- Lunge in an enclosed space, preferably a purpose-built lunging arena, which should be at least 20 m in diameter.
- Ensure that the surface is even and free of stones.
- Protect your horse’s legs with overreach and brushing boots or bandages.
- If lunging in a saddle, make sure the stirrups are firmly secured, so that they don’t slide down and bang on your horse’s sides.
- Wear gloves to prevent rope burns. It’s also advisable to wear closed shoes and, if your horse is likely to kick out, a helmet.
- Use a proper lunge whip and learn to crack it. This is far more effective than trying to chase your horse with it. It’s there to encourage him, not to punish him.
- Lead your horse to or from the arena with the side reins attached.
- Wear spurs, as they could get tangled in the lunge rein and trip you up.
- Work your horse on a tight circle for long periods, as it puts too much strain on the legs. A 20-minute lunging session can be the equivalent of a 45-minute ridden session.
- Use a dressage whip instead of a lunge whip. You will have to get too close to your horse to use it and risk being kicked if he bucks or lashes out.
- Clip the lunge rein onto the inside bit ring, as the bit could be pulled through the horse’s mouth.
By: Ian Tucker
The full article appears in the The Winter Guide issue of HQ (July 124) > Shop now