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View Full Version : This is why I hate riding when horses are being lunged!



BetterOffRed
Dec. 16, 2010, 01:32 PM
You just never know what can happen! :(
http://www.eurodressage.com/equestrian/2010/12/16/imke-schellekens-sunrise-injured-lunging-accident

UniqueSaddlePads
Dec. 16, 2010, 01:38 PM
Wow, just shows how unpredictable that horses can be! Scary:eek:

see u at x
Dec. 16, 2010, 01:38 PM
Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, anyplace…even if there is nobody else riding in the arena at all. As far as I’m concerned, if I am riding my horse in the arena while someone else is lunging, it is MY job to control my own horse and stay out of their way. If I am incapable of doing so safely, then my ass shouldn’t even be in there in the first place. Likewise, I expect that the person lunging actually knows how to do so safely. But even in the best case and with the most experienced riders, obviously, sh*t happens. It’s a shame that this particular accident happened, but it’s just part of what we deal with when riding and owning horses.

winfieldfarm
Dec. 16, 2010, 01:38 PM
well, i guess you can say that but accidents happen. If I never road my horse when horses were lunging, I would never get a horse worked. And vise versa, our horses have to learn right quick that lunging is not an excuse to drag themselves and their handler all over the ring, getting in everyone's way. i guess that's the beauty of breed shows. You are kind of forced to gun up and get out there among the fray of the warm up ring. You or your horse isn't ready for that, you ride in the wee hours when the ring is quieter.

That does totally suck. I feel horrible for her and the rider that t boned her horse. Talk about guilt! Totally Tanya Harding!

asuits
Dec. 16, 2010, 02:00 PM
I may be reading the article wrong but it doesn't sound like it was a longeing accident at all. Sounds like she brought the horse in the arena, warned people she was going to longe and another horse spooked and jumped into her before she could even start longeing.

In my opinion, longeing accidents are, as a majority, the handler's fault. If a horse is taught to longe, strike that, behave, properly then you're way less likely to have an accident. It's when you get the people who feel that longeing is a way to let your horse blow off steam and the horse is running around bucking on the line totally out of control that the accidents happen. Those types of handlers and horses are also going to be the ones who cause accidents in the barn aisle, while on the horse's back, etc.

stryder
Dec. 16, 2010, 02:50 PM
In my opinion, longeing accidents are, as a majority, the handler's fault. If a horse is taught to longe, strike that, behave, properly then you're way less likely to have an accident. It's when you get the people who feel that longeing is a way to let your horse blow off steam and the horse is running around bucking on the line totally out of control that the accidents happen. Those types of handlers and horses are also going to be the ones who cause accidents in the barn aisle, while on the horse's back, etc.

I disagree. I don't think one can guarantee a horse's actions when it's 15-20 feet away from the handler. I do not ever allow my horse to blow off steam on the lunge. She walks, and when she's warmed up, trots. But every once in a while, as happened last night, she explodes. I quickly got her back in hand and we worked until she relaxed, and then I sent her back out. There was another rider, but she kept to the other end of the arena while we worked out the kinks.

But riders who cut too close are taking a big risk, IMHO. Any horse, regardless of training, can cut loose with a kick or buck. They are big, unpredictable animals with their own minds, and need to be respected as such, regardless of training.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 16, 2010, 03:20 PM
I disagree. I don't think one can guarantee a horse's actions when it's 15-20 feet away from the handler. I do not ever allow my horse to blow off steam on the lunge. She walks, and when she's warmed up, trots. But every once in a while, as happened last night, she explodes. I quickly got her back in hand and we worked until she relaxed, and then I sent her back out. There was another rider, but she kept to the other end of the arena while we worked out the kinks.

But riders who cut too close are taking a big risk, IMHO. Any horse, regardless of training, can cut loose with a kick or buck. They are big, unpredictable animals with their own minds, and need to be respected as such, regardless of training.

It doesn't matter whether the horse is on the longe or under saddle. Everything that you have said is true, but it applies equally to ridden and longed horses.

naturalequus
Dec. 16, 2010, 03:29 PM
Agree with eclectic.

