7 tips for Lunging a Horse safely

 Lunging is a fundamental and important element in horse training. But it can also quickly become dangerous if something is done wrong. Both for you as a rider and for your horse ! With the help of these 7 tips, you won't get yourself or your horse into trouble while lunging.


Use proper equipment

The first step is proper equipment. A correctly fitting cavesson or a snaffle with lunging goggles are a good start here. Many also only lunge with a halter or rope halter . Rope halters in particular do not belong in the hands of beginners ! With a cavesson you can set many things wrong. If you are unsure, just ask someone from your stable who knows cavessons well.

If you want to untie your horse, a lunge belt that fits properly is also very important. Otherwise everything slides from right to left and only disturbs your horse's movement. To protect your horse's legs, you can put gaiters or bandages around the legs. But make sure that they are not too tight. Furthermore, a soft, long lunge line is good. Please do not wrap the lunge around your hand and it is best to always wear gloves! Otherwise, if your horse storms away, you could get nasty burn blisters.


Start with a warm up

Lunging is a strenuous physical activity for your horse. So always plan enough time to warm up your horse well before you start with a demanding training such as trotting, cantering or changing gaits. Because if your horse is not warmed up well enough, it can also quickly injure itself. Every horse should actually walk 20 minutes before proper training. You can combine this with some floor work . The lunging itself shouldn't take longer than 30 minutes.


Don't allow bad behavior

Especially at the beginning of their training, many horses see lunging as a kind of free ticket to misbehave. Do not allow bad behavior such as bucking, climbing or even running off the lunge. If you make your horse understand from the start that this is not possible, lunging will be a safe and pleasant experience for you and your horse.


One of the biggest dangers of lunging is getting the horse's front legs caught in the lunge line. Therefore, always stay focused while lunging and hold the lunge high enough so that your horse cannot get tangled.


Never wrap the lunge line around your hand

One of the most important lessons in lunging is holding onto the lunge. Always make sure you never wrap the lunge line around your hand . Should your horse startle and start running or bucking, the lunge line will tighten around your hand. This can lead to serious injuries.


Only lunge your horse on good ground

Only lunge your horse in areas where the ground has a good base. Soft floors that spring well are best here. Grounds that are too hard, too rocky or too deep can quickly injure horses' legs. Of course, this also applies to riding.


Lunging promotes health

Lunging trains your horse's legs and muscles. Because it requires the horse to move evenly in a circle. If your horse isn't quite used to running in circles, don't overwhelm him right away. Start the training slowly and increase the demands on your horse in intervals. Working on the lunge not only builds muscles, but also trains your horse's stamina.

Once the foundation stones have been laid, you can make the lunge work varied - this way it can become an important building block in the work and gymnastics of your horse.


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