From: Horse Training
Horse Training - Lunging
The aim with training the horse to lunge is to end up with the trainer being able to stand in the center holding a lunge line that is attached to the horse who is on a twenty meter circle, circling around them. The horse is being controlled with voice commands such as "walk", "trot", "canter" and "halt".
The horse will need a well fitting bridle, a cavesson, a lunge line, saddle or surcingle, front, hind and over reach boots, side reins and a lunge whip. A quiet arena that has been removed of jumps and clutter.
Teaching The Horse How To Lunge
To begin with the horse will not require side reins as they are added later once the horse is understanding the act of lunging. The trainer should take the horse into the menage on a quiet day when there are few distractions, sessions should be kept short to begin with and then increased the more the horse progresses.
Standing in the center of the menage holding the lunge line the trainer now keeping the horse at an arms length distance away, the horse is asked to "walk on" the horses name should be spoken first followed by "preparing to...." and then say horses name and the pace you would like them to do. This repetition gives the horse time to think and respond to the voice command given, this exercise may need to be repeated on a daily basis until the young horse starts to respond when they are asked.
Here is an example of a upward transition to walk, the horses name is Pumpkin, and this is quite literally what you would say to the horse. The purpose of this is to get the horse to associate certain words with actions.
"Pumpkin, preparing to go forwards to walk, and Pumpkin walking on".
Gradually over time start to increase the amount of distance between you and the horse, aiming to have them walking on a fifteen and then a twenty meter circle with you standing quietly in the middle.
Once your horse is walking and halting on command then you can proceed with trot. When your horse gets to a stage where they are moving happily forwards in walk and in trot, then you can attach the side reins. The horse should allways be warmed up without side reins first and when attached they should have a reasonably loose fit to begin with and gradually shortened with time, though take care not to over shorten and panic the horse.
If the horse falls in, then you simply say "out" and point the whip at there shoulder, if this has no affect and horse is not moving away from you then you use the handle end of your whip and gently push the horse out while applying pressure to the shoulder clearly say " out".
Change the rein a couple of times during the session so that the horse is worked evenly on both reins and this will prevent over development of the horse on one side. Horses should be lunged for around twenty minutes, during these sessions use plenty of upward and downward transitions to keep the horse attentive and to aid their training. The horse should remain active in what you are asking them to do, they should not be allowed to dawdle on the end of the lunge line.