Lunge systems etc
I have for a while been considering doing some lunge work with my girl.
I want to build some more topline and get her working from behind (using her bum)
I have sidereins but i don't use them as i dont want to jam her up or anything.
I am considering buying the kincade lunging system (looks to be the same as the pessoa) to get her to do this, as this seems to encourage horses to use their legs.
Any tips/opinions/ideas on these things?
I used side reins to start off with, but my mare got cheeky and used to 'slide' them and ocme behind the verticle.
So, now I just use her reins on the lunge belt.
I have used a pessoa system on my old horse and although they may be effective I find it a huge faff trying to get it on etc and just use my vocals and lunge whip to encourage her from behind.
I would start on elasticated bugees first, however, so she can stretch in to them and learn long and low without being forced and if she panics, she can lift her head.
Thats my mare lunging, normally she is rounder and uses her hind more effectively, however lunging one handed and filming with the other is HARD.
are you comfortable lunging ? does your horse know how to lunge ? i would not consider using side reins or pessoa system unless you are both very comforatble lunging !
I don't use any equipment like this to 'teach' my horse. I like him to hold himself how he wants and what comes naturally to him. I'm not into the side reins, hold the head, this encourages this, etc thing. So guess I was no help, lol.
When I got my mare some 17 years ago as an 8 year old she had an extremely upside down muscled neck from having been I assume ridden in a standing martingale/tiedown most of her previous life. When she and I became each others I took her back to basic training. Starting with lots of lunge work. The only equipment I used was her halter at first, a 25foot lunge line and a lunge whip. I later switched to putting her in an English Snaffle bridle with the lunge line snapped to the opposite side I was working her on and putting the lunge over her poll and through the near bit ring. For each direction change I did the reverse of running the lunge line from near to off side. Once I got her going nicely with just that I added saddling her in a used English saddle to have rings, etc to attach a set of German Donut Side Reins while lunging her. When switching to the German Donut Side Reins start out with only very slight tension as the horse's neck muscles can and will get sore if trying to do the retraining to fast. As your horse progresses at each session shorten the Donut Side reins a hole or maybe 2 at the buckles until you can see a change in your horse's neck muscling.
I personally don't recommend using elasticized side reins or bungie cords, because a horse can still brace against them. I found this out through experience.
If I can I'd like to suggest a book worth very much for learning about lungeing and long reining from the ground. Which includes working with and training young foals to the more advanced art of long-reining.
The books author is Jennie Loriston-Clarke, who I have found out is a noted trainer in the UK. The book is titled, "Lungeing and Long-Reining".
Wow thanks guys! Lots to consider.
She and I can both lunge yes :)
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Hahaha You are of help though, some people DO like to let their horses figure it out for themselves, and some horses are VERY good at lunging without contraptions.
For the following I would use them:
A horse that needs conditioning work (ie a horse that is undermuscled, coming in to work or need to go 'up' a step)
A horse that isn't balanced
A horse that tends to run on the fore
A horse that won't listen to vocal commands- there are many elements to this, but horses that want to run with their heads in the air as fast as they can generally don't want to listen to a handler or lunger. So, occassionally being able to have more control of head position offers the lunger a more subtle way of saying 'Hay boy- watcha think you're doing?' Rather than HELLOOO STOPPPPPP
It's the same thing with us humans. I usually have to remind myself to allow my shoulders to relax, to round out my lower back rather than to sit with it a little too arched, to engage my core and support myself. Many of us need reminders from teachers or instructors to do this, and when we do these things we ultimately feel better. Less tension, more freedom of movement, etc.
A good rider will aid their horse in achieving the same kind of good posture in such a way that the horse will be able to move more freely and comfortably, even if that initially means having to work at redeveloping certain muscles and dropping bad habits the same way we have to drop bad habits of slouching, which may feel better initially but is ultimately very taxing.
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