Most riders and horse owners are familiar with the concept of lunging. However, not everyone is usually aware of the reasons trainers utilize it. It is much more than the horse going around in a circle on an extended lead rope. Lunging can also be used for more than just exercise. Find out the top reasons lunging is often utilized weekly or even daily!
- Observe the horse from the ground and judge soundness, movement, and general way of going
- Warm up or cool down
- Rehabilitate after an injury or illness
- Receive riding lessons to improve position without having to control the horse
- Introduce obstacles from the ground
- Help a horse develop balance, suppleness, strength, and stamina
- Learn to carry a saddle on their back
- Develop an understanding of voice commands (halt, walk, trot, canter, etc…)
- Gain confidence in one another
- Provide exercise at show grounds when an arena isn’t available
- Work through bad habits such as rearing or bucking
- Take the edge off of a fresh horse
- Allow the trainer to work the horse even if they are unable to ride
Training a horse is about meeting their individual needs and trying different methods until you see results. Lunging can be a great resource for riders and horse owners, as long as it is done correctly.