Another lunging question

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by timmythenarwhal, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

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    I know the "limited turnout" thing all too well. My horse is moving to his summer barn tonight. He's only getting out 1-2x a week now due to the weather and b/c the paddocks are nothing but ankle deep mud. He is 2.... that's not enough for him. If I didn't lunge him before I got on him, I'd probably die lol Not that he bucks or does anything bad, he just has a LOT of pent up energy and I'd be stupid to just saddle him and hop on. So, I get it.

    I hate lunging tho and I ONLY do it when I have to, to prevent dying lol

    Thankfully, he's about to have summer turnout in a large grass pasture.
     
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  2. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Actually, running around usually gets them more amped up than otherwise.

    I have a 13-year-old TB (who acts like she's a rising 2-year-old half the time) who gets very feisy through winter and spring. Rather than run her around to "get the energy out," I get on and ask her to work hard at a walk. By that, I mean I ask her to work correctly, to ride a precise circle with a correct bend, to do serpentines or figure 8s with a correct change of bend, to do laterals like shoulder-in or leg yield, to do square corners or turns on the forehand - in short, I make her think, which engages her brain, keeps her from just exploding with energy, and actually uses a ton of energy because it's hard work to do all that.

    Once she's really listening and engaged, we move to trot. Same thing. Not just mindless trot in circles but really working on moving correctly, bending, etc. Lots of changes of direction, insistence on paying attention to me and not mooning at the horses in adjoining paddocks or working in the same arena. We don't trot until we get a solid walk. We don't canter until we get a solid trot.

    I've had her since she was 4 and I've never used the "run around to get the energy out" thing because I found early on that it didn't work.
     
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  3. jojozwiebel

    jojozwiebel Full Member

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    Does she slow down when you bring her in? Like make a smaller circle?

    I usually lunge if my horses have a lot of energy. My older horse typically needs lunging before any riding because that was how he was trained. Plus he is older and out of shape so if I can't ride I can at least get him moving. My younger horse (10) will get excited if I just let him have all the line. So I use small circles and slowly let the line out. If he is not calm, I bring the line in.
     
  4. Puddincup

    Puddincup Senior Member

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    You said you gave an indoor arena, so let her burn off her energy in there.

    If the sand is that slippy like you mention what's it doing in an arena? Let alone being lunged or worked on.

    The tight circles you have her in while lunging are probably pulling her off balance and to compensate for that your filly has to go faster.
     
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  5. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Longeing her to get her excess energy out is incredibly more dangerous than letting her run around loose, in most cases.
     
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  6. timmythenarwhal

    timmythenarwhal Registered

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  7. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

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    I feel like I should have clarified... I still expect my horse to listen and be respectful on the LL. I, in no way, would let him run around like a crazed lunatic. I 100% believe in lunging for a purpose, even if you're trying to burn off a little extra energy.
     
  8. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    That works with some of them but not all of them.

    I had a pony like bellalou, just get on him and walk and really work on things, same at the trot. Spiral in at the trot, blah blah blah. Worked great.

    Not with my mare. Just no. Great way to be launched. Just peachy.

    Didn't work with my gelding, either. You could work and work and work a the walk and he would STILL plotz every time you picked up a trot. It just didn't work.

    The mare learned to 'go nuts' on the longe line in a way that was not dangerous. She would practically buck on command. 15 minutes of that (I would NEVER do that with an unbroke 3 1/2 or 4 year old), just flying around, bucking, carrying on, and she was good to go. And it absolutely did not make her worse.

    You try and hold her back, make her walk, make her work at the walk? Good ruddy luck, LOL.

    They are all different. And cannot be changed. They all have a specific level of activity they need.

    The key is finding what works. If things aren't working, try something else.

     
  9. mkoktavy

    mkoktavy Senior Member

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    To me it sounds like the horse has just been used to being chased around as soon as it' been put on the lunge .
    I personally like to make sure my horse will behave and listen on the lunge line, so if it were mine, I would work more with her.
    What happens if your at a show and your horse has that liiiittle bit of extra energy... I like to lunge and let them look at everything and respectively do their own thing on the lunge before I get on (in a show or high stress environment) to take the edge off .
    I would just work on walking on the lunge. Start out on a smaller circle, and make it bigger when she keeps at a walk, smaller when she breaks into trot. You will be doing a whole lot of back and forth in shortening and lengthening your line but do only that for the next few sessions and then build on that with trot. The goal to me would be to get the horse listening, not to excercise.
    That being said, I'm doing quite a bit of lunging with my 3 year old now (free lunging and very large circles) more for fitness as I can't really ride because my saddle is on order and I don't have anything to fit right now!
     
  10. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    You said the horse is good to get on and ride......

    It's the riders job to set the horse up for success. If the horse is more successful when being ridden, then forget the lunging for now. Or alternatively, get on, warm up and lunge a little bit at the end. Slowly move the lunging part to be further away from the end of the ride (aka: ride lunge ride) tiger the point across - IF the horse behaves better on the lunge after being ridden.

    And there are some horses who just do not lunge well at all - they despise it. So......the idea of don't judge a fish on its ability to jump applies here.......
     
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