When you want to train your horse to lunge, all you need is a bit of space and a good supply of hay. But before you can start, it’s important to understand the basics. In this article, we’ll help you teach your horse how to lunge. We’ll also introduce you to the different Lunge signals and give you some tips on how to produce them effectively.
What is Lunge?
The Lunge is a training exercise wherein the horse is led to walk, trot, and canter in a circle, with the handler following at a predetermined distance. It’s become one of the most popular exercises for developing ground control and responsiveness.
The Lunge signal refers to the use of verbal or visual cues to direct the horse around the circle with speed and precision.
Basic Training Principles
The goal of lunge training is to teach the horse to understand and respect your signals. First, you must learn how to produce the signals with your body language.
There are two types of Lunge signals: voice commands and physical actions. Voice commands are used for teaching the horse more about what they’re supposed to do, like walk at a certain pace, or stop running. Physical actions will be used as a guide for the horse as they lunge because these actions will show where they’re supposed to walk or run.
Voice commands may be difficult depending on the space available and whether there are other horses nearby who could startle you and/or your horse when giving a command like “walk.” So instead, use physical actions as your dominant form of communication because it’s safer and easier for both you and your horse.
Why Lunge Your Horse?
A lunge is a very effective tool for teaching your horse to keep its head up and push off with its hind legs. It’s also a great way to improve the suppleness of their back end.
One of the most important aspects of lungé training is teaching your horse how to take weight on its front legs. This is because taking weight on the front legs is essential for all movements, but can be difficult if they haven’t been trained properly. A lunge helps teach them this skill through repetitive practice.
When you lunge your horse, they should go from standing straight up with all four feet on the ground to bend at the knees so that only two feet are touching. They should maintain an upright neck and move in a straight line while learning how to take weight on their front legs.
The equipment you need to teach your horse to lunge is minimal. You’ll only need a few things:
– A lunge whip or long lead rope
– A sizeable space for your horse to move
– Enough hay or grain so that the horse has something to eat during the training session
5 steps To Teach Your Horse to Lunge
This step is optional and can be done at any point during your horse’s training career, but it’s a good idea to do this as soon as you can after receiving your new horse, or at least before he gets into serious training (e.g., when he’s just been turned out). The preparation step helps you get on the same page with your horse so you can work together in harmony on the lunge line in the future, rather than competing over who gets to move forward first or who gets to lunge first under certain circumstances. To prepare for lunge work, it helps to clearly understand where his shoulders are positioned when he’s standing quietly and not moving around or when he’s in motion. You can do this by looking at your horse when he’s standing quietly and trying to identify his shoulders. Once you know where his shoulders are, you can move on to the next step in teaching him to lunge.
2. Equine Body Language
The horse will show his level of interest in the lunge by making various body movements and postures, such as raising his head, lowering his head, stretching out or folding down, or making a turn either with his neck or back. These movements help you figure out how far forward he wants to go and what type of leg action he wants you to use when you stop him. The more interested in your horse is in the lunge line (and not just the single object at which they are working), the more important it is that you inspect how he’s moving and posturing before either starting a lunge or continuing to lunge.
3. The Lunge Signal
The lunge signal is the most important part of the lunge work. It is what allows you to know when to stop the lunge and it is what allows your horse to know when he’s done. The lunge signal tells your horse that he’s done working and that you are ready for him to move forward and up. When you give him this signal, he will naturally put his body weight onto his hind legs, take a step forward, extend his neck into a long stretch, and stand up tall. The time he takes to respond depends on how long you take to give the signal. If you are giving this signal too quickly or not giving it at all, he may start lunging before he’s ready or not at all if you don’t give him any sort of cue at all (the most common being a hand motion).
4. The Striking the Ground
The Next step in the lunge is striking the ground with your front hoof. We usually do this when you’re standing close to your horse and he has been lunging for a good amount of time. It’s best if you don’t give him a cue at all, just let him do it on his own (don’t be afraid to “lead” him into striking the ground). When he strikes the ground, make sure that both feet are hitting at once, as this can cause injury if you only hit one foot and not both. It is also important that both sets of legs are relaxed, allowing them to absorb shock while they are in contact with the ground. You want your horse to maintain contact with the ground as long as possible (you should be able to see him staying on his toes, even if you’re far away from him).
5. The Release
The release is the last step of the lunge. There are two ways to do it and they both work. The first way is to release your horse in a very short time frame. This means you should hold the lunge signal for no longer than a handful of seconds. Give him this signal, then release him immediately and give him some distance (if you are working with a partner that has the reins, ask them to take over). If you want your horse to keep lunging after he’s released, it’s best if you don’t give him any sort of cue at all, as he’ll likely start lunging before he stands up tall. The second way is to hold the lunge for an extended period before releasing your horse. This method allows your horse more time to stand up tall and gives him the opportunity to relax, rest his body weight on his hind legs, stretch out his neck, and look forward. Remember to give your horse plenty of time to relax between lunges.
What are the types of lunge signals?
There are three types of lunge signals. You can use these to direct your horse in different directions and encourage them to go faster and slower.
The first type is the ʽLungeʼ signal. This is a signal that directs your horse forward by pushing the reins, as if you were going to ʽlungeʼ with your horse. The second type is the Turn Left (Right) Lungeʼ signal. This signals them to turn in that direction as they lunge forward. The last type of lunge signal is the Pull Back, Slow Down, Stop Lunge Signals. These signals instruct your horse to slow down and stop by pulling back on the reins and slowing their pace or applying firm pressure to the side of their body with your legs.
How to produce lunge signals effectively?
There are many ways to produce a lunge signal.
One way is to use your voice and speak the word “lunge” at the same time you move your hand in an upward motion. This will work if you only need to produce one signal, but it will get tedious if there’s a sequence of signals needed. There are also some other things you can do to make your lunge signal more effective:
– Raise your arm higher than usual and keep it there while giving the Lunge signal
– Wave both arms up and down
– Use some sort of object, like a stick or whip
The best way to teach your horse how to lunge is by using a combination of these methods. You can also try different variations, such as tapping the ground with a stick while waving an object overhead. This will help create more variety in your training sessions and help keep your horse entertained.
Do I need to lunge for my horse every day?
It’s important for horses to do lunge work at least once per week, but you can take over one session each day if the horse needs it.
At what speed should I lunge?
This all depends on what type of horse you have and their level of training. Some horses will only walk Lunge, while others will trot or even canter. You want to work at the speed that your horse is comfortable with. The goal is not always to get them moving faster, but to teach them how to control their movement properly without jerking or halting.
How long should one lunge session last?
Again, this depends on the type of horse and their training level. But it’s typically best for beginners to start out with sessions lasting 5-10 minutes, then move up from there as they become more advanced in their training process.
Lunge is a great way to build strength and stamina in your horse. It can also help to improve their balance and develop better coordination and muscle tone. Teaching your horse to lunge is not as difficult as it seems. With the right equipment and some patience, you will teach your horse to lunge in no time. We hope this guide has helped you learn how to lunge your horse. If you have questions please leave them below! If you want to teach your horse to bow, follow this guide.