Purpose of lunging? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 07:58 PM
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How about long lining/reining? Lead reining is another option too. Lunging is considered more challenging for the horse, going round and round in circles.
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post #22 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 08:14 PM
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When I was having issues with my back and hip, I was lunging more than riding. But I don't just stand in a circle. I spiral my horse in and out, use cones to serpentine through, ground poles, and the area I lunged has a nice sloped area that I use to help him balance himself down hill at the trot, and canter up.

Now that I'm back in the saddle, I don't lunge as much.
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post #23 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 08:57 PM
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Lunging is a good thing for any horse to know how to do. Beyond knowing how I think there needs to be something specific that you are trying to accomplish by it, and some of the other posters have offered some good examples. I do not like seeing people run their horse around in a circle just because they think it's "good" for him, and I also know one BO who encourages it. I am not saying that some correct lunging before riding can't be beneficial for some horses, but just being chased around with a whip can adversely affect others. I have also seen a few riders use lunging as punishment for something the horse has done under saddle. I don't understand that mentality, but so much for my rant.

I used lunging to retrain a confirmed bucker. he knew two things under saddle. Stand still and buck you off. He rather liked lunging because he didn't feel pressured and the first rider he accepted sat on him and did nothing while he was lunged. Also, if it was not for seeing a problem that my mare had cantering on a lunge I would not have realized that she had some back issues as quickly. Right now I am doing some limited lunging with her with side reins and working on transitions, verbal cues, and varying the size of the circles. She is doing very well but seems to want to move on to something new once she learns something so I keep the sessions short.
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post #24 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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So the vet was in today to float his teeth and give him his Strangles vaccine since we are travelling to a trainer soon and she requires it. I asked him to give him a good go-over and the vet thinks he's in perfect health. So I really don't think he's resisting lunging because of physical issues which magically do not manifest themselves when a rider is on him. I think he just can't get excited about it the way he does about jumping or riding or heck, even groundwork is something he enjoys more than walking around in a circle.

He is far from green. He does not need to blow off steam before being ridden. We've already determined that he is sound. He has no bad habits or issues we need to resolve. He WILL lunge, but isn't throwing himself into it with the same level of enthusiasm. And yes, I am using a verbal cue for the canter (kissing noise). I am upping the pressure by making myself bigger, more energetic, pushing him with my body, agitating the whip, but still no canter. I think I would have to actually run over and smack him on the rump. Yet, when he's got a rider on him, he happily canters on the first ask.

Maybe I'm doing it all wrong. But overall, I'd rather ride him than lunge him and he'd rather be ridden so... I guess we're going to ride unless it becomes necessary to lunge again for some reason. Looking forward to a trail ride on Friday.

I really appreciate all your thoughts.
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post #25 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 11:28 PM
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you are still getting to know him. there'll come a day when just a kiss from you, and a little 'push' with body language, and he'll canter.

when you do (if you do) try lunging again, with a horse that sucks back, what is important is GETTING the upward transition. NOT HOLDING the new gait.

so, once he gives you the asked for canter, you stop all pressure and let him come back down to whatever gait he likes. he will learn that freedom comes in moving briskly forward, because he gets out of the work as soon as he does.

so, all you are seeking is the transition, not that he canter on an on.
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post #26 of 37 Old 12-08-2015, 11:36 PM
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I round penned my colt lightly before we started saddle training to get him solid on voice cues. He now knows a VERY solid "whoa, walk, trot, and a personal "come in"." I did this to transfer what he learned into the saddle and driving. I also used it to evaluate how he moved with a saddle on among other things. Its a good place to start when you want to know how well they respond to you and establish a good leadership. We've spent many hours walking and turning directions in the round pen until a simple word was all it took. Refinement for when I can't be in the saddle. Lunging to me is a communication and assessment tool, it's not meant to run horses ragged as I've seen many people do. To "tire them out" if I need, I use the rectangle arena and keep them going at a lope. And this I only resort to if they've been hard to catch or need a good respect lesson. I find a round pen too "small" for this. In the arena I can still manage directions but loping is a lot easier on them. When I did round pen or lunge the colt it's walk trot transitions and a whoa and a direction change every once in awhile. I try three steps walking, two trotting, five walking, four trotting, transitioning is what I'm going for. If he doesn't lope get on him with the whip but once he does lay off completely. Eventually he will know that the word "lope" or "canter" means to do so.
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post #27 of 37 Old 12-09-2015, 01:45 PM
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I don't use kissing or smooching noises when I lunge, I occasionally use a 'click' as a focus - as in - "listen I'm about to ask you to do something' but I train my horses to understand word commands - walk, trot, canter, whoa, stand etc.
Its a fairly common practice so maybe try asking your horse to 'canter' rather than use the kissing noise - its possible he's been trained to that cue
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post #28 of 37 Old 12-09-2015, 02:08 PM
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The horses that I see being lunged before being ridden are just plumb goofy while being ridden.

Makes me wonder if the lunging is actually for the riders comfort and "security". I think if if perhaps the rider where more confident they wouldn't feel the need for lunging. Which would explain why the horses are goofy... they are playing off the riders insecurities.
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post #29 of 37 Old 12-10-2015, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
I don't use kissing or smooching noises when I lunge, I occasionally use a 'click' as a focus - as in - "listen I'm about to ask you to do something' but I train my horses to understand word commands - walk, trot, canter, whoa, stand etc.
Its a fairly common practice so maybe try asking your horse to 'canter' rather than use the kissing noise - its possible he's been trained to that cue
Been there, done that jaydee! Tried saying canter in every possible tone (I rode western in my younger days and learned to say lope in a rising, sing-songy voice so I tried that too, lol - pretty sure he was just laughing his butt off at me at that point).

What I was thinking is that I would use verbal cues while riding him and if he doesn't respond, use leg cues. After a while, he should respond to just the verbal cue and maybe I can transfer it to lunging. Or maybe he'll just continue to laugh at me... :)
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post #30 of 37 Old 12-10-2015, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
I don't use kissing or smooching noises when I lunge, I occasionally use a 'click' as a focus - as in - "listen I'm about to ask you to do something' but I train my horses to understand word commands - walk, trot, canter, whoa, stand etc.
Its a fairly common practice so maybe try asking your horse to 'canter' rather than use the kissing noise - its possible he's been trained to that cue
To me, I prefer anything but the kissing noises.
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