How to teach a horse to lunge for 1st time, & lunge in an open field - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-16-2015, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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How to teach a horse to lunge for 1st time, & lunge in an open field

I have a six yr old gh that I just got and I don't think he knows how to lunge at all. I want to be able to lunge him in new places, check his movements, and release extra energy when it is needed.

Any videos, tips or methods or particular trainers would be helpful on how to introduce a horse to lunging and how long to stay in each step ( or how long to lunge at beginning stages).

I do NOT have a round pen or arena

I have a flat open field, lunge line, whip, clintons stick and string and such
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-16-2015, 05:50 PM
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Following as my horses have also never been lunged nor do I have a round pen.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-17-2015, 11:21 AM
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It depends on your knowledge and how broke the horse is
Long time ago, I also did not have a round pen, or anything other than an open field, to teach a young horse to lunge. Thus, I used a cultivated field and ran a stud chain under the chin, reversing hook up with direction (these horse already knew how to respond to a stud shank, as they were also shown at halter, and thus I only used it so they would never learn to try and pull away
I also did not use lunging much, just enough so I could lunge a horse at a show, before he was old enough to ride, and had been in the stall all night.

You have to know how to position your body, to both drive a horse and block him. Start with a small circle and stick to the walk and trot, until the horse understands the concept, versus just letting him whip around you at mac speed, and pulling, doing his own thing. Right from the start teach obedience to voice cues , like walk, jog, lope, and do not let the horse go to any gait without being asked to
Anyway, there are other ways to teach a horse to lunge in the open, and this is just want I did
Many of my horses never learned to lunge, as when I was training horses that I used in reining, etc, I did not use lunging as part of that ground work before riding
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-17-2015, 01:10 PM
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I start by making sure the horse will lead from both sides.

I walk them out say the horse is on my right. I have the lunge line in my left hand and the whip in my right. (I use a lunge cavesson) I walk the horse as normal but then get it walking a few feet away from me by holding the handle of the lunge whip against their side, I will walk a largish circle with the horse going around the outside of me keeping parallel, I will keep him moving with the whip behind him.

Once he has the idea of circling I let the line out further and walk a smaller circle until he is on the end of the line and I am standing still.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-17-2015, 03:06 PM
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I don't like using a roundpen to lunge in and have never had much of an issue without one breaking in horses and teaching them to lunge. I have used a caveson, just a halter, and a snaffle bit, with the line run through the inside ring, over the poll and clipped to the outside bit ring. The last method is the harshest (essentially creating a gag bit) but also my preferred method.

Foxhunter described the same way I start a horse lunging, almost to a tee, and much better than I could have.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-17-2015, 03:46 PM
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I keep recommending Clinton Anderson's book:
I have taught my horses to lunge this way bc the frequent changes of direction and turn on the haunches, (then, pause) teaches them to look to me for leadership and commands. My old herd was ridden probably 25,000 hours in their lifetimes. This herd, not so much. So, I didn't need to lunge them, and I couldn't get them to move away from me bc I didn't know how to cue. THIS book will teach you where and how to ask for forward movement, and it isn't the rear end of the horse.
More importantly, your horse will learn to lighten up on the rope and to watch YOU for cues, instead of running off yanking your arm out or racing around you in circles. =D

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-17-2015, 07:40 PM
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Hi, basically agree with Fox - teach them to lead well, yield to pressure, including yielding forward to 'driving' pressure behind, then gradually increase the distance on the rope, till its 'lunging'.

To me, lunging is about teaching/confirming leading/driving cues at a distance. It is for training, not just letting the horse 'run off steam' & I don't advise out of control lunging.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-17-2015, 07:48 PM
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Clinton Andersons way is good, agree with Corporal.

Then again, I don't like conventional lunging and really don't see the point in having a horse run laps around me for ages. CA has a easy to understand set of instructions and his method actually has a point
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-18-2015, 06:36 PM
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I would be very careful as some horses are smart about avoiding work and will rip that lead out of your hand and go running off, as in a large field they know they can get away.

You definitely want to use a shank for that reason. Start slow. I like to start lunging as a weanling with them walking 3 circles in both directions. Obviously you would not do more than that at that age! But lunging comes easy when they are two and already know how to walk a circle.

The main downfall to lunging without an arena is that some horses will change direction at speed and tangle themselves up. I have one in for training right now who is scared of being worked from his left side. He is/was quite determined about not going to the left and would suddenly change direction and run into your whip. But most horses aren't like him. From day one, I knew he had fear issues regarding that one side. He has a hard time going in and out the gate as you have to switch what side you are on.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-20-2015, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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The horse is 6-7 and I have a fair amount of.mostly hunter experience .

What mostly happens is the horse keeps pivoting and I keep moving around him.

I'll check out clinon Anderson I do like him!
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first time , lunge , round pen , teaching

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