Lunging correctly - Helpful Tips & Tricks for Lunging ( Lunging a Horse )

 Working on the lunge with your horse is a great change from conventional riding training. Not only is the horse physically stressed in a completely different way, but it is also mentally stressed. We explain to you what you have to think about if you want to properly lunge your four-legged friend. 



What does lunging mean?

To put it simply, lunging means letting the horse run in a circle. The four-legged friend is led on a leash – called a lunge in technical jargon. The lunge is attached to the bridle and forms the connection between the lunge operator and the horse.


Why is lunge work helpful?

The horse learns to balance itself through lunging and muscle development is improved. The back muscles in particular are strained and stretched more as a result of the movement on the bend. The elastic swinging in the back is much easier for most horses when there is no rider in the saddle. Otherwise, by giving help, he constantly influences the animal.

Horses cannot naturally walk on curved lines . In the bend, they usually lean inward, and they run around the bend with an outward stance. That's why the first step of lunge work is that your four-legged friend is placed inside, but at the same time does not fall on the inside shoulder. Only then can the back muscles swing loosely, the hindquarters are activated and they can step further under the body's center of gravity. It is best to accompany your horse first so that it walks next to you so that you can correct it better. The better it accepts the aids and bends correctly on the circle, the further away you can send it.

The next step is forward-downward stretching of the neck . The horse continues to walk evenly, always stretching its nose and neck towards the ground. When stretching the neck, it automatically tightens the abdominal muscles and arches the back. Later you can expand the lunge work with other elements, such as installing trotting poles or you can record new lessons.

Correct lunging – the ideal equipment

If you want to work your horse from the ground, you should make sure you have the right equipment . Of course, it is very important that you have a longe line and a lunging whip so that you can drive your four-legged friend along. Of course, there are tons of different ways to train the horses when lunging. Usually three different types of bridles are used:


    §  on the halter

    §  on the bridle

    §  at the cavesson

The simplest form is when you buckle a sufficiently long lunge line into the halter . To do this, hook the lunge line into the ring on the chin piece, not the outer rings. Otherwise there will be uneven pressure on the poll and the horse will warp when you try to correct it. However, you cannot give any precise help on the halter, as it slips quickly.

With a snaffle you can have a better effect on the horse, but it is often criticized that the pull of the longe on the bit puts unpleasant pressure on the horse 's mouth all the time. So be particularly careful and also remove the reins so that they do not disturb your four-legged friend.

cavesson is very well suited for working on the longe. The pressure is applied to the bridge of the nose, which is much gentler on the sensitive horse's mouth. It is up to you whether you use a lunging belt or a saddle when lunging. Basically, it is important that your horse feels comfortable with the lunging equipment and that the desired effect is achieved.

Reinforcements when Lunging - yes or no?

Opinions differ on the question of whether side reins or auxiliary reins are helpful or harm the horse. In general, it is quite clear that these additional buckles must also be used correctly and carefully . Any form of aid, such as riding crops, spurs or special bits, can cause pain to the horse if used incorrectly. It is associated with negative experiences. Let an experienced person show you how to lunge correctly! Or do you offer lunge courses at your stables? Take advantage of the opportunity – you will help yourself and your four-legged friend!

Not sure if side reins are helpful for your horse? Always note that the additional buckles restrict the horse's natural movement . A triangle rein, for example, can force them into a tight stance, whereupon they can no longer use their neck as a balance bar. Beat errors then creep in, especially in young, not well-balanced animals. That's why you should first work without auxiliary reins so that the horse warms up, the muscles are supple and it finds its balance. When you have reached this point, you can incorporate side reins in the lunge work.

in genaral , it is clear that additional buckles must be used correctly and carefully 

Assistance with Lunging

If you lunge your four-legged friend, you can work with a number of aids for exercises such as changing gait or speed, position and bending. Of course you can give help yourself via the lunge line: both accepting and giving help are possible. In addition, you drive your horse with a lunge whip and vary the intensity. If your four-legged friend is particularly sensitive, a brief hint with the whip is often enough for it to react.


The tuning aids are also an important part of lunging, where emphasis and depth are key, giving additional reinforcement to instructions. Pay attention to clear and clear commands so that your horse understands you as best as possible. In addition, you can work particularly well with body language when lunging, which is why you should be aware of your movements in the lunging circle.

Correct Lunging a Horse  –  tips at a Lungs

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. A soft, long lunge line is also 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 should n'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. Never 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.

Always hold the lunge high enough

One of the greatest dangers of lunging is the horse getting its front legs caught in the lunge . 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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