Lungeing is a fantastic form of exercise for all horses. However, if it’s not done correctly it can cause more problems than it solves. It’s not just about your lungeing technique; it all starts with knowing how to fit and use all the necessary lungeing equipment.
You can choose to lunge from either your horse’s bridle or a lunge cavesson. The key difference between the two is lungeing from a cavesson means you are not controlling your horse via their bit.
A lunge cavesson is made from webbing or leather and has a number of rings on the front of the noseband for the lunge line to attach to.
How to fit a lunge cavesson
- Check that you can slide one finger between your horse’s face and the lunge cavesson.
- The noseband should sit a thumb’s width below the bottom of your horse’s cheekbone.
- The strap that fastens under the jaw keeps the cavesson stable, so it needs to fit snuggly with room for one finger.
- If you want to fit a bridle over the top of the cavesson, remove the noseband, reins and browband from the bridle so that it fits as comfortably as possible.
Lungeing from a bridle
This can offer a little more control and encourage your horse to bend their neck, but consider if you’re going to be using a training aid (such as side reins) too – attaching both lunge line and training aid to the bit can give conflicting messages.
There are two main ways to attach the lunge line to the bit:
1. Over the head
Run the line through the inside bit ring, up the side of your horse’s head and across their poll, then clip it to the outside bit ring (facing outwards, so it doesn’t rub their cheek).
2. Under the chin
Pass the lunge line through the bit ring, under the horse’s chin and fasten it on the opposite bit ring.