Accidents happen, horses explode or let loose sometimes. They're animals, not robots. My main Thoroughbred gelding, when I permitted him a hand gallop down the long side, let loose a little exuberantly on our last ride. Hey, he wasn't getting the exercise he needed out on pasture due to the poor footing (ice and snow) and I had been away at work for 2 weeks - you can't blame him for excess energy. The other rider in the arena at the time just laughed at his joyful expression. Sometimes horses do the same on the longe. I do not feel it is any less or more vital that a horse do or not do it on the longe than u/s - it depends on the individual owner and their perspective and ideals etc. At our barn, if a horse spooks, bucks, plays, whatever may be, whether it is on the ground or u/s, we take it in stride. Sh!t happens. Personally, my horses ARE allowed to play on the ground and u/s, within reason and keeping in mind respect to other riders in the arena. You can NEVER guarantee a horse's actions 100 percent. You can work with them in such a way that their actions are safe and relatively predictable, however you cannot control their every breath or movement.

Besides, this was not a longeing accident anyways (the horse was not yet being longed) and it certainly was not a case of a horse being longed getting out of hand (in fact, it was the other way around). Sh!t happens.

stryder
Dec. 16, 2010, 03:33 PM
It doesn't matter whether the horse is on the longe or under saddle. Everything that you have said is true, but it applies equally to ridden and longed horses.

You are correct, of course. A lot of people say, "My horse won't ...... (insert bad behavior here) and I always think, "Maybe, but will I bet my life on it?"

Spyder
Dec. 16, 2010, 04:58 PM
Duh. At my barn riding and longeing don't mix. If you are going to ride, there's no longeing. If you are longeing, there's no riding. Simple.

QH_Gal
Dec. 16, 2010, 05:06 PM
Ouch! I am always very careful where I lunge my horse and who is around. I also think it was just one of those accidental oh sh*t moments that happen.

Velvet
Dec. 16, 2010, 05:14 PM
What a bunch of DQs...oh, wait, that's redundant. We are on the Dressage board after all. ;)

Seriously, if people couldn't lunge at the stables I've been at over the years, horses would not be worked and many would not be safe for their owners to ride.

You lunge at one end and give the riders on the rail plenty of room. If you have a young or explosive horse, you warn the riders and let them know so that they can choose to leave if they are worried their porcelain horse is going to have a meltdown. Honestly, if the person riding says they have a young horse or are worried about their safety because you have a horse that is young or about to be naughty, you let them finish up and then you come back. (You don't want the two of them feeding off each other. That's a recipe for disaster.)

If you have a well behaved horse, you let them choose to leave if they feel insecure. You do NOT crack the whip when other people are riding. That's just not kosher. You CAN get after your horse as long as you can keep him/her at their end of the ring and you warn the riders.

My only pet peeve are the morons. I recently had one at a barn who loved to think she had ownership of the entire end of the ring with a well behaved horse who lunged like a gentlemen. She would let him take over the rail or crowd horses that were being ridden, and her circle moved without her ever looking at where the other riders were in the arena (meaning it drifted toward the middle of the ring).

Honestly, we can all get along. A bit of courtesy, a little less DQ attitude (it's really not ALL about you), and a lot better horsemanship is what's required to get along.

It has already been pointed out that accidents happen and horses can be unpredictable. If you're afraid of that part of the horse world, then you might want to quit now. Trust me, at horse shows it's often worse. Horse are, by nature, dangerous. That really is the nature of our beasts. Sure, some people make excuses for bad horses, just as others do for bad riding. It's all part of the horse world. You really have to learn to deal with it or leave it. (Or take your millions of dollars and build your own Mecca for horses where you can ride alone. :D )

stryder
Dec. 16, 2010, 05:27 PM
Duh. At my barn riding and longeing don't mix. If you are going to ride, there's no longeing. If you are longeing, there's no riding. Simple.

