If you are just getting started with lunging, perhaps you are not aware of the benefits that lunging training can offer to your horse, or maybe you don’t see so many reasons to do that!
Lunging can incredibly transform your training program and keep your horse interested. When done correctly every horse can benefit a lot from this technique.
That’s why today we want to share with you 5 reasons for lunging your horse regularly.
1- It’s a stress-free exercise for the youngsters
Lunging a horse before riding is great for the acclimatization of the young horse to the saddle or harness.
It gives you a chance to train your horse without the weight of the rider. Young horses can learn step-by-step how to get used to the bridle, saddle, and your commands – all while building up trust with you as their rider.
2- It can bring your horse to the next level
With lunging training, you are carefully crafting further education for your horse – especially for the preliminary work for a higher level of collection.
Through targeted exercises, you can foster the horse’s collection while training the specific muscle groups he needs to be strong and sound.
Including pole and small jumps into the lunging workout prepares the horse for jumping, as well as strengthens their hindquarters to better improve transitions.
3- Lunging can strengthen your bond
Lunging increases your relationship with your horse. If you are not able to build a trusted relationship with your horse while working it on the ground, you will not become a team while you’re on your horse’s back.
What other exercise allows you to redefine your body language to the horse while connecting your voice by the commands you teach the horse? Lunging training does! You are only connected with a lunge line and cannot interact with your body weight, legs, or use both sides of the bit.
If you want to master your horse with this limited type of connection, you will need to gather your horse’s trust and respect – by only using your voice, body language, and the lunge whip.
Strengthening the bond you have with your horse allows you to move onto more complicated training practices such as working with a bit-less bridle, or cavesson, to interact with softer commands without interfering with the horse’s mouth.
4- Helps with correction and rehabilitation
If you don’t have any outside space available where your horse can burn off some steam, lunging can help your horse to get its energy out. You can also use lunging to correct problem horses, which allows them to get used to being asked to work.
Lunging is a great exercise to support the training for horses with less-than-ideal conformation. A great example is our featured horse profile Marco. When horses get older, their backs tend to sink. You can use lunging training to help combat this.
Last but not least: Lunging is the perfect exercise for recovery after an injury.
5- Gymnastics – For the Horse and On the Horse
Lunging training can also be explained as gymnastics for the horse. They stretch their stiff necks and lengthen and work on their posture and body expression.
Equestrian vaulters do the same – just on the horse. Performed in a walk, trot, or canter, the vaulting horse needs to have a solidified lunging training plan to balance out up to three gymnasts on the horse’s back. Through lunging, the horse improves its own balance, which does not just help the vaulting horse.
You’ll experience a more balanced horse while riding, and when asking for bending or straightening.