Lungeing can be tricky to do well but it certainly is an invaluable accomplishment with some very useful benefits. Here are some of the reasons why it is good to learn how to lunge:-
Horses are usually lunged in either their bridle with the lunge line attached in one of several different ways or, in their bridle and a lunge cavesson. The Cavesson is a special piece of equipment which fits over the top of the bridle and in place of the horse’s usual noseband so you will need to remove this. The lunge cavesson has several rotating rings on the nose which gives the handler different options for attachment. You can choose the central ring or a ring to the inner side of the horse’s head depending on how the cavesson fits on the horse. This will need adjustment when you change the rein but if you use the central ring, then you won’t need to do this. The rings swivel which means it is easier to keep the lunge line free of twists and tangles.
A horse can be lunged in either a saddle or a roller. A saddle is a good option, particularly if you might then want to lunge a rider or ride the horse yourself after a warm-up session. The alternative, a roller, can be quicker if you do not intend to ride the horse or lunge a rider and this is also appropriate for a horse that has not yet been backed.
It is usual to add other attachments to the tack such as side reins or schooling aids of which there are many, a Pessoa, Chambon or de Gogue to name a few. These are quite specialist devices and need to be handled with care by someone who is experienced not only in how to use them but in how to fit them.
Because some horses can become quite exuberant on the lunge, it is usual to fit protective equipment such as brushing boots or tendon boots and overreach boots to safeguard the horse from injury. It is sensible and advisable to wear a hat when you lunge and gloves are a must; the best gloves to wear are smooth leather so the lunge line can slide through your hand more easily, so not a riding glove which tends to have a textured surface to promote grip.
Learn to lunge with help from someone competent and experienced; it is quicker because you won’t develop any bad habits and ultimately safer too. Start with a quiet and easy horse and work your way up to sharper and more challenging horses and then youngsters. If you lunge a lot of horses and lunge other people’s horses, you may want to take your own equipment to use such as lunge line and whip and any schooling aids. Lungeing a horse is an important part of horse ownership and an invaluable skill if done well.