What do you think of her movement?
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She moves short and sore in front. Can't tell much else. Not sure why you have a line on her in this space.. looks like a pen you could work her in w/o a line and she might move better.
Lunging in a halter is a not teaching the horse anything. Lunging with you walking around in a circle (as opposed to being anchored and a center pivot point) also is not helping. Just sayin'
I have a split ear bridle on her with a snaffle bit, the halter is just under it.
This was the first time I'd done this with her, so please bear with my inexperience.
I have to politely disagree with that. I lunge from time to time, and I always walk /pivot a small circle. I stay moving with the horse, matching my body to the energy level I want out of the horse.
Lunging a horse is more than driving the horse in a circle for exercise. You can teach a huge amount to a horse while lunging. First of all you need to either buy a lunge cavesson OR put a snaffle bridle on the horse and run the lunge line from your hand, thru the snaffle ring closest to you up behind the horses ears and then snap the lunge line to the ring on the side away from you. NEVER use a lunge line with a chain on the end. Use a lunge line that is 28-30 feet long (not the usual 24 foot ones you buy in the feed store).
This arrangement needs to be changed when the horse goes the other direction... and it is cumbersome. That is why anyone doing regular lunging of a horse gets a lunging cavesson with a ring in the center of the nose band. A cavesson will give greater and more sensitive control than the thru the bit arrangement.
Horses should always be lunged with side reins. If you use a saddle to lunge in instead of a surcingle, you attach the side reins around the girth straps, NOT to the horn (western) or the breast plate rings (English). Side reins are loose with the horse's head in normal position standing when you are first teaching a horse to lunge.
This is a proper equipment set up.
Next is your position. When the horse gets going, it is important to anchor yourself to a pivot point to help the horse know where the circle is. You only leave that pivot point to move closer to the horse or to get more behind the horse to drive him forward.. then return to the pivot point. As the horse becomes familiar with lunging and learns to track up on the circle, you should pivot around the heel of the foot that is toward the direction of travel (horse going clockwise, pivot on the heel of the right foot).
The object of lunging is to help the horse to learn how to bend and track properly on a circle at various gaits.. how to balance himself and use his hind quarters and to lift his front quarters. The object is to give him a reference frame to travel in and how to move into the bit. By staying anchored with the same (gentle) pressure on the line, the horse knows where to put each step and the circle is round.
When a horse is traveling propely on a lunge line, he is relaxed, balanced and willing. He transitions both up and down in an easy, balanced manner. the inside side rein is a bit loose and the outside rein is a bit tighter as he bends to the circle. He is on the bit and focused. The hind foot tracks where the front foot leaves the ground... hind quarters are neither inside nor outside the circle. The circle is evenly round. The horse works the same in both directions (clockwise and counterclockwise).
A lot of people toss a halter on a horse and lunge the horse. The horse runs around in a circle and that is all the horse does and really is not learning anything.
You can do this but lunging is a great training aid. Since our time with our horses is usually limited, why not take every last opportunity to use that time to help your horse train and be a better horse? Lunging can help a horse in so many ways when done properly... and it is an art when done right. Huge amounts can be learned by the horse and it is only about 15-20 minutes a day.
However, I do not believe side-reins are always necessary. I have been told a lot about horses leaning on them, and with my experience with this horse, she'd be one of those horses.
Why I'm lunging her is to teach her some balance and work on her transitions. I had knee surgery, so I can't ride, so I have to train from the ground for a while.
This video is her first time actually being lunged, other than a few laps being free lunged when she was a 2 year old.
I've lunged her a few times since this video and she's figured out what it's about, so we're working a lot smoother now
To add to Elana's post, and respond to the OP:
If your horse is leaning on the side reins, they are either adjusted too tight or the horse is plodding around. Very few horses that do not have developed vices with the contact will have issues with correctly used side reins.
When lunging you need to put your lunge line hand down, as if you are riding (ie the elbow resting on your hip) and you must have a contact on the lunge line, not letting it flop around as you are.
IMO you should really get someone to show you how to properly lunge a horse. It is an art form, but even a few basic lessons can help you learn how to do it properly and actually get something constructive out of it. As you are lunging now, all you are serving to do is put wear and tear on the horse and teaching it to plod along and not lunge properly.
As far as for your original question, OP, the horse looks like she is able to walk, trot and canter like an average horse.
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