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WSR's_Judy

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I have a mini that needs conditioning, and a big-horse trainer friend, suggested lunging him.

He is a yearling, but I do not want to over do it. I have heard that its not good to start them out to young.

He has no lunging experience and neither do I so how do I go about getting him started on lunging? And how many times a day or week and for how long at a time?

I am sorry I am really new to this!


Judy
 

chandab

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I'm sure someone with more experience with minis will come along and give you a hand, but here's my two cents...

It's not good for their legs to lunge too much as a yearling, it can put too much strain on them. Very short periods of just walking and maybe a little trotting wouldn't be too bad, just be sure the circle is of good size. It's been so long since I've lunged a horse on a line (I use my round corral), that I don't remember how to start them on the line (someone here I'm sure will know).

If you are up for it; taking him for walks up and down hills will do much to condition him with little risk of straining his joints. Plus the added benefit of you getting into shape as well.
 
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littlehorse2

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Tammie from CSPOTS miniatures has a lunging articl that she wrote on her website. It says not to start them untill they are 2-3 years old. You should check it out and ask her. I know she's been on the forum so you could get her website from that.

Christy
 

rabbitsfizz

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Lungeing is not a good thing for any horse unless it is so well trained it will lunge both ways without resistance and the rein is always loose- it s the pressure the horse uses against the rein that does the damage, and the resistance that is more on one side than the other- horses are "handed" just as we are- that compounds it. Free Lungeing, or Roundpenning is still working on a circle and still allows exercise to be controlled, but is a much more natural way of doing it, especially with a youngster. You can make a Roundpen out of something as simple as electric fence tape and posts- which would allow you to put it up and take to down regularly. You would then also need to use a lunge line in case the horse made a break for freedom, but you would not get the pressure on the rein you get without the tape ring. I cannot personally think of one reason why a yearling would need "condition" or lungeing- and I show my Yearlings to the top level. All they ever get is turn out and a very, very little free work in the Roundpen if the weather is too dreadful for full turnout time. So, my first question has to be- Why do you think your yearling needs conditioning???
 

js1arab

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well, I hope you won't feel offended at this reply, but please...go practice and learn on a been there done it type of horse before you try training your own. Lunging with a line can be dangerous even if only one of you is learning. But when both horse and handler are trying to figure things out, things can go out of control quickly. It is easy for the handler to become tangled in the line and it only takes a couple times for a horse to learn bad habits like crowding you or pulling on you. If an when you do start lunging your horse, I would also suggest using a rounded cotton lunge line. The flat nylon ones will slide right through your hand and give a nasty burn.

Aside from the warning though, I feel that done properly, lunging doesn't necessarily have to be used solely for conditioning. I have helped several friends start there horses and even though I lunge yearlings (no more than 10 min usually and part of that is walking) I use lunging as a form of communication. They learn to transition between gaits, stop and reverse direction with my voice and body language, they learn not to pull as was mentioned earlier and they learn a bit of balance. All of this will be useful later when starting a horse to ride or in the case of minis - to drive.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

liltnt

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Being that I have both a yearling and a two and a half year old, I have been doing the liberty thing with the plastic bags in their pasture everyother day for about ten minutes. The breeder that I got the boys from said that would not hurt the little ones legs, as they are not in a turn all the time. And there is no lunge line involved. I do make sure they go in both drections and we do the whoa's along the way so I can tell them what good boys they are. And always end on a good note, and with some kisses.
 

WSR's_Judy

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Thanks everyone for the valuable information.

The reason he is needing conditioning, is we have been in a drought. I have been feeding hay since early June, and this little guy is getting a hay belly and I wanted to exercise him to keep it from getting out of hand.

Again thank you for all you help.

Judy
 

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