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.It’s covered in step-by-step detail in the Gymnastic Groundwork Home Study Course in the CT Club.


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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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