Should I lunge my older horse?

(7 Posts)
IWillStartOnMonday Sun 14-Jul-13 15:12:16

I have a 24 year old Arab who hasn't really been worked very much in the past 2 years - before that he spent nearly his whole life out at grass 24/7 and was hacked a couple of times a week which seemed to suit him fine.

We have relocated a year ago and he is now at a yard and stabled at night, and we for the first time have access to a school. He has not been ridden very much in the last year as I have been pregnant (DC now 3 months) and his sharer has lost interest.

I'd like to get back to going on gentle hacks with him but due to time restrictions I wonder if I should try lunging him too?

He hasn't been lunged to my knowledge (except I imagine when he was being broken) and isn't particularly well schooled. (In a flexible sense, he is very well behaved.) He's quite stiff when riding in circles in the school, will lunging help this, or could it cause an injury? Any lunging tips? I have never lunged a horse before but everyone at the yard seems to do it.

50BalesOfHay Sun 14-Jul-13 15:18:55

I wouldn't. If all he's going to do is gentle hacking then just start at walk and build fitness that way.

burberryqueen Sun 14-Jul-13 15:21:05

no lunging an unfit horse puts a terrible strain on legs etc., you will have to take him for long gentle walks as 50bales said, it is the only way to build fitness.

PeanutPatty Sun 14-Jul-13 15:28:55

I wouldn't. No need. Start off with walking and build up slowly. Lunging is pretty intensive. Twenty mins is the equivalent to a full and thorough ridden work out. If he is stiff you could try Apple Cider Vinegar as a supplement.

newfavouritething Sun 14-Jul-13 23:30:49

Why is it so intensive? Is it the size of the circle? It's the only proper exercise my horse ever gets and he's knocking on a bit.

burberryqueen Mon 15-Jul-13 09:48:29

yes the size of the circle - if your horse is fit enough then it is ok but a long walk out would be nicer for both of you ..

IWillStartOnMonday Mon 15-Jul-13 14:09:52

Ok thanks - walking it is!

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