Notes on Lunging

must be used as training exercise and trust builder, not just physical activity

create physical barrier
make sure stirrups won't fall
a few turns in each direction without side reins
butterfly loop with excess in whip hand
Position yourself infront of the horse's centre with an open angle. your navel below his centre, make v. keep yourself in place with landmark.
look for signs of relaxation - chewing bit, stretching out
wait for him to loosen back muscles, patient til horse is relaxed
trotting poles can encourage them to stretch their neck
tracking up, in or beyond front hoof
bring horse to middle to attach side reins
even vs. longer on outside
they should balance on the outside and leave inside looser
with a lazy horse, walk a bit more
a little forward vs. slower
examiner's expect boots everywhere, including bell boots up front

give rider reins or neckstrap
concentrate on position vs. managing horse
ear shoulders elbow hip heel
stirrup leathers perpendicular to floor

Work on a circle puts more stress on the horse’s muscles, joints and tendons, and is therefore harder work than ordinary riding. Be sure to change direction at least every five minutes and be sure to change gaits frequently as well. Most recommendations for fit horses are 20 min maximums, but Walter Zettl says up to 30.

Sally O’Connor, in her book Common Sense Dressage contends that lungeing is indispensible in training, rebalancing and suppling horses, in that it allows the horse to develop muscles, balance and rhythm without the burden of the rider’s weight on its back.

Her first rule is, Forward. The horse must go forward promptly on a circle at the required gait, with various exercises and a consistent technique.

If the horse is being difficult, sessions can be quite alarming, but perservere, let the horse figure things out, even if falling, stumbling or disobediently flying around you. Battles are not the norm, but they do occur, and she reminds that a horse can be dangerous to itself, and you. And that, when these issues arise, you must be prepared to stay at it until you win. “I love horses but I expect them to toe the line and to produce when asked. They are altogether too big and too powerful to be allowed to push people around.”

For the horse that really rushes around her advice is to let it. When it begins to break down to trot, send it on again in canter “let it be your idea to canter this time”

The standard 20 meter circle. Begin to decrease and increase the size of the circle.

Lunging techniques are about your body angle, position and where you are looking. It is also about your intention, energy and even your breathing. First thing is to remember to look at the horse. That way you will not get dizzy. Second thing to remember is to 'square your shoulders' to the horse's rump and look at the horse's rump or hips. Do not look at the horse's head. If you look at the horse's head it gives the horse a confused message. The horse's tendency is to move the body part you are looking at. You want the horse to move forward, so look at his butt. If you want the horse to back up, look at his front feet (not his eyes or head).
USPC Manual, p.23
to be safe for you and your horse, you must learn to longe a well trained horse or pony with help from someone who is experienced in longeing BEFORE trying to longe a horse that is difficult

wear gloves, your helmet and safe footwear (without spurs).

The aids are: voice, handler’s placement/body language, whip and line

Keep quiet except when giving command
Commands must have different sounds

No! a verbal punishment to be used instantly when required and spoken in a sharp, displeased tone of voice

“OU-u-u-ut” may be used to ask the horse to move out on the circle, away from the handler.
Snaffle rein where the line comes out toward the horse under the handler’s ring finger, between the little finger. Squeezing or turning you’re your hand, not by pulling

Driving rein = See p33 and diagrams on 35

see also Leading rein, direct rein, indirect rein, giving the longe (reward, asks horse to lower his head or move out onto larger circle) and halfhalts

Excess longe folded properly