Updated: Nov 6, 2020
Hey, y'all! Sam here with a blog post about lunging! First, let's get one thing straight. Lunging has nothing to do with lungs that you breath with. To lunge is to chase a horse in a circle. Typically in a round pen, but it can be done with a lead/lunge rope, too.
Check out the image below.
The man is running a horse in circles with a lunge line and whip.
Now, I've met people who think that using a whip is like abuse. Y'all, a whip is nothing more than an extension of your arm (depending on how you use it). Horses have extremely tough hides, so even if you were to tap them with it, it wouldn't hurt.
What does lunging do? Well, it helps with three very important things: Obedience, trust and focus. Focus kind of goes with obedience. Lunging a horse correctly will cause the horse's focus to be on you, thus it is more likely to obey you.
Trust. How on earth does running a horse in circles help it trust you? Think about it. You're in the middle telling the pony what to do, it's running around and around, changing turns and stopping when you tell it to. You're training him. Spending time with him. For a new horse, this allows him to get used to you. He's starting to understand how you work, and what you expect from him. As you bond through training he starts to trust you. Badabing, badaboom: Trust excerise.
Lunging is something that I like to do before every ride. You know how horses will hold their breath when you're tacking them up? Lunge them then tighten the cinch again. Lunging them before a ride will do the three things I talked about above AND it will force them to let go of their breath so that you can tighten the cinch. That, friend, is a horse hack for you.
Lunging will also warm your horse up. So when you lunge before going on a ride your pony will be warmed up and ready to rumble.
I should also add that lunging is spelled three different ways: Longeing, lungeing and lunging. All three are correct.
Alright, that about covers it. Comment below on whether or not YOU lunge your horse, and if you're going to start now! Sam out!