Our barn is too busy for that. Two people can longe at a time. There can be other riders, but people really need to work together and keep communication clear. No longeing during lessons. If there are riders in the arena and one longer, the second longer has to wait.

naturalequus
Dec. 16, 2010, 06:43 PM
To add to what Velvet said:

At our barn, whips are sometimes cracked, horses are barrel raced while I am working dressage, some horses act up or are obviously under duress (which green and young or inexperienced or undeveloped horses do pick up on), sometimes steers are in the arena and being roped, and riders and horses do what riders and horses do (clearly we are a very multidiscipline facility). We are all respectful of one another and even the recent barrel racer worked seemlessly with my working my 4yo mare dressage (and actually showing her to a potential client at the time!), much to my surprise - the barrel racer was extremely respectful though and we were able to work together! Young riders I find are inclined to make mistakes and have less control but I am an experienced rider and as such am able to easily guide my horses (from green to experienced) around any potential chaos or general busy-ness.

Guess what. HORSES ACCLIMATIZE. I usually start a number of young horses in the spring and *gasp* life goes on and people do not change their riding so as to accommodate me. Sometimes I am riding a green or spooky horse while steers are being roped at one end. Or sometimes I am riding a green and sensitive horse who is eyeing up the wp horse being choked down by heavy bit and tie-down and obviously upset, OR, I'm riding my green-ish 4yo Thoroughbred mare while someone is practising barrels - a first for this mare to see at that time. If you expose your horse to a variety of circumstances they a) gain confidence in themselves b) gain confidence in your leadership and c) become generally prepared and "bombproof". That way, when you take horse out in the fields or out to a show, they don't jump at the first bang or tarp or spooked horse or whatnot. It doesn't take much for a horse to become relaxed and acclimatized or desensitized to various intrusions, especially if the rider or handler is calm and relaxed themselves! If you're not comfortable, GET OFF! Acclimatize your horse to the situation on the ground first, then re-mount if you'd like; I have done it numerous times on a freshly green horse before. Once the horse was okay, I re-mounted and we continued. Had the horse not been okay, we would have done groundwork, made progress, and maybe called it a day until next session, chalking it up to a great experience. We may not have accomplished exactly what we wanted that day but we took advantage of a different opportunity. Heck, I seek out such opportunities and will even take a green or inexperienced horse into the barn on a night I know the boys are roping and just sit and watch with said horse so they become desensitized. That's just me though but I expect others to at least have tolerance for various situations.

If you can't handle it, move to a barn where your very narrow-minded views are also observed. That's what I did - I moved to a multidiscipline barn where the horses are not made of porcelain :winkgrin:

ETA: that is not to say that anyone longeing or otherwise should not be respectful of course. For example, if you know your horse is a bad actor, there are ways of working around other riders or longe'ers etc in a respectful manner. There is always room for tolerance and respect on both ends and to accomodate one another. I just don't think it's the end of the world if sh!t happens though is all.

beckzert
Dec. 16, 2010, 06:47 PM
I'm running into some lunging safety issues right now. Since it is winter and everyone is inside it is always busy, but I have a very green horse who lunges fairly well but is unpredictable. She almost kicked another mare the other day. Now I go to the barn at like 8 p.m. Annoying, but safety sometimes is. On the other hand, it is interesting that this horse basically got hurt from bucking...something she has probably done safely hundreds of times in her life. Major bad luck...

Sandy M
Dec. 16, 2010, 06:53 PM
Our covered arena is about the length of and slightly narrower than a standard large dressage court. The rule re lungeing is: One horse being ridden, you may lunge; two or more being ridden, no lungeing, you wait until they are finished. *shrug* My horse is young and silly. I squelch bad behavior on the lunge, but I can't stop the first leap/bolt (I'm not psychic!).

A few months ago, the BO did pull me aside and say that one of our boarders - who is a timid, older rider - was afraid to ride while I was lungeing my horse. I responded that had she said something to me, I would have waited to lunge, or done ground work, or whatever until she was done. I also pointed out that I rarely lunged now that my horse is a bit older, and I usually do wait until there is no one or only one rider in the arena AND I warn them he might act up a little (if he comes leading up to the arena on tippy toe and high blowing!!!LOL)

Now, this can be inconvenient sometimes, because I ride in the evening, and much as I love my horse and riding, I don't want to be at the barn all evening, but hey, the arena is small and I'd expect the same consideration from others. With my old horse, who was bombproof and dead quiet, other boarders had no qualms about riding around my lungeing circle and I would bring him in and away from them as they passed, but the new guy - not so much - so I accommodate them and they try to accommodate me. Just ordinary courtesy. Not so much in supply at DQ barns?

