Lungeing: Schooling, Exercising, & Training a Horse
Reasons for Lungeing:
Lungeing can be used throughout the horse's life, with the main uses being :
- an introduction to training for the younger horse
- exercising horses in work
- providing exercise for horses unable to be ridden
- retraining mature horses
- advanced training
Lunge Equipment: The Lunge Roller
A non slip type with pads for the withers are best, with as many D rings on the roller, to give a wide choice to attach equipment at different heights are better.
The Roller should be fitted so that the buckles at each side are equal, and does not need to be as tight as a saddle girth, with the non slip type being even easier, safer, and more comfortable for the horse.
Lunge Equipment: The Lunge Cavesson
The main features to look out for are:
- the cheek straps should be able to be secured well back from the horse's eye
- the throatlash should be loosely fitted allowing the head to flex without applying pressure to the throat
- the noseband, browband, and headpiece should be robust, adjustable, and well padded
- the centre ring on the bar should be on a swivel
- consider a washable material, as salt that may be present in the sand can ruin leather quickly
Lunge Equipment: Continental Pattern Side Reins versus Elasticated Side Reins
For horses in general, but especially younger or less experienced horses, Continental Pattern Side Reins, really are first choice.
Continental Pattern Side Reins incorporate rubber rings, with a nylon strap to prevent the ring stretching too far, allowing the reins to "give" as the horse moves, but with a definite end position, unlike elasticated reins which continue to stretch without restraint.
Side Reins should not be adjusted too tightly, although you should be trying to achieve a position where the horse reaches forward and seeks to take up the contact.
Consider using Side Reins in conjunction with a Crupper ( see below ).
Lunge Equipment: The Crupper
As well as being used in driving disciplines, and in riding to prevent a saddle slipping forward, the use of a Crupper is a valuable addition in training.
Fitting an adjustable Crupper with a padded dockpiece to prevent chafing, fitting with a light pressure on the dock, encourages greater use of the horses loin, and used together with Side Reins "brings the horse together" without risk of the reins being adjusted too tightly.
Always look for a Crupper with an adjustment each side of the dockpiece for easier initial fitting.
If your horse is unused to a Crupper, it's best to introduce in the stable where you have more control, and allows the horse to get used to it, before being worked.
Lunge Equipment : Continental Breastgirth
The Continental Breastgirth is used to prevent a saddle slipping back, and is very useful in lungeing for the same reason when attached to the lunge roller, attached to the D rings of the roller by buckle fittings.
The elasticated section of a continental breastgirth secures the roller whilst allowing movement of the horse.
Lunge Equipment: The Lunge Rein
- cotton based web reins as in an emergency the reins are less liable to slip through the trainers hands, and are less likely to cause friction burns to the hands. Always wear gloves!
- leather stops assist the training to gauge the length of the used line.
- a swivel below the buckle ensures the rein does not twist
Lunge Equipment: Over Reach No Turn Boots
Fitted to the front legs prevents injury to the horse especially when working tight circles.
Neoprene padded types are best and usually have velcro closures for easy fitting, and incorporate a no turn pad to stop the boot spinning in use.
Lunge Equipment: Brushing Boots
When working circles brushing boots prevent injury whereby the horse hits the inside of one leg with the opposite hoof.
All copyright 2007.