How to Lunge

As taught by Jennifer and interpreted by Charlene! Any errors are on the part of Charlene.


  1. Training using “re-inforcement” or rewards and corrections
  2. Rewards encourage the pony to repeat the behaviour
  3. A correction does not always mean punishment. Think of correcting the pony’s mistake rather than punishing him.

In order to learn, the pony must connect the signal, the behaviour and the reward, within a very short time frame- 1-3 seconds.

You must be consistent and always give the signal the same way. You must be consistent about which behaviour you reward or correct.

Manners are a matter of attitude between horse and handler.

Each must pay attention and be aware of the other

The handler must communicate clearly.

The pony must be obedient and responsive.

  • Teaching this requires patience, awareness and attention to detail.
  • Careless and inconsistent handling is unfair to your horse, and potentially dangerous.


Parallel Leading

  • Start with teaching the horse to listen to your aids while you walk beside him
  • Make sure he understands voice control first.


Reasons to Lunge

  1. To exercise a horse when he cannot be ridden.
  2. To settle down a horse that is full of energy
  3. To train the horse to pay attention to voice commands and the trainer’s body language
  4. To develop a horse’s rhythm, balance and suppleness and way of moving
  5. Lungeing a rider on a trained horse is a great way to improve the rider’s seat and position


Reasons for Side Reins

  1. consistent point of contact,
  2. encourage bend,
  3. reschool without rider interference,
  4. strengthen with the correct movement,
  5. teach collection


  1. Lungeing needs a 60 foot space for a circle (or 20m)
  2. A 30 foot lunge line -with out a chain
  3. Make sure your lungeing area has good footing
  4. No one should be riding while you lunge
  5. Your whip should be about 5 feet long


What to Wear

  • Gloves, no rings, safe footwear, safety helmet that is properly fastened, no spurs and a watch.



  1. Clean side reins
  2. Clean front & back boots, bell boots. Make sure they fit the horse!
  3. Get lunge line & whip


Get Horse Ready

  1. Groom horse
  2. Put on boots and bell boots – don’t want him under saddle as we take time on the boots
  3. Saddle horse – prepare stirrups so they will not bump.
  4. Get self ready – dressed as if for riding (helmet, gloves, boots etc)
  5. Get side reins
  6. Saddle – can lunge from saddle or lunging surcingle. We will use the saddle
  7. Clip 1 side rein to top D ring. Since Cee Kay is intermediate will attach side reins to stirrup leathers. Attach so they will not slip. NOTE: when do you want the stirrups to hang down? If have a young horse may want him to get used to the feel of the stirrups as he works.
  8. Attach lunge line
  9. Warm up 1 way – walk / trot / canter. Warm up other way. About 5 minutes each way.
  10. Ask instructor if they would like to see him go with side reins. Explain why using side reins – what did you see during lunging so far (may be bending to outside, nose out too far — side reins will fix)
  11. Attach outside side rein 1st (Ceekay was 6 and 8, Gryphon 3 and 4).
  12. Attach inside rein but immediately move to barrel and get him to walk on. They can spook at being “tied down”, go back and fall on back.
  13. Go about 5 minutes each way
  14. Always keep lunge line off ground
  15. Hands are like riding – thumbs on top, elbows by side
  16. Twirl up whip and tuck under arm before approaching horse.
  17. Eyes on horse always.


boots and bell boots

Front boots and bell boots

back fetlock protectors

Fetlock protectors on back. On Gryphon use his xc boots.

Closed boots


Lunging surcingle

Side Reins

Secure side reins

Twist side reins and clip

side reins crossed and clipped

Side reins crossed, twisted and clipped

Know your side rein length

Know your length

Secure the Stirrups

Secure the stirrups

throat latch and reiins

Reins twisted, throat latch through. Do not want reins dangling!

lunge line

Lunge line ready

over poll

Option 1: over poll. Advantage – even pressure on both sides of mouth. Disadvantage: hard on poll, have to switch it to work other side.


Option 2: A lungeing cavesson is a piece of equipment used when longeing a horse. A longeing cavesson consists of a heavy, padded noseband, metal rings to attach the longe line, a throatlatch, and sometimes additional straps such as a jowl strap or a browband for added stability.

Option 3: make your own cavessen. Advantage works from both sides so don’t have to switch. Works evenly.

Prepare lunge line


Walk to the centre where you want to be.
Aim yourself at his barrel
Ask him to walk on and move out
Plant heel and pivot

Say name and then instruction:
“Gryphon” – terrot (2 syllables, go up and down as with gait)
Ask until you get – ask, then click, then whip
Say “good” so they know.

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