round or square yards for lunging?
hey guys I was listening to a conversation down at the arena the other day and 2 people were discussing / bicering over what is better, a square yard or a round yard when lunging a new horse. I was just wondering what you guys thought as it had never crossed my mind. Cheers
If the horse runs into the corner, find a new horse.
Lol, I dunno, if the square is big enough that a full round pen can be put inside, why not? The horse will still make a circle unless he's being surly or stupid. Unless I'm missing something here?
Truthfully, for actual lunging work (which I really don't do much of), I like a round pen with enough space to get them into a decent lope. If they are squirrelly, I'll put them in a square pen for the first ride or two, then take them into the bigger, round pen for more riding.
On those questionable horses, I like to have a corner to put their nose in if it feels like things are nearing a "Chernobyl" outcome :wink:.
Dont you find that a horse can rely on the outside of a circle yard too much and when you take it into an arena or a large square yard it is lost with out the outside circle? Almost unbalanced? (for smaller circle yards)
I don't lunge horses enough that they would become dependent on the fenceline. After the first few rides, they seldom ever see a lunge line or the inside of a round pen so I can't say that I've had a problem with that type of thing.
However, I would imagine that it would greatly depend on how the horse was handled inside the roundpen. If it was allowed to depend only on the fence and there was no connection between the horse and handler, then I can see it being a problem. However, if the handler was making sure that the horse stayed connected and attentive to them and their cues, not the fence, I bet there wouldn't be a problem with it.
all other things equal i find a square yard encourages a horse to bend more correctly. the straight, 90 degree turn then straight again kind of makes the horse think around the turn more and get straighter on the arc it needs to make to do the turn. a round yard makes it easier for the horse to bend to the outside and bank in to turn. though a round yard is the most space efficient so it makes getting forwardness a lot easier. so both have pros and cons.
I was a roundpen girl until I saw my horse lunge freely in side reins on the straight and realized how lost he was...
Now I prefer a space he can really stretch out. But for the less experienced horse, it's good to have a small enough area that they can work in without feeling crowded.. round or square doesn't matter.
My paddock is a rectangle. My horse is groundworked at liberty and he's the one who creates the circle.
I suppose for the first couple of times lunging a new-to-you horse, working in a round pen would be the easiest for feeling the new mount out...and vice versa, kind of simplifies things. Although I am not one to drill horses on circles on the lunge or under saddle.
When I have lunging sessions with my horses I use my entire arena, incorporating straight lines, various diameter circles and whatever else goes with the flow of the moment.
I also like liberty work, which you generally start off in a smaller area...saves on running around until you have made a good connection.
But it all depends on the purpose in what you are doing.
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