Using the Pyramid of Training to Guide your Lunging Goals

Advertised initially by the United States Dressage Federation, the Pyramid of Training it’s an incredibly helpful tool for all disciplines that you can use to guide your lunging training plan. In this blog, we want to share with you some insights on what it’s this tool and how you can combine it with your lunging training goals.

What is a Lunging Training Plan?

A lunging training plan sounds very complex, right? It doesn’t have to be! A lunging training plan is developed to make your lunging sessions easier and more focused. You can start with your training goals for your horse. What do you want to focus on each week? What do you hope to accomplish in the next six months? Outlining these goals is your first step to seeing change as your horse progress. Your lunging training plan should include goals for each session, what equipment you want to use, and any exercises or planning you have to troubleshoot spotty issues on the lunge line.

Watch: How to structure a lunging session for your horse

The Pyramid of Training

The Pyramid of Training, as the name states, is actually a pyramid where each of the components that your horse learns builds off on the one before it.

While it might feel exciting to want to jump ahead on the pyramid, it’s important to remember that the building block you’re working on (the rhythm for example) needs to be fully understood and solid before moving forward. 

Working with that same example, the block above rhythm is suppleness. When we ask for or look for a supple horse, we expect that their rhythm is aligned so that they can achieve that suppleness. You’re not going to get a supple horse if it is out of rhythm! 

As you’re working through the Pyramid of Training, remember that these big building blocks take time to learn. You may spend a few months just on relaxation but rhythm might come easier for your horse. You’ll know which areas your horse naturally succeeds in and where it might need a little more help as you go through.

Use the Pyramid of Training as a Guide

As you’re using it to guide your lunging, start with relaxation. During your assessment, ask questions like: was your horse relaxed and supple or stiff? Calm or excited? Ready to work or distracted? These are all important points to work with your horse on during your lunging sessions. 

As you create your lunging training plan that we discussed previously, use the Pyramid of Training as a guide! Use each level of the pyramid when you think about your long-term goals.

For example, you can determine that each Wednesday when you lunge, you’ll be focusing on relaxation. You could say: “in three months, I want my horse to be relaxed on the lunge line at all three gaits.”

Setting a goal for you and your horse will help you to develop your horse’s training and strengthen its movement. 

The Pyramid of Training is a great tool to access your lunging training plan. Your plan will help you to see what you have accomplished and what you can look forward to focusing on! 

Now that you have done your assessment, found and focused on your trouble areas, and refined your lunging training plan, you and your horse are bound to be an even better lunging team!