood who could be quite "high" at times. Once the horse knows that it can inflict pain, he will not pull against you, so should not suffer pain . But , you must be extra careful that the hrose does not put his head down and step on the lead that is attached to a chain, nor tie up a horse with a chain on. These can lead to disasters, like I said, with broken nose bones.
     
    05-09-2013, 03:21 AM
  #16
Foal
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    05-13-2013, 12:48 AM
  #17
Showing
I use lunging as a training tool. When I meet a new horse, we lunge to see how well the horse knows their gaits, how they interact with me cueing them, and to see if they have any tendencies (over-reaching, not using hind end enough, being on forehand)

My horse, being not quite seasoned enough, did not even know how to walk or trot or canter without losing his marbles and turning into Mr. Giraffe. We lunged so that he could establish his balance, focus on his feet so he wasn't zoning out and being dangerous, and to establish cues for transitions with sharpness so he'd be quicker to respond. It also helped out my relationship with him under saddle... to the point where we both learned how to canter and go bareback (something no one thought he'd do)

The lungeline to me is an entension of the reins. You give the horse a direction. The whip is an extension of your leg. You encourage the horse to go by lifting the whip (like putting your leg on to squeeze) or tapping it gently on the ground (as you would tap your calf)

You face the hip to drive the horse forward, like your seat does. It's a very "open" position, more triangular than linear. If you get infront of the hip, you block the horse and they usually either slow down or stop/hesitate. Some horses don't understand that cue so they need reinforcing (which is usually why people circle them in to get them to halt..

To me it is not about tiring the horse, so much as helping them to understand what you are asking, to achieve better balance, and to get them to focus on you instead of running around ignoring you.
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    05-13-2013, 01:14 AM
  #18
Foal
I got my current horse a year ago, and we were pretty disconnected as a team. When I tried him out we seemed like a great match. He worked hard for me and I loved him. When I got him home, he was just lazy and disrespectful. He was testing the waters in his new home! I also found out that he hadn't had any groundwork done with him. I spent quite a bit of time teaching him respect and cues on the lunge line and in the round pen. We built a great bond that way. I lunge Dusty everytime I ride him to get his attention directed towards me. It warms his muscles up and gets him moving and stretched before I put 160 pounds on his back. I don't wear him out by any means, but when I get on him I know he is listening to me and he's not setting out on the trails with cold muscles.
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