You’re getting yourself and your horse ready for your weekly lunging session. You go to grab the Cavesson or Halter, the Lunge Line, and the Whip. As you’re thinking about what you’re going to do for this session, you start to realize that you’ve done the same thing each lunging session. Certainly, your horse is gaining muscle and behaving nicely, but are you sure he/she isn’t bored? Lunging doesn’t have to be boring for you or your horse and that’s why this week we are sharing with you 5 ways to avoid boredom in your lunging session and keep things interesting.
1. Add Liberty and other Groundwork Into Your Session
After your lunging session, you can incorporate liberty training or other groundwork exercises into your session. This can look like having your horse free (in a safe area) and asking him to follow you or running close to him and seeing if he’ll trot next to you.
Liberty work is about allowing your horse to be free so don’t focus too much on the specific exercises! You want this to be a fun activity for you and your horse to do together after its lunging workout.
2. Switch Up Your Training Pattern
Usually, when you lunge your horse, you move through the three gaits in the workout session, ending with the canter. After your warm-up session, change it up a little bit! Ask your horse for half a lap of trot before you transition down to the walk. Ask for one collected canter lap before you move back to trot. Include two laps at the walk in the middle of your session. Not only will this help keep your horse’s attention on you but it also allows him to be curious about what workout is coming up next.
3. Try to innovate in the end
We understand and appreciate the importance of the cool-down phase. Try doing this in a different location or a different way! You could walk your horse in hand to cool him down. You can take him for a calm walk around the property. Another idea is to add other exercises at the end of your session. Remember, horses are just like us – they get bored! Different exercises during the cool-down phase can get the horse thinking out of the rut of doing the same lunging session every time.
4. Explore New Locations
Another great idea to avoid boredom during your lunging session is to find new places to work! It can be a different corner of the arena, out in the field, or anywhere your horse isn’t used to working. This is not just about the location, but it works the horse’s brain as it lunges to focus on you and not react to the new scenario.
5. Lunging Training Plan
Are you constantly trying to come up with new ideas for your horse’s lunging? We recommend creating a lunging training plan for you and your horse! You can include things such as your long-term goals, your weekly goals, exercises to practice, and more! It’s important that you plan out your horse’s workout just like you would plan out your own. The more you plan the workout sessions and track your horse’s progress, the more results you’ll see! You can also plan fun exercises to do each week for your horse’s interest.
If you have no idea how to start your lunging training plan, check out our eCourse: The Art of Lunging! A self-study course with 10 lessons + How-to library!