Why and How to Lunge Your Horse

Lunging is a great exercise for your horse that I use regularly for:

> Teaching horses to remain calm and focused in faster movement
> Building strong voice cues for transitions
> Creating motivation for forwards movement
> Staying connected at greater distances and higher energy
> Shaping a horse’s movement to be balanced and engaged
> Channelling extra energy positively
> For fitness and fun as you build in collection, pole work and jumping exercises

However, I often find that many horses and their humans have had bad experiences with lunging in the past – either chasing the horse round in endless boring circles, or the horse rushing round out of balance and out of control, or meeting confusion and resistance such as turning in, reluctance to move and even rearing and bolting.

How you teach your horse to lunge makes all the difference. When you use techniques that make it clear and fun for your horse, he’ll understand what to do and enjoy the game.

In this video, you can see two simple techniques I use to quietly and easily teach horses to lunge and then what you can use lunging to achieve. You can see why this is one of my horses’ and my favourite exercises!

 

Lunging is part of a range of gymnastic groundwork exercises I use to build suppleness, strength and engagement in horses. If you want to find out more, you can join me in person at the Connection Training Centre in Spain in April for a dedicated Gymnastic Groundwork Course.

We’ll cover:

In-hand work
Lunging and movement work
Preparation for riding
Teaching lateral exercises
Teaching body awareness using poles and objects

It’ll be fun, informative and hands-on.

Even better, Angelica Hesselius, a Connection Training Qualifying Instructor, is running an Academic Art of Riding Course just after my Course. Angelica and I work very closely, and the exercises and approach will be similar in both courses. Plus, we’ll both be there for the duration, so you can ask questions of both of us throughout. Why not come for the whole week and join us both? Immerse yourself in positive groundwork and the transition to riding to learn loads of practical techniques and theoretical understanding to take home to your horse.

If you’ve never done any of this work before, it’s a great introduction as we’ll explain each exercise and what you’re looking for in your horse’s movement.
If you have experience with teaching lateral and body awareness exercises but you’re looking for more positive, fun and creative ways to teach horses these exercises, it’s perfect for you, too.

The dates are:

Gymnastic Groundwork Course with Hannah: 15-19th April

Academic Art of Riding Course with Angelica: 20-22nd April

Click here for more info and booking.

 

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3 thoughts on “Why and How to Lunge Your Horse”

  1. So excited to be coming to Spain in April for both of these courses, especially as it’s rather white outside just now and it’s good to have something a little warmer and sunnier to look forward to!

  2. There are many ways to teach a horse and get similar results. “Following a target” can be fun and engaging for the horse and for the human as well. However, this is not the only way to get these results. working the horse in hand and off line using body position and hand cues to teach them to become soft response, gain rhythm, consistency and balance in their gaits, transitions, lateral movement, etc also works quite well as these methods are being used for years. Infusing play or something to build curiosity into your training program, such as your target training, can both hold the horse’s interest and give him focus as well as to create a partnership with the handler.

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