I will comment that I sure wasn't very happy when I went to a show at a VERY BIG DQ BARN, and found people who were not showing or riding lungeing in the warmup at 8AM, cracking their whips, etc. while the the Intro/Training Level horses were warming up - despite the fact that there were two separate lunge arenas and one of the Euro-exercisers available. *shrug*

winfieldfarm
Dec. 16, 2010, 07:00 PM
Spyder, you're joking right... at our barn, we have a saying when a rider gets a little tentative about what she or her horse can handle. We say, "You can't ride in a bubble"

get brave and learned to live with the reality of distraction, people. And are you saying that if the rider had walked in with the horse undersaddle but wasn't mounted yet, say adjusting her stirrups, and the other horse had run into her, would that mean riders shouldn't ride with any other horses in the arena at all? Come on, that's not realistic nor good for horse and rider to always ride under perfectly cryogenic conditions.

Bats79
Dec. 17, 2010, 08:02 AM
To add to what Velvet said:

At our barn, whips are sometimes cracked, horses are barrel raced while I am working dressage, some horses act up or are obviously under duress (which green and young or inexperienced or undeveloped horses do pick up on), sometimes steers are in the arena and being roped, and riders and horses do what riders and horses do (clearly we are a very multidiscipline facility). We are all respectful of one another and even the recent barrel racer worked seemlessly with my working my 4yo mare dressage (and actually showing her to a potential client at the time!), much to my surprise - the barrel racer was extremely respectful though and we were able to work together! Young riders I find are inclined to make mistakes and have less control but I am an experienced rider and as such am able to easily guide my horses (from green to experienced) around any potential chaos or general busy-ness.

Guess what. HORSES ACCLIMATIZE. I usually start a number of young horses in the spring and *gasp* life goes on and people do not change their riding so as to accommodate me. Sometimes I am riding a green or spooky horse while steers are being roped at one end. Or sometimes I am riding a green and sensitive horse who is eyeing up the wp horse being choked down by heavy bit and tie-down and obviously upset, OR, I'm riding my green-ish 4yo Thoroughbred mare while someone is practising barrels - a first for this mare to see at that time. If you expose your horse to a variety of circumstances they a) gain confidence in themselves b) gain confidence in your leadership and c) become generally prepared and "bombproof". That way, when you take horse out in the fields or out to a show, they don't jump at the first bang or tarp or spooked horse or whatnot. It doesn't take much for a horse to become relaxed and acclimatized or desensitized to various intrusions, especially if the rider or handler is calm and relaxed themselves! If you're not comfortable, GET OFF! Acclimatize your horse to the situation on the ground first, then re-mount if you'd like; I have done it numerous times on a freshly green horse before. Once the horse was okay, I re-mounted and we continued. Had the horse not been okay, we would have done groundwork, made progress, and maybe called it a day until next session, chalking it up to a great experience. We may not have accomplished exactly what we wanted that day but we took advantage of a different opportunity. Heck, I seek out such opportunities and will even take a green or inexperienced horse into the barn on a night I know the boys are roping and just sit and watch with said horse so they become desensitized. That's just me though but I expect others to at least have tolerance for various situations.

If you can't handle it, move to a barn where your very narrow-minded views are also observed. That's what I did - I moved to a multidiscipline barn where the horses are not made of porcelain :winkgrin:

ETA: that is not to say that anyone longeing or otherwise should not be respectful of course. For example, if you know your horse is a bad actor, there are ways of working around other riders or longe'ers etc in a respectful manner. There is always room for tolerance and respect on both ends and to accomodate one another. I just don't think it's the end of the world if sh!t happens though is all.

Very good post. I ride all my horses (after the first 30 days under saddle) in the pasture with grazing horses and when equipment is being used around the place. I have to go out of my way to find people to ride with but that is just due to the tyranny of distance.

