How to Lunge a Horse

Lunging the horse
before mounting the rider will allow the horse to warm up, provide an
opportunity for you to check for any lameness (there is nothing more time
consuming when lunging a horse than getting the rider settled on the horse only
to realise the horse is lame). It is also important for the rider doing the
lunging exercises to ensure the horse is not be fresh (excitable).

How to Lunge a Horse in Preparation for a Rider

It is very important to warm a horse up on the
lunge before mounting the rider ready for lungeing exercises.

Lunging the horse before mounting the rider
will allow the horse to warm up, provide an opportunity for you to check for
any lameness (there is nothing more time consuming when lunging a horse than
getting the rider settled on the horse only to realise the horse is lame). It
is also important for the rider doing the lunging exercises to ensure the horse
is not be fresh (excitable).

The horse needs to be lunged in walk, trot and
canter (even if the rider will not be cantering) by doing so you will make sure
the horse will respond to your commands and be controllable in all three paces.

If you are going to use lunge rein when the
rider gets on then you need to warm the horse up with side reins, again this is
for safety reasons: to make sure the horse will work calmly with the side reins
on, it is no good to test this theory out once you have a rider on the horse.

In regards to training of the horse, it is
good to lunge the horse in both directions (i.e. to work the muscle groups on
both sides of the horse evenly) however to lunge a horse in both directions in
a thirty minute lesson is time consuming so unless the horse is particularly
fresh or if you expect lameness lunging through all three paces in one
direction should be adequate.

While you are lunging the horse ensure the
rider is waiting outside of the lunging area and are not hanging through or
sitting on the fence. The reason for this is that if the rider is waiting
inside the arena there is the risk that the horse may run over them or kick out
at them as they go past. They may also become injured from hanging through or
falling off the fence. In addition it is not a good idea to have the rider
stand in the middle with you while you lunge as it is easy to loose awareness
of where they are around you.

Safety Procedures for lunging horses in
preparation for a rider:

1.    
Ensure the gate to the
arena is closed and direct the rider on an appropriate and safe place to wait
until you are finished.

 

2.    
They horse should be
saddled and bridled (with or without a lunging cavesson and side reins). Attach
the lunge rein (if it is not already attached).

 

3.    
Secure the reins so
that if the horse puts it’s head down it will not become entangled in them.
This can be done in a couple of ways

 

4.    
Unbuckle the reins,
wrap them around the horses’ neck (around the gullet) then re-buckle them
around themselves

 

5.    
If the saddle has a
monkey rein/grip (strap that is fixed across the pommel of the saddle) the
reins can be unbuckled then re-buckled around the monkey grip then twist the
reins around and pass the throatlatch through them to keep them up away from
the horses’ legs.

 

6.    
Check the firmness of
the girth.

 

7.    
Secure the stirrups so
they do not unravel and hit the horses’ elbows. This can be done in a couple of
ways

a) left down the stirrups and lie them over
the seat of the saddle (this is quick & easy but they made flick back once
the horse is in motion)

b) Leave the stirrup run up, take the loop of
the stirrup leather and pass it under the top of the leather (it will now loop
around the stirrup iron and under the top of the stirrup leather) then thread
the tail end of the stirrup leather through the loop of the stirrup leather and
push it back through the keeper on the saddle.

 

8.    
Attach the side reins.
Outside first, then inside. (If you are going to lunge the horse on the left
rein (i.e. to the left) then you would attach the right side rein before the
left. (Alternatively the horse can be warmed up first without the side-reins then
with the side-reins).

 

9.    
When you move the
horse off ensure the horse steps away from you and not you stepping backwards
away from the horse. At no time when you are teaching or lunging should you
walk backwards.

 

10. 
Allow the horse
adequate time to warm-up in each pace before moving onto the faster pace.

 

11. 
Give loud, clear voice
commands (i.e. “trot on” and “whoa”) followed by a flick of
the lunge whip is the horse doesn’t respond. Encourage the horse to go forward
so that you know if the horse is going to react or be fresh in response.

 

12. 
While lunging the
horse, lunge whip and lunge rein should form a triangle with you at the point
of it. The lunge rein should never touch the ground and the lunge whip should
be directed towards the horses’ hocks when moving. Pressure on the lunge rein
can be used to assist in encouraging the horse to slow down, if this doesn’t
work decrease the size of the circle.

 

13. 
Once you have warmed
the horse up in walk, trot and canter return the horse to halt. This should be
done progressively through the paces and with the horse in control, not just
mindlessly cantering around in circles.

 

14. 
At the halt remove the
side reins while the rider mounts ready for horse riding exercises. To remove
them you will detach the inside first, then the outside. Make sure they are
secured and not left to hang around the horses’ legs.

 

15. 
Recheck the girth
before the rider mounts

 

·        
As the foal becomes
old enough, riding the foal

·        
Training for first
competition

·        
Competition plan for
the year

·        
Plan for competing at
a higher level

·        
Plan for team
selection

·        
And so on

·        
The benefits of
setting long term goals are greater motivation and higher levels of self-esteem
and confidence.

Here are some simple steps to help define and
realise your goal.

1.    
Write down the goal

2.    
Give yourself a
timeframe for achieving it

3.    
Describe what you need
to do to achieve it

4.    
List any knowledge or
skills that will be required to reach the goal

The preferred method for goal setting
strategies is the Map Method

·        
Where do you want to
be?

·        
Where are you now in
relation to it?

·        
How are you going to
get there?

·        
Make a map and follow
it!

·        
The S.W.O.T. analysis
can also benefit goal setting strategies, but is less effective than the Map
Method.

When you come up with an equine business idea,
the main thing is that you can align your personal goals with your horse
business plans and that your horse business ideas are making you happy

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