How to Structure an Effective Lunging Session for Your Horse

Establishing an action plan to guide your lunging session can help you not only correct problems but also keep you on track to achieve your horse’s training goals. But how can you structure an effective lunging session for your horse? This is what we are sharing this week on our blog.

Define Your Focus

First of all, it’s very important that you define your goal. Why are you starting lunging training? Having a clear goal will help you to have better results at the end of the session.

The Warm-Up (Duration: 10-15 minutes)

The lunging session starts with the warm-up phase. 

During the warm-up, the horse should not be attached to any side reins. You can walk it around or alternatively lunge it on a cavesson. The horse should have the possibility to move freely around on the circle with the first ten minutes being kept at the walk. This gives you the possibility to check on the horse’s condition, health, and daily mood or form.

The Working Phase (Duration: 15-20 minutes)

Now you can use sliding side reins to support the horse in finding the perfect body posture on the lunge line. Compared to solid side reins, sliding side reins are very flexible to use and adjust. These can be adjusted as “Vienna side reins” to work the horse long and low, a stretching and lengthening workout. 

Lunging long and low is an excellent way to help stretch and supple the back and neck muscles while encouraging the horse’s forward momentum. It is indispensable as part of a good warm-up and is also an excellent way to cool down after lunging. 

Initially, the horse should have three to five rounds in the walk to get used to the side reins and to arrange himself without feeling stressed out. Only if the horse accepts and feels comfortable with the side reins you can start with the working phase. Lunge your horse for 7-10 minutes in each direction.

The Cool Down (Duration: 10 minutes)

After the working phase, the side reins need to be detached so the horse has the possibility to loosen and stretch in the walk, in whatever way it wants to move without any supporting gear.

For the last ten minutes of the Cool Down Phase, you could establish a “treat-task” – something your horse really enjoys doing and knows how to do well. 

To learn more, watch our last recorded webinar: How to Structure a Lunging Session for your horse