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Lunging Training Equipment

Lunging is a practise whereby a trainer teaches a horse to follow commands. They do this by using a lunge line, which is a 10-metre rope you tie to the horse, and working the horse in a circular fashion, often using a whip. Lunging is one of the core principles of horse riding and you use it to train the majority of riding horses. When teaching your horse to lunge, it is important to have the proper training and horse riding equipment.

Lunge Line

Lunge lines should use cotton, nylon or a cotton-nylon blend with a clip on the end. There are benefits to both cotton and nylon, as cotton provides a better grip, and nylon is easier on the trainer's hands. Some lunge lines have markers so that trainers can determine how much line is out, or how much line they have left. When beginning lunging, trainers are at a closer proximity to the horse, eventually building up distance between themselves and the horses so that the entire rope is used. Some lunge lines have a snap or a buckle, and less commonly a chain, to attach to the cavesson. Many trainers believe that the chain is too severe. The end of the lunge line sometimes has a handle or loop, but this can injure the trainer's hand or arm, as this can easily catch on something. For this reason, other trainers prefer a line without a handle or loop.

Lunging Cavesson

The line connects to a cavesson, which is a piece of headgear that goes over the horse's snout and wraps around the horse's head. It often has one restraint around the nose, another under the jaw, and the final one around the ears and back of head. It is a single piece of equipment that you fasten onto the horse's head. The clip for the lunge line is usually just above the nose. Some cavessons have padding, so that it is more comfortable for the horse. Most trainers advise to use both the lunge line and the lunging cavesson, rather than a lunge line and a riding bridle, as that can injure the horse and is uncomfortable for them.

Halter

Sometimes you use halters along with lunging lines for horses that are just learning to lunge. Halters fit around the horse just past the legs and shoulder bones, in front of where the saddle would be. Halters are less invasive than lunge cavessons. The drawback is that the trainer has less control of the horse. That is why it is commonly only used for the beginning stages of training.

Accessories

Most trainers use a whip to aid them in training horses to lunge. It mimics the feel of the rider's leg on the horse's abdomen. It should be of appropriate length so that you can use it when the horse is at the full 10 metres away, or closer. Gloves are valuable for trainers, as they help to protect their hands against the rope. Gloves should fit well, or they can catch in the rope.

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