👉 My Online Courses +++ 🚀 level up your lunging skills +++ 💸 60-Day Money-back guarantee +++ 🥇 100% customer satisfaction +++

How Long & Often should you Lunge? | Horse Training

by Babette Teschen

Today I address two basic questions in my Lunging Course:

• How long should a training session be?

The length of time we lunge depends on several factors, for instance the horse’s age and condition. In a young horse about 15 minutes is sufficient. In a horse that lacks conditioning and just recently got back into training we mostly work in walk and slowly increase the training. For healthy horses aged 3 years and older I generally recommend an average of 30-minute sessions, although each session can be longer depending on the horse. Sessions would consist of 30-minute lunging and additional time to massage tight muscles, stretching exercises, and spending quality bonding time with your horse. This can include giving him a good scratch or, if the horse prefers, simply walking together. These breaks should become routine in your workouts.

Here is an example of a lunging session:

• 10-15 minutes slow warmup (e.g., leading with gentle, correct flexion at the poll, lateral exercises, trolking, executing arena figures at a distance of roughly 2-3 meters (6 to 10 feet) in walk and slow trot.)

• 5-minute massages/wellness/stretches/bonding time

• 5-10 minutes energetic forward movement by actively engaging the hindquarters. Trot/Canter transitions, circle increase and decrease, enlarging to the whole arena with a long lunge line, allowing the horse to increase speed on the long sides with focus on joy of movement, alertness and collective joy.

• 5-minute massages/wellness/stretches/bonding time

• 5-10 minutes gymnastic exercises in hand, alternatively for advanced horses lateral exercises on the lunge including change of hand in slalom and circles with emphasis on bending and activating the hind end.

• 5 minutes hind end activation, canter

• 5-10 minutes cool down phase in a relaxed tempo, stretching, massage

Following this example, we would be with the horse for 45-50 minutes, but the horse would only be actively working for 30-35 minutes, of which 15 minutes would be at a higher speed. The rest would be at a slower tempo.

• How often should you work on the lunge?

I subscribe to the notion that “The muscles develop on the days off”. Therefore, we should not over tax the horse by repeating the same exercises on consecutive days. It is why I do not lunge my horses daily, apart from the possibility that they might get bored and lose their motivation. So, preferably lunge your horse every other day and utilize the days in between to vary the time spent. This could include a lovely trail ride or walks, clicker training or groundwork to improve communication, some free jumping or simply some work under saddle…

In theory, once your horse has developed good lunging form and posture, there is no need to continue lunging. However, I recommend lunging well trained horses at least once a week, to maintain their form. Fundamentally the lunging work brings variety and loosens up the horse if needed. Generally, you can work on the lunge as often as it benefits him and pleases you and your horse.

Pepe lunging