Why should you lunge your horse regularly?
I lunge my horses at least 5 times a week. I have made this a habit for a variety of reasons.
1.) I like to see how they are moving. In this type of excersize I am able to see if they are sore anywhere, if they are lame, and how they carry themselves overall.
2.) It is a great mini refresher for ground rules. Often times I will lunge for fifteen to twenty minutes and then I will walk, stop, back, and flex my horse from the ground. Even my older horses try to get pushy at times and need a reminder to respect my space.
3.) It is a quick way to get my horses out and get a little excersize. With four horses, and six miniatures horses to groom, feed, and excersize I don’t always have time to get each one excersized under saddle each day. It is also a saviour in wintertime when weather isn’t all to favorable to be out for a long under saddle excersize.
4.) It gives the horse a break from long hard sessions of work. It is good for a horse to just be gotten out and excersized lightly and then put back up. This way every time they are caught they don’t think you’re going to work them hard. This can also help with horses who are hard to catch. They soon realize it’s just a chance to get out and stretch their legs a bit.
Sometimes I don’t clock the time I am lunging but I let my horse tell me when they are relaxed and stretched out. Often times, as you’ll notice in the above picture of Jo, they will start with their heads high. When they have relaxed and stretched out horses will often lower their heads, lick and chew at the mouth, and swish their tails side to side. As you can see in the second photo of Jo, she has dropped her head considerably.
This is a simple excersize that doesn’t require much time or equipment that you can do to evaluate, excersize, and refresh your horse.