Liz
Dec. 17, 2010, 09:44 AM
I think it all comes down to common courtesy. If I need to lunge a horse that might act up a bit and I see a rider who I would consider timid or a rider on a young horse, I wait or I ask. That is just me. If I am on my young horse, that is the courtesy I would hope for (but do not always expect or get). Some people get it, some people don't. If someone lunges anyway and there horse is going nuts and my horse is getting explosive I have to make a decision. Do I feel like I can ride through it or should I get off. It is especially hard in the winter when a sudden drop in temperature makes the horses frisky.
I can not control what other people do. In the end, I am responsible for the safety of myself and my horse because if something happens to myself or my horse I am the one who suffers the consequence. If there is someone who I think is unsafe (or an idiot) lunging...I leave. Better to ride another day. We have one lady whose horse routinely gets away from her and goes careening around the ring trailing the lunge line. When I see her I just leave. It is not worth it. I would wish she would clue it but it has not happened yet and getting upset or angry every time I see her is just exhausting. For me it is easier to shrug my shoulders and just walk away (saying a silent prayer for those remaining in the ring).

I think it is also important to note Imke makes it clear that she does not hold the other rider responsible. It was an accident and, as someone pointed out, I don't think she had even begun to lunge. She was just telling the riders she was going to lunge when the accident happened.

mp
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:38 AM
Guess what. HORSES ACCLIMATIZE. I usually start a number of young horses in the spring and *gasp* life goes on and people do not change their riding so as to accommodate me.


at our barn, we have a saying when a rider gets a little tentative about what she or her horse can handle. We say, "You can't ride in a bubble"

Within reason this is all true. But ...

I board one horse at a large (120+ horses) multi-use barn -- we have working western, roping, dressage and breed show enthusiasts. But most people are recreational riders -- some quite competent and others, not so much.

This time of year, the indoor can get very interesting. The horse I ride is well trained, but can get pretty hot when the weather is cold. ;) *I* can deal with him just fine. But I don't think it's fair to tell the less competent folks to man up and deal with his shenanigans just because I think they should be able to.


I think it all comes down to common courtesy. If I need to lunge a horse that might act up a bit and I see a rider who I would consider timid or a rider on a young horse, I wait or I ask. That is just me. If I am on my young horse, that is the courtesy I would hope for (but do not always expect or get). Some people get it, some people don't.

:yes:

Maybe it's because I used to be a timid rider, but I always err on the side of courtesy (and safety). I ask riders if they're OK with my horse being a little fresh, if I need to longe him. 90% of the time it's OK. But if someone says "no" then I'll either go outside to let him get his yayas out or do in-hand work.

I also have no problem kindly reminding riders (competent or not) of what constitutes arena courtesy -- left to left, don't ride too close, don't cut off people. It's all about sharing, folks. Really.

kittykeno
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:34 PM
There is only one arena at my barn. Riders have the priority with respect to the arena. If someone wishes to lunge in the arena while another person is riding the mounted person has the option of allowing the lunging. I like this established rule.

amm2cd
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:37 PM
While I didnt show much this year, I did attend some in my area. At one summer show, we had a similar lunging accident (I wasn't a first hand witness, so this IS a second hand account)

Trainer A's assistant is lunging Mr Fancy Young Thing in the approved lounging area. Trainer B is riding her own horse from the competition arena on the path, back to the barn and chatting with her groom/reader/students. This path leads right aroung the lounging area. Mr Fancy Young Thing decides to cut loose and pull A's assitant nearly out of the arena, clothes-lining Trainer B and dragging her off her horse.

Fortunatly this situation ended in nothing worse then hurt feelings and a bad case of roadrash, but imagine if it had been a jr rider or someone on a young or flighty horse.

So add me to the group who is uncomfortable with lounging and riding at the same time. Darn, another DQ mark for me. Now I need to find something tacky to balance it out.

cyberbay
Dec. 17, 2010, 01:30 PM
Doesn't it just come down to courtesy and good horsemanship, which is really about safety for the horse and others? I mean, if you are going to do something that might overface another rider in the ring, you better hold off until that rider has left the ring or you've asked if it's OK to proceed. I mean, isn't that just courtesy? Doesn't everybody have to do their part?

In the OP, it just sounded like a very unfortunate series of events.

