Below are some frequently asked questions about lunging. Within the Foundation Groundwork Course within Your Horsemanship Online, you will find a whole module dedicated to teaching your horse how to lunge, and how to get the most out of your lunging. I have to say at this point, I rarely use lunging for fitness purposes, but as a way of gaining respect and control on the ground, and for preparing my horse for ridden work. It can be a difficult exercise to perfect, and it is important that you remain Calm, Consistent and Decisive (CCD!), whatever antics your horse gets up to!
A horse that won’t lunge one way
This short video clip shows me working through a lunging problem with a horse called Max. Max has been struggling with lunging on the right rein, and has been reacting when asked. Note how I remain consistent and decisive in my ask for him to go forward on the lunge, even when he rears up. As soon as he responds in the correct way, I completely change my body language and stance so he knows he has done the right thing.
INSERT VIDEO OF MAX
Lunging – Frequently Asked Questions
What does lunging a horse mean?
Lunging a horse means that your horse moves around you in a circle on one lunge rein attached to a halter, bridle, or bridle rope.
How long should you lunge a horse for?
I use lunging for training purposes rather than exercising, so I rarely lunge for more than five minutes. If you want to lunge for exercise, make sure that you lunge on a large circle of 20m plus.
What are the benefits of lunging a horse?
Lunging is one of the key areas of groundwork in my training program, and can help develop respect and control on the ground. It has a number of additional benefits from introducing tack to a young horse, developing balance and suppleness in older horses, and solving handling and ridden behavioural problems. It can also be a key step in liberty training.
How do you lunge a horse?
Your lunge rein or rope is attached to a halter, bit, bridle or bridle rope. You train your horse to respond to voice cues and your body language to move in a circle around you at different paces.
How do you lunge a horse for beginners?
Start off in walk, and think of your body as directing traffic. When you want your horse to walk forward in a left hand circle around you, hold your rope with your left hand. WIth that hand, point in the direction you want your horse to go in, and move to your horse’s left hip. If your horse doesn’t respond, you can add energy by moving a lunge whip towards your horse’s hindquarters with your right hand, or twirling the end of your rope. Once your horse has moved off in the correct direction, stand still and let your horse continue to walk round you. If he goes too fast, you can slow him by moving towards the shoulder or head. If he starts to slow, you can move back towards the hip, and input more energy.