Lunging the horse - Working with a lunge line

29. July 2021 / Guide / 2 Minutes
Lunging the horse - Working with a lunge line

What exactly is lunging?

Lunging is a popular method from the field of ground work and is used for moving and training your horse from the ground. Lunging has therefore become a firmly established alternative to classical riding in many horse owners' weekly training.

What is the correct way to lunge my horse?

When lunging, you stand in the middle and move with your horse's movements as it moves around you in a circle.

Under the best conditions, you can lunge your horse in a lunging ring with a non-slip floor. The diameter of the lunging circle should ideally be 14-16 metres. Of course, you can also lunge your horse in any riding arena or indoor arena.

Lunging Ring
Lunging Ring

In order for lunging to have a positive effect on your horse's health and muscling, it is important that your horse moves forward and downward, dropping its head and arching its back. Ideally, your horse will be able to do this without auxiliary reins.

If, however, your horse still has difficulty walking in line, you can support it with suitable auxiliary reins. The supportive bridle helps your horse arch its back and stretch forward and downward.

Frequent changes of pace or transitions and hand changes (which can be done every five minutes) ensure improved conditioning, targeted muscle development and variety when lunging.

What equipment do I need for lunging?

Lunging with a Cavesson

Lunging with a Cavesson

The advantage of working with a cavessons is that you can lunge your horse in a more horse-friendly way without the use of a bridle and thus help it achieve the correct stretching posture and bend as naturally as possible. When you lunge your horse with a cavesson, this clearly shows the training condition of your horse, as it can move freely on the lunge line and is not supported by a bridle. However, as a cavesson can be quite sharp on your horse's neck and cervical spine, you should use it carefully so as not to harm your horse. Of course, you can also use a cavesson to tie up your horse.

Which cavesson is suitable?

A cavesson made of soft, smooth leather with adjustable straps is recommended for lunge training. To protect the sensitive nerve tracts, there should be room for two fingers between the cheekbone and the noseband.

A suitable lunge line for lunging

Of course, you need a lunge line for lunging. These can be made of webbing or soft nylon material. You will have to decide for yourself which is better and more comfortable in your hand. The lunge line helps the horse get into the inside position and should always be hooked into the bit of the bridle under the auxiliary reins if you use it. With a cavesson, on the other hand, the lunge is usually attached to the middle ring of the noseband.

Alternatively, you can consider using a double lunge. This is buckled into both sides of the bit and also held in both hands. This allows you to position and control your horse even better from the ground. Another positive effect is the activation of the hindquarters, which is achieved by limiting the outer lunge.

A little tip: Be sure to lunge your horse with riding gloves so that you don't suffer burns on your hands if the lunge slips.

Lunging whip

As an extended arm you can use a lunging whip, which can be made of different materials (fibreglass models are very light).

The appropriate lunging girth

The lunging girth should have rings on the side of the belly and also rings at the top, which make it possible to buckle in auxiliary reins in different positions.

Lunging Girth
Lunging Girth

Auxiliary reins for lunging

  • Side reins: Provide your horse with a frame and help him to stretch to the bit.
  • Triangle reins: As an alternative to the tie-out reins, your horse can be lunged with the help of a triangle reins, which helps him to achieve an even better stretching posture.
  • Running side reins: In addition to lateral restraint and increased flexibility, they allow your horse to vary its posture by means of different buckling options.
  • Neck stretcher: Enables flexibility through elastic material.
  • Chambon: The flexible chambon allows your horse a forward-downward stretch.
  • Gogue: Auxiliary rein quite similar to the Chambon, but has less direct effect on your horse's chaps.
  • Pessoa: Frames your horse's hindquarters, which activates them and has a positive effect on your horse's belly and back muscles.
Neck Stretcher
Neck Stretcher

Leg protection with bandages or boots

Whether you put leg protection on your horse or not is something you have to consider and assess. In principle, it is of course more sensible to work preventively. You can use normal hard-shell boots on the lunge line, as well as bell boots. You can also use bandages with or without bandage pads to protect your horse's sensitive pads and legs.

More products for lunging