Tuesday 20 November 2012

Lunge Lessons

Quick snapshot taken today at lunchtime before she got her outdoor rug on to go outside

I decided to lunge Kika last night so that she wouldn't be ridden 4 days in a row doing similar things, L (The Guru) is looking after her for me today as I have a class this evening and can't make it after work.
Keeping things fresh & changing stuff up is the name of the game with Miss Kika...when things get too repetitive she gets sour - can't blame her really, we all do!
Boredom is evil!

Got to the yard last night and brought Kika in, she had been a  good girl & stayed in the field all afternoon. Although I later found out when I got home that herself and O, her field buddy, had finished their allocated amount of hay after 2 hours and my sister who passed the field gave them a bit of an extra helping. So might have recalculate with L how much to give them each day to stop Miss Houdini looking for a way out, ;)

After a quick groom (gotta love the beauty of rugs), got the lunging gear on and we were good to go. Located an empty'ish arena - another guy was lunging his horse in the upper half of the arena so I set Kika to work on the lower half.
Started warm up by walking with her knight's cooler (picture taken way back when LINK), after a couple of circles in each direction the cooler came off and we started some trot work. transitioning from trot to walk and back again for roughly 5mins in each direction with a bit of canter tossed in to get the juices flowing.

The side reins were then attached on the first hole, for some more walk/trot transition on increasing & decreasing circle sizes while moving from one corner to the other in our lower half of the arena - with some canter work in the middle where we had more room. After another 5ish minutes on each rein when I felt she was working well I tightened up the side reins to the fourth whole and repeated the exercises.

At this stage the guy who had been lunging in the upper half of the arena finished up and headed out past us. Kika didn't break stride or bat an eyelid as i had her trot down the long side of the arena and then resume her circles moving up and down the length of the arena, mixing walk, trot & canter with spiralling circle sizes so as not to be repetitive.

L arrived to see how we were doing and gave me some tips to get Kika working better, she said she was doing well with me but that I was being too soft and she could do much more on the lunge. So she showed me by taking over and the change in K was immediate. L showed me how to get her to lengthen her stride even more and keep her focused on me while lunging by playing with the lunge line like i would the reins when riding.

To see K trotting on the end of L's lunge line, the length of her stride is something I hope to be able to get her to emulate next time.

"The field is that way...Less of your faffing - LET'S GO"


  1. Sounds like a good experience. I should probably do more stuff like that with Houston...

    1. Thanks Hillary, I love the variety lunging offers as i find myself often uninspired in the saddle so love having the option to lunge!

  2. I rarely think of lunging as more than a way to get the crazies out before riding. You're a good horse mom :)

  3. Aw thanks Kitty - have to say I love lunging.
    I think it is a great way to be able to watch your horse while still having them work in the way you want.
    Plus the training aids L instructs & shows me how to use enable Kika to work better over a more condensed period of time then I can currently achieve when I am in the saddle - if that makes sense.
    I find lunging an invaluable tool in my weekly working arsenal - especially in winter I try to lunge at least twice a week.


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