Despite the rumours you may hear prior to the exam, you will not fail this module for having a twist in your lunge line. You will fail if you handle the lunge line as though it is something which you rarely do. As with all your practical modules the key is confidence, confidence will come with practise, and through practise you will establish a good technique. With a good technique you will pass the lunging module. Remember:
- Technique, including appropriate equipment and dress
- Knowledge of why you lunge
- When you would lunge
- Appropriate exercises on the lunge and the associated variable
- Protect the legs while working on circles (x 4 exercise boots)
- Saddle/Lunging roller with stirrups secured safely.
- Lunging Cavesson under the bridle, fits closely to the face of the horse
- Bridle with simple snaffle (cheek pieces allowed, hanging cheek is not recommended and no nose band
- Side Reins , equal length and contact
In both stage 2 and 3 the horse will be presented to you tacked up and ready for lunging, it is up to you to ensure that the equipment is fitted correctly and make the necessary adjustments.
- Is the girth or roller tight enough?
- Are the reigns secured through the throat lash with no additional length flapping?
- Are all the boots correctly fastened?
- Is the bridle fitting correctly with a suitable mouth piece?
- Is the cavesson fitted snugly and comfortably to the horses face so it will not move during exercise and either come loose or rub the eye?
You will be expected to warm your horse up prior to fitting the side reins, you are being observed and you wont have as much time as you might at home. Move the horse through walk, trot and canter on each reign before attaching the side reins. Ensure that the reigns are equal in length before fastening them to the bit.
In the video below you can see that the horse is comfortable in the contact and accepting for the level of fitness and training, this would be suitable for stage 2 and 3, as the horse warms up to the contact you could change the contact. It is better to correct a too loose contact than to continue. You will be able to explain to the examiner why you chose to do this after.
Why would you lunge a horse?
- Good for training youngsters to accept contact and saddles
- Good for getting the tickle out of an excitable youngsters toes
- Good for livery yards when the owner/rider is unable to ride
- Good for muscle building when the horse is not yet fit to carry a rider
- Good for building discipline and forwardness through transitions
- Good to view your horse from a different perspective, is it really engaged are the transitions really sharp enough and coming from the engagement of the quarters
- Great for when your horse has put you out of ridden activities!
Why do we use side reins while lunging?
- encourage correct outline without force
- to help the horse move forward in a straight line
- to enable to horse to accept a consistent contact
What should you be wearing?
- Hard Hat
- Gloves (Do not forget these during your exam)
- Protective footwear
- Lunge rein with working clip
- lunging whip