And for the posters who say 'suck it up,' well, obviously they haven't had a horse go to the clinic or been put in the hospital by someone who didn't know basic courtesy. The stakes are TOO high to just say, "Suck it up." In fact, I haven't seen any horsemanship manual state that as a way to proceed.

goeslikestink
Dec. 17, 2010, 04:36 PM
its unproffessional yards that allow lunging whilse there a re riders in the same school
most yards here have a golden rule of

no riding whilse a horse is on the lunge being lunge or long reined

Tiger Horse
Dec. 17, 2010, 05:14 PM
Within reason this is all true. But ...

I board one horse at a large (120+ horses) multi-use barn -- we have working western, roping, dressage and breed show enthusiasts. But most people are recreational riders -- some quite competent and others, not so much.

This time of year, the indoor can get very interesting. The horse I ride is well trained, but can get pretty hot when the weather is cold. ;) *I* can deal with him just fine. But I don't think it's fair to tell the less competent folks to man up and deal with his shenanigans just because I think they should be able to.



:yes:

Maybe it's because I used to be a timid rider, but I always err on the side of courtesy (and safety). I ask riders if they're OK with my horse being a little fresh, if I need to longe him. 90% of the time it's OK. But if someone says "no" then I'll either go outside to let him get his yayas out or do in-hand work.

I also have no problem kindly reminding riders (competent or not) of what constitutes arena courtesy -- left to left, don't ride too close, don't cut off people. It's all about sharing, folks. Really.


Well said MP! Although my barn is not nearly as large as yours - the indoor does get quite hectic. My guy really needs to be lunged before I ride this time of year and most folks are OK with it - in fact, they'd rather have me lunge first - than try to ride a stick of dynamite - much safer for all concerned! And yes, a little common courtesy goes a long way.

atlatl
Dec. 18, 2010, 09:41 AM
Mixing lunging and riding can work when common sense and courtesy prevail. Our barn rules are pretty simple; riders have priority always. If someone is riding in an arena, it's pretty rude to just come in and start lunging without at least asking if they are OK with it. If someone is already lunging in an arena, it's pretty rude to expect them to leave so you take your chances. There are some horses at our place with such incompetent handlers that I avoid them all the time. If they're lunging, I don't want to be anywhere near them and will happily go to another arena or hack around the grounds.

We don't have an indoor so when it rains, management tries to set aside one place to lunge so all the other arenas don't get torn up. No lunging is allowed in the big jump ring or the dressage court;ever.

Now, when the reiner came into the arena where I was lunging (3 others were empty) and slid into my lunge circle, I was more than a little peeved, but she apologized and life went on.

Cowgirl
Dec. 19, 2010, 03:02 AM
Longing can be quite dangerous if the person doing it has no skill, or wants to yahoo their horse to "get bucks out". Every step the horse takes on the longe should be training and under control--you want to yahoo, then do it where there is no one around. I was very nearly killed and my horse crippled by some beginner longing a horse without knowing what she was doing--she cracked a whip, the horse (which had not been ridden for several days) took off bucking with the longe line and the longe line ended up wrapped around my horse's legs. Thankfully both horses stopped while someone rushed to help. Since then, I will only ride with a longer if the longer is a mature professional who knows what they are doing, or if it's someone whose skill I respect. The rest of y'all who longe to get the bucks out are, IMO, an accident waiting to happen.

The rule at our barn is that riding takes priority and you may only longe in the arenas when someone is riding IF the rider gives permission. Otherwise you have to wait until the riding is done or go use the round pens outside that have all weather footing.

*Trinity*
Dec. 19, 2010, 10:58 PM
#1 rule in my barn: No lunging when others are in the ring. End of story, no exceptions. Whether your horse is well behaved or not on the lunge, any horse can be unpredictable and it's difficult to get them back under control from 20' away. It's also not fair for someone to take up that much space in the arena - it's very limiting to other people using the ring, no matter how big the ring is.

Eireamon
Dec. 20, 2010, 02:25 AM
Lungeing and riding in the same arena is an accident waiting to happen. It is absolutely forbidden at my property. If someone is lungeing in the arena they have to give way to anyone who wants to ride. Riders always come first.

I have seen an absolute trainwreck when a lunged horse started bucking and plunging in an arena it then ripped away from the handler and proceeded to panic gallop around the arena with the lunge rein trailing. As the horse sped a ridden horse the loose rein got into the other horses legs which caused that one to panic, bolt and dump its rider. The third rider in the arena managed to dismount quickly and get out of the way.

