Lunging is an odd one – some people think it isn’t worth it, some people believe it to be the best thing out there – I personally use it as a fitness tool rather than keeping strong views on it at all.
Personally I lunge in tack, with a bridle on, and with a head collar over the bridle. This not everyone’s cup of tea, I know. Regardless of what you are working your horse in, these are my top three lunging tips!
#1: Allow the craziness
A few times when I lunge, the horse will try and buck and bolt away – allow this. The purpose of getting the horse on the lunge is to aid him to be balanced and level – if he is in a stressed environment, this cannot happen. Him bucking and playing around allows him to let of steam. A bit like when you see actors or singers going ‘MAH’ or ‘MEE’ loudly before the performance (see here)
#2: Vary your circle sizes.
You would never, due to your own human boredom, keep going around in a 20m circle for the full 15 minutes when you’re on board so may sure you bring your horse in, push him out again, in out and keep the variety. This keeps the horse attentive and listening to you – not just switching off.
#3: Keep both reins equal
Self explanatory. Basic. Silly to mention you may be saying to yourself, but actually not – you will get some people who keep their horse on the rein that they find easiest, or looks the nicest, just for their own pleasure.Keep it all equal – allow the horse to have to work hard on the side he’s not so keen on!
Practice makes perfect, so allow him to make mistakes.
What’s your top tip for lunging?