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For the love of lunging

Rachel - 01 / Feb / 2021

For the love of lunging

We're all aware that keeping your horse exercised is essential for their mental and physical health, and although lunging is not a substitute for correct schooling, it can play a vital role in your horses fitness regime. 

Everyone knows the winter months can be pretty tough when you've got horses and the thought of going to ride when it's dark, cold and wet can fill even the most enthusiastic rider with dread.

We're all aware that keeping your horse exercised is essential for their mental and physical health, and although lunging is not a substitute for correct schooling, it can play a vital role in your horses fitness regime. 

There are many benefits of regular lunging, such as being able to watch your horse move without the weight of a rider. You can access whether he or she is moving evenly and how balanced the horse is on both reins. Lunging can be quite strenuous on the horses joints and muscles because you are working on a continuous circle, so sessions should be kept short. 

There are various training aids on the market that encourage the horse to stretch it's topline whilst working. The John Whitaker Training Aid featured in the images below is a great choice if you're undecided which is right for you, as not only does it come with a lunge roller, but it also has four positioning options allowing you to set a position for your horse that is suitable for their level of training. 

 

The John Whitaker Training Aid works with ropes and pulleys, promoting muscle development and engagement of the hind quarters. It can help a horse find a rhythm and improve balance and suppleness.

As an alternative, the Equi-Ami Lunge Aid works the horses in a similar way as we would if we were riding them, encouraging a soft, equal contact and discouraging leaning and resistance. 

It works by placing the horse in a self-centering loop, encouraging the horse to bring their hind legs under, lower their head and shorten the frame allowing the horse to lift through the withers. The lunge aid becomes loser rewarding the horse as soon as the horse relaxes into a softer rounder frame. 

Lunging doesn't need to be a chore and it can be a great opportunity for a bit of precious bonding time with your horse, whilst making your horse more responsive to your voice commands and body gestures. 

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