End result was two panicking bolting horses in an arena with lead rein trailing.
It only ended when the lunged horse smashed through the gate out of the arena.

Fortunately it was only superficial injuries but it could well have ended very very badly.

I would never ever allow lungeing in an arena with ridden horses and would never ride in any arena where a horse was being lunged if there were no rules in place.

At all shows here in NZ lungeing is strictly forbidden in warmup areas. There are designated lungeing areas well away from any riding areas.

Equilibrium
Dec. 20, 2010, 03:23 AM
You are correct, of course. A lot of people say, "My horse won't ...... (insert bad behavior here) and I always think, "Maybe, but will I bet my life on it?"

Best quote I've seen in this board in a long time. Do any of you think either of those people were not capable of handling those horses? Or that perhaps some of you all should step in to show them how it's done? And you also have quite fit horses being somewhat knocked off their normal schedule with this weather over here. Things happen with horses and as professionals most of you should know what it's like to have very fit competition horses. Even youngsters moving up the levels.

My horses, well they are allowed to be individuals within reason. Bad behavoir is not tolerated but expressing themselves in a happy manner is not seen as bad behavoir. And care is always taken around others.

We have been frozen for near enough a month now. My mare just worked her way up to competition fitness. There is only spotty turnout in the indoor but trainer has other horses to train and get out ect. Sometimes getting to the indoor is tough. So actually she gets a light lunge in the evening too. All of his horses, not just mine, would really like their normal schedule back. But you just have to keep them safe. Honestly I am surprised I haven't got a phone call that my mare has done something stupid. Fair dues to her trainer is all I can say.

Terri

suzy
Dec. 20, 2010, 09:46 AM
I have to scratch my head regarding some of you who talk about being able to control every step your horse takes on the longe. I have been longeing horses for 40+ years, and I cannot control every step. In the middle of winter when it's very cold and huge sheets of snow and ice are making cannon-like noises as they slide off of the indoor roof, I can't stop any of my horses from bolting, bucking, leaping, porpoising or whatever. I can keep them on the circle, but that's it. Of course, for that reason, I do not longe them when people are riding because it makes for an unsafe situation for the riders whose horses might react badly to my horses' antics.

Horses will be horses, and I've seen some of the best riders have their horses behave badly on the longe. There is only so much you can control from 20 feet away.

winfieldfarm
Dec. 20, 2010, 10:01 AM
believe me, as a pro rider, I'm not about waltzing into a ring with a hot horse and expecting all the other riders to part ways for me. I have complete respect for riders who need a more sedate environment so as to not be overfaced by the environment. But...

If I have read correctly, the undersaddle rider ran into the lunging horse. I don't even think the lunging horse was actually lunging yet, was it? So maybe it isn't always the lunging horse that is the problem...

SonnysMom
Dec. 20, 2010, 10:18 AM
I don't see riding and lunging absolutely never being done in the same arena at the same time.
I would not lunge my current horse while others are riding since he goes along nice for a bit but will the spin to face me, rear and fly backwards.

My QH I would be willing to lunge with others in the ring. He was absolutely dead quiet. He was used one year in summer camp for lunge lessons for a 5 year old child. That being said the only reason I ever really would lunge him would be either to lunge a beginner on him or if he had been off I would stick him on the lunge to watch him trot in both directions to check soundness.

I think a lot depends on the size and shape of the ring, the person lunging the horse, the experience level and ring awareness of those riding the other horses and why the horse is being lunged. If the horse being lunged NEEDS to be lunged because he has too much energy for the rider to hop straight on and ride the chance of the horse misbehaving goes up.
If the horse is being lunged in say a Pessoa rig to work on balance at the canter that horse may be less likely to misbehave since that isn't the reason and the focus for the lunging.

suzy
Dec. 20, 2010, 10:24 AM
Great post, Sonnysmom. My own motto is, when in doubt, err on the side of caution.

mp
Dec. 20, 2010, 10:29 AM
Longing can be quite dangerous if the person doing it has no skill, or wants to yahoo their horse to "get bucks out". Every step the horse takes on the longe should be training and under control--

I know how to longe, my horse knows how to be longed, so I don't do it yahoo or get the bucks out. It's just warm up without a rider. But ... stuff happens, especially in the winter when turnout is limited. And even with no misbehaving, my horse sometimes makes a LOT of racket just snorting and blowing, which can be alarming just by itself. :lol:

That's why if there are riders in the arena, I always ask. To me, it's just what ANY educated horseperson should do. And if the arena is crowded, don't even think about it. Too dangerous.


