There are so many aspects and reasons why we lunge a horse but the most important item I feel is if your horse has not had regular work and you want to ensure additional safety when riding (depending on the type of horse) OR you do not know the horse ALWAYS:
- do the girth firm but not too tight
- lunge a little bit
- do the girth up tight enough to ride
- ensure your horse is untied and STRETCH the horses leg forward to remove any pinching where a horse can have reason to buck. Some horses LOVE this and they will put weight on your hand and want to put their front leg down out in front of them then lean back on their hind legs and stretch out completely. You can just let them do this as they basically self stretch. My pride and joy Cascade would do this every time before a polocrosse game, so funny.
- so back to lunging and ensure you lunge both ways walk and trot
- lunge both ways at a canter because if they are prone to bucking they will do this most likely when pushed into the canter. So lunge your horse properly with the purpose of removing the fiz.
- if you have a super fizzy horse or a horse that feels like an unknown time bomb when you get on then canter in some horses also may not be enough and you need to make them fast canter as well.
I can’t stress this type of activity enough for non-riding parents with kids that have fizzy troublesome horses – learning to lunge your kids horses could prevent a nasty accident and ensure happy horse ownership.