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Thursday, 15 February 2018

How To Lunge Your Horse The Right Way

What You Will Need

  • Lunging Line 
  • Lunging Whip 
  • Gloves and Hat
  • Leg Protection For the Horse
  • Bridle or Lunging Canvass 
  • Lunging Roller 
  • Lunging System or Side Reins (optional) 


1.  Get Ready 

First, you need to get your gloves and hat on.  Next groom your horse, put on his bridle, boots and lunging system if you want.  Get your lunging line and whip and take your horse to the riding school or the round pen.  

2.    Get into the position 

Put your horse on the track and get into the middle.  Now, make a V shape with the lunging line and the whip like the picture below.  So the lunging line goes to the horses face and the whip should point the back of the horse.  

3.  Aids 

Upwards Transitions - Wiggle the whip towards the horse and make your voice command for the gait you want. 

Downwards transitions - Lower the whip to the ground or move the whip away from the horse and use the voice command for slowing down or for the gait you want.  

Changing Directions - You can teach your horse to change directions!  Ask your horse to halt and change your whip over to the opposite hand.  Now ask your horse to back up by wiggling the lunging line then when the horse faces you use the whip to guide them in the direction you want.  

4.  The Actual Work 

Now, lunging a horse is actually hard work for the horse.  I wouldn't recommend lunging a fit horse for more than 20 minutes and an unfit horse for more than 10 minutes unless you're doing a lot of walking.  

I would do the following for lunging a fit horse - 

Walk for 5 minutes working on halt to walk and walk to halt transitions.  Do this on the other reins for 5 minutes to completely warm the horse up.  

Trot and canter for the other 5 minutes but include walking and lots of transitions.  Do the same on the other rein for the other 5 minutes.

5.  Stretching and Cooling Down

Please stretch your horse after it has been exercised and before it is cooled down.  You can learn how to do this here.

Now you can cool your horse down by hand walking for at least 10 minutes or lunge at walk for 15 minutes.

6.  Do You Need a Lunging System

If you aren't sure if you need a lunging aid, do your research on what they do first!  I would recommend using one if your horse is lunging on the forehand and dipping his back.

The lunging system can help the horse lift his back and have his back legs underneath him.  They also help the horse focus instead of just running in circles.

What Problems do you have with your horse?  What is your horse best at?

The Rider's Reins

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