So maybe it isn't always the lunging horse that is the problem...

You're correct there. I see people get way too close to the longed horse, or just not be able to steer effectively enough to stay out of the way. It goes both ways.

shawneeAcres
Dec. 20, 2010, 01:08 PM
First my horses are pretty much turned out everyday, all day regardless of weather. THey are smart enough to not race around if it is really frozen and only if TRULY treacherous would they stay in. Second, we have a round pen for lunging, and only occasionally would lunge in arena if someone else was riding (but our arena is 250'x140') so plenty of room to stay out of peoples way. Accidents can and do happen! But the fact that my horses are allowed to be horses and be out for the day means they don't have that bottled up energy just waiting to explode!

Velvet
Dec. 20, 2010, 01:17 PM
To the comment about control. Well, there's also no control when a horse bucks off a rider and it's running loose in the ring. All parts of working with horses carry risk. And when you add horses together in an arena, well, you never know what can happen no matter how perfect you think your horse and everyone else's horse is. To me, I've seen near accidents in many situations--riding and lungeing. Can't see one as being that much more dangerous than the other. If you have a wild horse and know how to sit on the line, it's no going very far. If you're a clueless newbie, well, that's where the biggest risks are.

For all those objecting to lungeing. Do you think long lining is the same risk as lungeing or as riding?

NCRider
Dec. 20, 2010, 05:41 PM
I do feel that lunging is more dangerous than long lining or riding for two reasons:
1-if the horse gets loose while lunging, he's trailing a much longer rope and
2-people are much more likely to allow yahooing if the horse is on a lunge than they are if they're in the saddle, or behind the horse long lining it.

The only lunging I'm confortable with in the ring while I'm riding is lunging as a training exercise or lunging a mounted horse as part of a lunge lesson. Lunging to get the winter wackiness/spookiness, bucks, etc. out is never appropriate while they're are other people in the ring, IMO.

Final comment: I don't think it's ever safe to ride in part of the lunge circle, even if the horse is rotating on the other side of the circle at that moment, it's just too dangerous if something goes wrong. Because of that, lunging while other people are in the ring, unless its huge, is pretty selfish because it's taking up 1/3 to 1/2 of the ring.

narcisco
Dec. 22, 2010, 09:40 AM
For all those objecting to lungeing. Do you think long lining is the same risk as lungeing or as riding?

I think a horse that gets loose long lining is twice as dangerous as a horse who gets loose longeing and three times as dangerous as a horse who gets loose being ridden.

When a horse is tearing around with two long lines trailing, he presents twice the risk to everyone else in the ring. When he runs around with one longe line trailing, he terrifies himself, as well as many other horses.

When a horse gets loose with just a saddle and bridle, we don't have quite the danger the long line(s) present. I did see a fatality accident with a horse getting loose with a longe line. He broke his leg and had to be euthanized.

Winter is tough because everyone works inside. Common courtesy, good horsemanship and GOOD RULES can keep a busy barn safe. Good rules means someone needs to enforce them. It's all about risk management. I've been at many large facility, and it does, as someone said, depend on the layout and riding flow of the arena.

Rules I've seen: designated longeing arena or end of arena. Designated longeing times. One horse longeing in the arena at a time. Longeur must ask riders or instructor for permission before entering arena. Riding has priority. No longeing during group or jumping lessons.

I much prefer good management and clear rules to a free for all, even if it means I wait to longe. After the rules are in place, then good horsemanship and courtesy can take place.

Clearly, longeing while others are riding has long been known to be a dangerous situation, or barns would not set such rules.

alicen
Dec. 22, 2010, 03:42 PM
Is it not the standard at shows to longe in designated longeing areas only?