Lunging/Longeing – Part Four

When lunging, remember to keep your horse on the fence, not into the middle of the circle with you.

If he drifts in, point the whip or swing the rope at his shoulder to move him back out. Keep doing that until he does a few nice clean rounds staying in a circle. Stop him and praise and pet him. Once that is almost automatic, then change directions and work on the other side. So if you started on the left, switch to the right and work on that side.

What you will be doing on the right side is exactly what you were doing on the left side. And here’s some good news, in many instances once the horse has already learned what you want on one side, they may not take as long to train on the other side. Now, having said that, also note that many horses do have a good lead/side and a bad lead/side and it seems they have trouble with “getting it” on that bad side. You will be able to tell if this is the case with your horse once you have had the chance to work with both sides. This isn’t something to be discouraged about. It will just require a bit more patience on both your parts to work through it.

Once you have mastered the start, walk, and stop, add in the trot and move on to the canter/lope. To trot, raise the whip a couple of feet higher. Raise your shoulders and trot. If the horse doesn’t trot, cluck to him. If that does not work, crack the whip. Once in the trot (you and your horse – bet you didn’t think you’d need to be in such good shape did you?), maintain your body and whip position. The horse will keep trotting until you drop your arm/whip position and slow your trot to a walk.

For the canter, raise the whip a bit higher than for the trot and kiss to the horse. And yes, you will be running as well. The nice thing about this process, aside from the fact you will be in great shape when the two of you are done, is that the horse will have learned to listen to you and respond to body and voice commands. It’s always a very special feeling to see the end results of patient and loving training.


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