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[RC] lunging pre-ride - k s swigart

Jonni said:

I never want my horse goofing around, bucking, leaping,
?or running madly on a lunge line.

If you are lunging a horse "properly" it won't be doing this.? In my book, 
people who have horses on the end of a long line running madly around, bucking, 
and leaping, are not really "lunging" a horse at all.? They are just letting 
the horse run around them in a circle.

?If they are under my control, they are to act like a good horse,
?and behave.

And if they are being properly lunged, then they will.? After all, that is, if 
you ask me, the PURPOSE of lunging a horse.? To teach it balance and control 
and how to respond to cues.

?I lunge to check soundness, or for the vets at our NATRC rides.

I will trot a horse on a circle to check soundness, and the lazy man's way to 
do this is to stand in the middle of the circle with the horse on a long line, 
but it is not the only way (you can run around the circle with the horse if you 
want); however, it is much easier to do this with the horse if you have taught 
it to lunge (since you cannot reasonably check soundness if the horse is just 
galloping around on a circle bucking and leaping).

?I never lunge to "exercise" them. 

I don't lunge just to "exercise" them either.? Lunging is a schooling thing; 
although it is a muscle building "exercise" as well since if you do it properly 
it is an excellent way to teach the horse self-carriage without the 
interference of the weight of the rider.

IF you have taught your horse to lunge properly, it can be an excellent way to 
get the horse focused on you, the handler, even in a high-energy situation.? 
However, it also requires a decent amount of room (although it doesn't have to 
be 60+ feet).? Personally, I don't use it pre-ride at an endurance ride mostly 
because of this "needs room" thing.? Few endurance rides starts have enough 
room that I would feel justified in hogging as much room as would be needed to 
lunge my horse.

Orange County, Calif.

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