Purpose of lunging? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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LOL, got it walkinthewalk! Will get the vet to check those areas. He may have some stiffness/joint pain. Yet he galops and prances around the pasture with his tail up high like a foal and sails over jumps like there's nothing in the world he likes better, so it can't be too severe. Either that or he just has a heart that won't quit - typical Arabian! We do have him on a glucosamine supplement on the advice of the former owners. They said it was preventative, but who knows. They seemed very honest and forthcoming (I have his entire medical history from the time they owned him and talked to their vet as well as having him vetted by my own), but even the best sellers will sometimes "omit" certain things.

And yes, greentree, he has a "good side" when he's ridden too, so he clearly favours one direction, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have to do both! I always make sure he does everything in both directions. With lots of work, the differences between going left or going right are diminished.
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post #12 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 09:27 AM
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You get a horse to canter by increasing pressure until he changes gait. You may need to be very assertive in the beginning with a horse that does not understand your physical or verbal cue. First you ask the horse with a subtle cue, and if they don’t respond you pick up the pressure & get assertive enough to get a response. They quickly learn that moving off when ask nicely is the better answer.

You will hear many opinions on lunging but other than teaching a horse verbal cues to walk trot and canter I find little purpose in running them in circles. This does not engage a horses mind. As someone that starts horses for the public my goal is to make horses that you can saddle up and ride. Most of my clients have little use for a horse that needs to be run in a circle and wore down before they step into the saddle. I do use ground work in the beginning days of starting a horse and in some cases to work out problems, but once they me they can carry a saddle at the walk trot and canter in a relaxed frame I start riding them. Good saddle horses are made from long hours in the saddle, not from chasing them in circles from the ground. With that said you should always aware of a horses disposition as your tacking them up & before you put your foot in that stirrup. The horse will always tell you if they are not prepared to be ridden.

Best of luck,
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post #13 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
LOL, got it walkinthewalk! Will get the vet to check those areas. He may have some stiffness/joint pain. Yet he galops and prances around the pasture with his tail up high like a foal and sails over jumps like there's nothing in the world he likes better, so it can't be too severe. Either that or he just has a heart that won't quit - typical Arabian! We do have him on a glucosamine supplement on the advice of the former owners. They said it was preventative, but who knows. They seemed very honest and forthcoming (I have his entire medical history from the time they owned him and talked to their vet as well as having him vetted by my own), but even the best sellers will sometimes "omit" certain things.

And yes, greentree, he has a "good side" when he's ridden too, so he clearly favours one direction, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have to do both! I always make sure he does everything in both directions. With lots of work, the differences between going left or going right are diminished.
Horses can be lame even in the paddock unfortunately it took us awhile figure out my TB had popped his hip or something because he never showed any obvious signs except stopping and not going forward.

Horses do have a bad sad luckily or maybe unluckily for me his bad side is the same as mine so we both sort of have trouble on one side. I used to lunge quite often but I found it wasn't working for us and we weren't accomplishing anything except circles ;)
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post #14 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 09:50 AM
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Do you reinforce the canter cue with a word when you ride? One positive thing about properly working on the lunge is learning to respond at a distance to a word cue.
So, if you say canter, or use a kiss or something when you ride, then use that if you lunge.

I find long-lining WAY more productive, because I am able to move the horse from inside to outside and teach a stretching response to the bit, PLUS it is harder on me and burns more calories!!
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post #15 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 10:15 AM
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I'm just a casual trail rider, I have always taught my horses to lunge, but I only use it to check for lameness, and those rare times I can't ride, and then only for a short time.
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post #16 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 12:01 PM
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After I broke and trained my mare and used lunging long enough that she responded to voice cues, I stopped doing it UNLESS she was full of energy and not listening before a ride. Then I only lunge enough to take the edge off. I can tell her attitude during lunging and if I have a question about lameness, I lunge in that case too.

My mare is very bored with lunging. The only exception is when I set up 18" jumps and lunge her (not in a circle, I travel with her) or set up ground or cavalletti poles (again, NOT in a circle) to work on lengthening without having to ride. Then she likes it.

I think your horse is very well trained and although you can gain confidence for yourself by feeling in control on the ground, you probably can just ride him and be fine.
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post #17 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
i like your horse. he sounds like a nice, smart but sensible guy. count your lucky stars.

perhaps one of the reasons he is not so responsive in lunging is that he "sees no purpose in it". a smart horse has to see some sort of purpose in what you are doing in order for him to give his all. since you are unsure about lunging and what you expect or want to get from it, he, too is unsure. that's something he does not like.


your choices are either do something wher you CAN provide a clear sense of direction and purpose for him, OR, learn how to lunge WITH purpose. that might mean taking some lessons purely in lunging, and learning how to GET what you ask for.

your choice.
I very much agree with this. Too many people think lunging their horses around in endless circles will magically fix their issues. The truth is, unless you actually have a purpose in mind when lunging and can successfully deliver that purpose to the horse, the only thing it's doing is wearing away your horse's legs!

I never lunge anymore unless my the horse I'm riding needs to go back and do some basic schooling, without the added stress of the rider. For example lunging with side reins is actually a FANTASTIC way to get your horse used to accepting bit contact if they have a hard mouth or are just learning, because as long as the side reins are adjusted correctly the horse's head isn't being forced. Instead the horse must move INTO the contact on its own. You can see how this situation is less stressful for the horse, because you have taken rider balance, hands, and legs out of the question (horses who have been soured by rough hands, for example, will benefit from lunging with side reins because the contact is consistent).
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post #18 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 02:09 PM
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my friend has a really nice Arab horse. he is very sturdy, sensible minded to the extreme, and smart as a whip. I always say that he is really a human being in a horse's body. anyway, on the trail he is very forward and jumps logs with relish.
on a lunge line, or in the round pen, he sucks back like it's his job to resist any urging to move faster.

he knows there is no real purpose and resents being asked to do something purposeless. the trainer can get him going forward, but it takes a special approach. his owner pretty much accepts his attitude, since where it really counts (out on the trail) he is a total gem.
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post #19 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
You're bang on tinyliny! I guess I wanted to practice lunging and make sure that I could do it if I need to. I can (though not very elegantly yet!), but not sure I see a purpose in it other than establishing respect, which I guess is something. He is still testing boundaries with us so I felt I needed to assert myself and make him do this even if he doesn't feel like it. But beyond that, I don't see why I would go on. And YES, if I do, I will need someone to work with me and show me how to improve. Which I may do anyway, just to add that to my skill set.

And yes, he is a special horse! So far, no one can see any real faults in him. We are so, so lucky!

Lungeing has many purposes if you know how to do it properly

excercise when you can't ride
respect for the voice aids
increasing suppleness
burn off energy with excitable horse
teaching a green horse from the ground
advanced british style dressage starts from the lunge
getting a horse to engage it's hind quarters with impulsion without a rider to 'interfere' with it's balance

If you don't get the reasons or purpose for lunging and not thinking with purpose when you do it, you are better off not or try free schooling (get the horse moving in enclosed area without being tied to you)
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post #20 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 06:11 PM
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I lunge when I can't ride and that can happen for a lot of reasons - and its useful when you want to see if a horse is sound.
For a horse to lunge correctly it needs to do it fairly regularly. If you compete in dressage especially its a really useful exercise alongside ridden work
To get the horse to canter to a verbal cue you've got to up the pressure until it does it and then let it know its doing the right thing. To start with I keep repeating the word canter while its cantering - they soon learn to associate that with what they're doing
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