Basic Lunging Exercises
 By Cruisin Past Curfew   •   8th May 2012   •   4,777 views   •   12 comments
In this article I am going to teach you all just some basic lunging exercises. These exercises will help build your muscle and help your balance. But before I start this article, I would like to warn you that all of these exercises require you to take your feet out of the stirrups. If you do not feel comfortable with this, leave your feet in the stirrups until you think you are ready.

Before you start your lunging, check your tack. See if the girth isn't pinching and if it is on right. Make sure your reins won't fall off your horse's head. You will not be using your reins during these exercises so make sure you have a lunging bridle on or secure your reins so they will not fall off your horse's head. Why will won't you use your reins you ask? Well, in lunging you don't need your reins because the person on the other end has control of the horse. Not using your reins will also help you with your leg and verbal aids.

Basic Lunging Exercises

Your position: Before we start this article we need to go over your position. Your position will just be the same as if you were just in a lesson. Take your hands and and pretend that you are holding the reins. Do not rest your hands on the horse. Keep your hands by the saddle and the horse's withers. Make sure your back is straight, your shoulders are back, and looking straight forward. As for your feet. If you are riding without stirrups your legs would be in the same position. Position your feet as if they were in stirrups. Keep your heels down. Yes this will hurt your thighs, but that is good, you are building up your muscles which will help with your leg aids. If you are still not balanced enough, I recommend holding the horse's mane or hold onto the saddle. Now that we have gone over your position shall we start?

1.) Plane: Start off with a walk. Take your outside hand and reach to the gate. Keep your inside hand as if you were holding your reins. Now take your inside and and extend it toward the inside of the circle. Repeat these steps in a sitting trot and a posting trot.

2.) Helicopter: This one is almost like the plane but you are extending your arms upward. Again, start of with a walk. Take your outside hand and reach toward the sky! Remember to keep your inside hand on the "reins." After a lap, take your inside hand and reach up to the sky! Repeat the steps at a sitting trot and posting trot. Remember to keep looking forward. The most common mistake I see is when people look up at the sky. This will break your balance and concentration. I have seen many falls when people do this.

3.) The Croup Reach: Now this one I recommend doing this only at a walk. Now, take your inside hand and reach toward the horse's Croup (or butt). Keep your outside hand holding the "reins." Now, if you are comfortable and experienced enough, take your outside hand and reach to your inside foot. Repeat these steps with the other hand.

4.) The Poll Reach: This one is like the Croup reach but instead of reaching toward the horse's Croup, you are reaching toward his Poll. Take your inside hand and reach to your horse's Poll. Keep your outside hand holding the "reins." Take your outside hand and reach to your inside foot. Repeat these steps with the other hand/s.

5.) Posting Trot: This one I picked out special for you riders! You can either do this with or without stirrups. I recommend doing this with stirrups just so you get a better result. This one will hurt and it is important that you keep your legs on the girth of the horse; do not let your feet slip back. It is hard to post without stirrups, especially with a bumpy horse (for example my horse, Smokey). You may not go as high as you do with stirrups but that is OK, it is normal.

6.) Up, Up, Downs: Most of you riders know the exercise, Up, Down, Down. Well, this one is harder! You will be posting! I also recommend doing this without stirrups, but again, it is fine if you do use stirrups. Now, this exercise is really self-explanatory. You are going to post, and when you post up, you are going to stay up for two beats, then sit back down for one beat. May not sound hard, but it is!

7.) Two-Point: With this one you are going to be doing your two-point at a walk and a trot. For the third time, I really recommend doing this without stirrups. Now we will be going over your position. First let's start with your eyes. Just like when you are approaching a jump, keep you eyes looking forward. Now let's move on to your hands. Pretend like you are holding the reins. Keep your elbows in and move your hands up the horse's neck. Do not rest your hands on the horse's neck! Don't even touch the horse's neck! Moving onto your back. Do not round your back, your back should be slightly concave. Moving down to your legs. Keep your heels down and your feet on the girth. Do not let them slip down, I know it is hard for some of you, but use your strong muscle that you have and just hold them on the girth! Your feet should be like they are in the stirrups. Do not let your feet hang loose. Lastly, squeeze with your thighs so that you can keep your heels down and get into that jumping position. Don't squeeze too hard though. Like I said with the posting, you won't rise like you do when your feet are in the stirrups, but you will rise slightly.

Work on these exercises regularly and you will have strong legs and amazing balance!
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Training      Horse News More From This Author:  Cruisin Past Curfew
Fantastic! :D Love this!
  May 8, 2012  •  4,000 views
Que Sara  
Great article!!

I love posting bareback, it kills your legs but it's good for building yourself up for a Dressage test and great for all the sitting trot work in the test.

I can't help but laugh at the girl on the horse. She looks like she's naked!!!
  May 8, 2012  •  4,028 views
Grat article. Can't help but mention the benefits of lunging your horse without a saddle, too - great ground work for you and your neigh.
  May 8, 2012  •  4,053 views
Makaela Marie  
Great article! Loved it!
  May 9, 2012  •  4,050 views
LOVE IT! Hehe. Try some posting bareback. :D Epic. When I first started English, I had no stirrup lessons until I could post perfectly without them... -.- But it helped my position and muscle, but when I stopped no stirrups, it's amazing the damage it does. Now, lol... I am a failure with no stirrups. Hehe.
  May 9, 2012  •  4,022 views
Double Spur Ranch  
Great Article!!!!
  May 9, 2012  •  4,014 views
Those are some epic drawings!! And a great article!
  May 10, 2012  •  4,026 views
Epic drawings and an awesome article! Will have to use sometime!
  May 10, 2012  •  4,028 views
Awsome I loved it
  May 11, 2012  •  4,046 views
I love the graphics! Great lunging workout, especially to improve one's seat and leg position/strength! Thanks!
  May 12, 2012  •  4,175 views
Doodles Forever  
Brillint article! Love the drawings xD
  May 13, 2012  •  4,011 views
RoyalCrownEstates  MOD 
Great Article!!!!
  May 15, 2012  •  4,027 views
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