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Training: 12 Tips for Correct Lungeing

lungeingLungeing is a useful tool for many of us, especially when we’re short on time, unable to ride, or working with restricted daylight/riding hours.

It’s a good alternative to riding when done properly and provides part of the framework for developing ridden work, bringing on youngsters, and working horses who cannot wear tack due to wounds or rubs.

It’s also useful for building enhanced relationships between horse and rider through communication with body language and voice.

Follow these 12 top tips to ensure you’re lungeing correctly:

  • Keep sessions short. Start with 15 minutes and then increase as the horse becomes fitter. Generally no more than half an hour, as lungeing is HARD WORK
  • Circles should be 15m diameter in walk and trot, and 20m in canter. You can adjust as required
  • Organise your lunge line, keep it tidy and off the ground. Avoid twists – and think of your lunge line as a rein
  • Learn feel. Try to “feel” the mouth of your horse through the lungeline, be soft and give a consistent light contact as you would with the reins
  • Stick happy. Ensure long whips gently accompany the movement from behind, and are not aimed towards the horse’s body
  • Create a triangle. Position your arms to angle lungeline-horse-whip
  • Bit safety. If you are not using a lunge cavesson, never attach the lunge line solely to the inside ring of the snaffle, put the lunge line through to the outside ring – I personally do a loop with the line on the inside ring then attach to the outside ring across the chin to help create a more even “contact” on both sides
  • Create boundaries. If you don’t have a round pen, it can be useful to section off an area of the school or the corner of the field with wings and some plastic/barrier tape when working young or inexperienced horses
  • Give breathers. Lungeing is hard work so allow and encourage your horse to stretch its neck during the lungeing session
  • Work correctly. Maintain a speed and pace that is sustainable for your horse, making sure he’s working in softness and balance. Remember that only by going slowly will the horse use himself
  • Reducing speed! If your horse is fresh and he’s galloping in the circle don’t try to calm him down by tightening the circle, use your voice and body language instead – galloping in small circles can cause injuries
  • Safety. Always wear gloves to avoid rope burns and we recommend a hard hat, especially if your horse is young or you expect him to be very fresh

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If you have any questions on equine supplements, and want to improve your horse’s health, performance, or attitude give our friendly team a call 01672 541 157 for advice. We won’t try and hard sell you anything – we promise.

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Posted in General, Riding Tips, training
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