Will i always have to lunge before a ride? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 11-13-2019, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Will i always have to lunge before a ride?

Now when I say lunge, I mean doing transitions, direction changes, anything on a lunge line I can do to get his attention and obedience.

Typically I don't have to lunge for very long before getting on, but my gelding definitely is better behaved if I do some work with him beforehand. He's very squirmy and distracted if I don't do at least a few direction changes and transitions in hand first. He's definitely not tired by the time he calms down, he barely breaks a sweat. It just changes his mindset dramatically.

I don't want to have to lunge him every time I go for a ride, what if I want to do a trail ride off property and can't work him in hand before? Will he eventually get to the point where I don't have to do this every single time? My trainer seems to think it won't take long for him to get the idea, so maybe he's just being a greenie and figuring out what he can get away with.

Incidentally, tonight's ride was my first ride in my new albion dressage saddle... And my boot took a huge chunk of leather out of the cantle when I dismounted!!! I'm choked!
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post #2 of 39 Old 11-13-2019, 11:45 PM
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Short answer, no, you don't have to lunge all the time - or at all - before riding.

I'd say the main thing you need to do is work out why he's 'very squirmy and distracted' and address that. Is he lacking training? Not confident with you? Is he overfed/under exercised? Is he nervous, frustrated, anticipating irritations to come... ?

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #3 of 39 Old 11-14-2019, 12:49 AM
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If you had to, would that be an issue? If 'lunging' him is about getting him to focus by asking him to change direction, back up, change a gait, etc. Can those things not be done on a long leadline? So, you could trailer off property, take him out of the trailer, do a modicum of work on a 15 ft or even 12 foot leadline, and he may be ready to go.

If the lunging is basically about him running around, at his own speed, getting his ya-yas out, then even that can be accomodated off property.

What does he do if you ride without lunging enough?
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post #4 of 39 Old 11-14-2019, 01:48 AM
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No you don't need to lunge every time before you ride. I don't lunge my gelding who can be very distracted. I use lateral flexion, leg yeilding moving frontend over both directions. Moving hindend over both directions.

By the time I've done this my horse is listening to me. I keep my horse worked and he does on average 10 miles a day. Lots of long trotting and moving along at a fast walk.

Out riding my horse.
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post #5 of 39 Old 11-14-2019, 04:48 AM
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The simple answer is 'NO'

Mount him and go, get a lot of work into him, if he is squirmy then work him at the trot and do the exercises you would do on the lunge.

With majority of horses I started once I had backed and ridden them the first time, there were few that I bothered to lungembefore riding them the next day.
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post #6 of 39 Old 11-14-2019, 06:27 AM
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My answer is no, the horse doesn't need lunged every time you ride especially at the trail head..

I've seen someone do that on an organized ride. Not only did it confuse the poor horse, it made the horses the next trailer over crazy, and left several of us taking bets as to how long it would take for that person to get dumped.

One Sunday with the wind blowing and my neighbor shooting round after round of bullets in his semi-automatic just because he had moved to the country, I got on my diciest horse who had not been ridden for six years -- six years --

I got on him bareback -- he stood like a saint for me to crawl up on the fender of the race car trailer to get on him, then he walked off like we'd been doing that every day.

No "re-training", no lunging, no nothing - I just got on him and off we went -I was 68 or 69 at the time - I would have to go digging for the video DH took and look at the date:)

It sounds to me that the horse is fine, your confidence level is what needs some help. Hopefully you have a trainer who is good at instilling rider confidence:)

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #7 of 39 Old 11-14-2019, 06:48 AM
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What you describe doing "lunging" can be done astride...
Called warm-up time....

Is is possible the rider needs the warm-up so they are mentally ready for the ride and the horse just picks up on you not being settled to work but get limber and wiggles out and done with ..

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #8 of 39 Old 11-14-2019, 07:50 AM
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It depends on the horse. My neighbor buys and sells horses and has owned hundreds of horses. If he comes across a really good one, he keeps it (for a while anyway).

Every once in a while he gets a horse that just has to be lunged every time he rides. He has plenty of confidence, so that is not an issue. If he doesn't lunge the horse, he wishes he had. He doesn't like lunging them first, so if he can avoid lunging, he certainly does. There have been times when he has kept really good horses that needed to be lunged before riding because they were so terrific. But, finally, he gets tired of that, someone offers him a great price, and they get sold.

I hate lunging and almost never do. But, on the other hand, I've had my same horses for years and ride the legs off them all the time. They are used to me and used to going out every morning.
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post #9 of 39 Old 11-14-2019, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by TheFancyRat View Post
Incidentally, tonight's ride was my first ride in my new albion dressage saddle... And my boot took a huge chunk of leather out of the cantle when I dismounted!!! I'm choked!
So sorry about your saddle!!
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post #10 of 39 Old 11-14-2019, 09:19 AM
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Is the horse getting plenty of turnout? I don't think a horse should have to be lunged before each ride. I see people doing this at shows and I shake my head. A horse that gets plenty of turnout should be fine to just get on and do a warm up. As @Foxhunter says, why can't you get his attention during warm up? I have resorted to doing a bit of ground work with my very anxious mare a few times, but not lunging. Just a walk around the ring first, and not every time. I do it for her confidence, not because she's hot. She's very good at ground work, but insecure under saddle so sometimes I'll ask her to do a few really easy things on the ground (yielding to pressure, halt, backing up) and it makes her more confident for our ride. But it sounds like you're lunging to get some energy out, which is why I'm wondering if the horse is getting enough time to run around with pasture mates.

That sounds horrible about your saddle. Should it be that easy to take a chunk of leather out of it?
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