Working with my new OTTB has been a learning curve. He was taught to lunge a very specific way, a way that was hard for me to perform, which confused him, and made our first exercise very bad. I ask the horses I work with to lunge a very specific way. Handsomely Ever After did not understand what was being asked. So we have both had to change our styles to prevent frustration!
Here’s my version of lunging:
- Start directly in front of your horse, about five feet away.
- Raise your left arm and tilt your head to the left. Note: if you have not lunged before, your horse will not understand what you are asking. That is okay! It’s part of the process.
- Cluck to your horse, and using your right hand, take a lunge whip and tap the horse’s left shoulder. This should persuade him to take a step to his right.
- Continue to tap his shoulder until he takes a step to the right. (NOT backwards or forwards.)
- As soon as he takes one step to the right, stop tapping, take the pressure off of him by rubbing the whip against his body. This teaches your horse that to be comfortable, he must make that step.
- Repeat the process, as he progresses, ask for more and more steps to the right.
This exercise can be done on both sides, all you have to do is change all the rights to lefts and vice versa.
Using these steps, Handsomely Ever After has progressed in his lunging so much! I love watching him learn.
Do you have any lunging tips? Please share them below!