Why Lunging is Important

Who else likes lunging!?

I recently put a post-up on my Facebook page, I had a fair few questions come through about it.

Now, I’m not talking about that thing we do in the gym 🙂

I’ll always be honest; you may not believe me as you always see me talk about lunging in my training. But I used to hate lunging- gasp! I never saw the purpose of lunging. I only saw it as an exercise, literally just that. To tire your horse down before you got on.

Now days, it’s one of my favourite tools. Coming back from holidays, injury and also as part of my weekly training program to help strengthen and condition.

I guess like many aspects of the equestrian world I’m always striving to ‘do better’ be a better rider, have better horsemanship skills for my horses. Always trying to improve myself to bring out not only the best in me as a rider but my horses.

For me, the change in my belief was seeing the transformation of Arnie in front of my eyes. Arnie being a Standardbred coming from a purpose bred racing background transitioning into a ridden horse. I was always looking for ways to help make little improvements and one of those was lunging. Getting him to be able to use his body better, shift and take more weight on the hind end, sharpen the transitions and strengthen his core. Best off all being able to see it with my eyes on the ground.

Our bodyworker Nicole from Equinic Performance Therapies who treats our horses on a regular basis was the one who introduced me to the wonderful Equisystem – which I now recommend to almost every person I teach!

This has been a bit of a game changer, the purpose of the Equisystem is to make the horse remember they have a hind end and how to use it.

I love using mine when I’m lunging, I’ve also used it in ridden work with Arnie especially when I have those canter days where I’m asking him to sit and wait more with the hind end. It really helps to encourage and gives him confidence in our canter work.

What my usually lunge days look like:

  • 15-20 minutes total
  • Lots of transitions, walk, trot, canter
  • Transitions within the gait, bringing the trot in and a little smaller and then asking it to be bigger
  • Adding poles to our work either 1, 3 or 4 poles
    • Aim is to get them to use their core, when they lift through their back

I bought my Equisystem through Vicki Wilson NZ page directly you can find the link by clicking here.

I’ll be honest, I’m in no way associated with this product, I’m purely plugging a product I have tried and tested successfully with my own horses.

Happy training!