Properly Lunge Your Horse
Best Practices for Lunging Horses
Lunging is sometimes used to cool down a "hot horse" by letting it run out in a controlled environment. However, some professional horse trainers think that when lunging is used for this purpose it is just building up the horse to run harder and is ineffective.
Lunging or lungeing or longeing (take your pick) is the process of training a green or even experienced horse by having the horse on the end of a lunge line while the trainer teaches commands. A lunge line is a substitute for a round pen while the horse learns to move in a circle around the trainer.
Lunge lines are made long in order to keep the horse at a distance from the trainer and come in cotton, nylon, leather, padded lunge ropes, braided lunge ropes, and chain lead lunge ropes.
Sound horse lunging practice includes the use of a lunge cavesson used in place of a halter. The cavesson provides additional padding on the noseband and the lunge line rings on noseband. A horse should not be lunged in a halter, since halters tend to twist around the face.
Lunge cavessons are typically leather or nylon and are sized for the horse in order to fit snuggly.
Lunge whips are made longer than typical horse whips in order to keep the horse at a safe distance from the trainer. Lunge whips come in standard, mini and two piece versions. You can spend whatever you want for a lunge whip, but function should take preference over form.
An equestrian surcingle is an unpadded strap that fastens around a horses girth area using buckles or rings. Surcingles may be made of leather, nylon, or neoprene and are used in training, with horse packs for stabilizing a pack load, and are a major component of a horse harness.
Surcingles have multiple uses in horse training where special training surcingles (rollers) are padded and have multiple rings added. When used for lunging, surcingles are used for side reins, over check, lauffer reins, or chambons.
An equestrian chambon is a strap that runs forward from the bottom of the girth or surcingle, and forks to either side of the horse bridle or halter. A chambon prevents the horse from raising its head beyond a certain point and is used mostly in training horses while lunging.