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Lunging Etiquette - Rude or Not Rude?

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by Celeritas View Post
    Maybe it's just a show barn thing, but my feeling is that to do otherwise is rude.
    This is a far cry from a podunk backyard place. I would classify it as a "show barn" although it is not a h/j facility. The place I was at last winter - that WAS kind of podunk. There was no reasoning with anyone there, and the horses being lunged were lunatics and their handlers had no control. The horses being lunged at my current barn range from "slightly up" to very well behaved, for the most part...so that does help. Almost all of the horses are in a "program" and are receiving at least some professional rides.

    My frustration really has more to do with space than safety.

    Comment


    • #22
      I guess it depends on the definition of "lunging". If you have a clueless person holding on to a tether whilst horse careens about, then no, not allowed.

      However, I consider lunging a key part of training. Lunging will
      1-Warm up the muscles of an older horse without the weight of the rider
      2-Warm up and focus the brain of a younger horse before the rider mounts
      3-Can be used to introduce new movements, eg., walk-canter-walk transitions without rider's interference.

      Lunging is an integral part of building a vocabulary of communication with the horse. There is no bucking, rearing, spinning whilst attached to the human. Lunging is work time, not play time. Lunging and riding in the same hall is seen regularly in European barns. Horses do not need to be lunged in huge circles. Work on the lunge can be done while allowing mounted riders space.

      Just my HO.
      Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
      Alfred A. Montapert

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      • #23
        When I used to have boarders, I did not allow lunging and riding at the same time. I didn't have a lot of "lungers" though -- at least never more than 20 minutes, thank goodness.

        I also have an indoor, outdoor and 65' round pen -- all with great footing --so if there was ever a conflict, there were plenty of options and they worked it out.
        www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
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        • #24
          Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
          My frustration really has more to do with space than safety.
          Is there a resident trainer you can approach (since many of these horses are in a program)? Are there other riders that have the same issue? If so, maybe you can band together and approach the BO about establishing some arena rules. Since your ring is small, some rules need to be laid down; everyone needs to be able to use and enjoy the ring when it's winter and quarters are close. A 20m circle is generous when lunging, but not when you're stuck on it for your entire schooling ride.

          If your ring is truly so small that a rider can't pass on the rail while someone is lunging (even on a smaller, say 15m, circle) I would propose a time limit for those that lunge when others are riding so that they can get their lunging in but riders can also get their use out of the ring. It's only fair.

          Another idea to propose is for a white board ring schedule be installed in the barn. People can write on the board their anticipated schedule for the week, so that everyone has an idea of who to expect when they get there (eg. Bonnie Boarder: Mon lunge 6pm; Tues ride 3pm; Thurs lunge 6pm; Sat ride 9am). That way the lungers might be able to work around the riders a bit better, and vice versa. It probably won't solve the problem entirely, but it might help.
          friend of bar.ka

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          • #25
            If you can not control your horse well enough so that ther person riding can use the rail around the entire arena, then no you should not go in and start lungeing. A space large enough to only lunge 2 horses should be large enough to ride 4-6 horses is everyone has good control and ringmanship skills.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
              I guess it depends on the definition of "lunging". If you have a clueless person holding on to a tether whilst horse careens about, then no, not allowed.

              However, I consider lunging a key part of training. Lunging will
              1-Warm up the muscles of an older horse without the weight of the rider
              2-Warm up and focus the brain of a younger horse before the rider mounts
              3-Can be used to introduce new movements, eg., walk-canter-walk transitions without rider's interference.

              Lunging is an integral part of building a vocabulary of communication with the horse. There is no bucking, rearing, spinning whilst attached to the human. Lunging is work time, not play time. Lunging and riding in the same hall is seen regularly in European barns. Horses do not need to be lunged in huge circles. Work on the lunge can be done while allowing mounted riders space.

              Just my HO.
              I too learned my lunging skills in a European setting. They were very strict about it and there was definitely etiquette involved! You always lunge as if you were going to ride - that meant helmet & gloves on. The circle was rarely 20m, usually more like 10-15m depending on the horse and the goal of the exercise (and yes, there was always a goal!). Side reins were always on, usually started in a 'long and low' position and then worked up - again depending on the horse & the goal. I was always told you should never lunge at a walk in side reins for more than a few steps, and should use lots of transitions. I found it to be a huge benefit for my mare. Especially when we lived in PA if she had been inside for extended periods, she got a few minutes running around the indoor to let off steam, then I'd lunge her for 10-15 minutes and it made our rides WAY more productive.

              So yes, I am all for lunging and completely understand and appreciate why it is necessary, but I also understand and appreciate that it is not fair or appropriate to take up half the riding space lunging one horse especially if it takes you 30+ mins to do so and the horse is careening/bucking his way around the lunge line.
              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                There are three trainers, but they are usually not present when the lunging activities are going on (unless they are doing a lunge lesson, which is generally very controlled - although still not safe to ride around the outside of the lunge circle). Those saying that there should be a way to ride around the outside of the circle - I guess I would just say that I am guessing you have never seen a ridden horse vs. lunging horse accident? Because I have seen them. They are not good. Even a well behaved horse in a rig won't be as controlled as a ridden horse. Add in tight space between the horse and the wall, fresh horses, cool temps, etc. - you are asking for a crash, an entanglement, and/or a rider or a ridden horse being kicked. I won't ride around the outside of a lunging horse. Period. And I guess just as a suggestion, I would caution others against it as well.

                I'm not sure that the trainers would be willing to get involved. I'm guessing not. And I don't really want to start a whole big "thing" that involves multiple customers, etc. Not very many other people ride at night. Just a handful of us, and none of us who ride at night really lunge. We all share the ring fine (riding). I think the "daytime" people come at night to lunge thinking it will be less crowded, which is true, but then it is always the night people (well, lately, I guess just me ) getting the short end of the stick, you know?

                For whatever reason, this lunging issue has seemed to only impact me (at least so far). I'm not sure if it is just bad luck or what, but it seems like the other night people are happening to either not be out the nights the lunging is going on, or they are riding right before or after the lunging. I seem to always have bad luck with this kind of thing. No idea why, as I really go out of my way to NOT have these things happen to me and usually when I get on there isn't even anyone looking like they might be about to lunge. It's almost like I go in, and people are like "Okay! She's in there! Time to go lunge!" Sigh.

                Comment


                • #28
                  "Basic Training of the Young Horse"...Klimke. My Bible. Lunging is clearly paramount and the basis of early training in the young horse. Thus, the young horse should not be lunged when people are riding -- an accident waiting to happen, if the lunger is not superbly skilled. Even so, the most skilled can suddenly have a handful to deal with during this early education (ask me now I know..).

                  Once that education is done, the rest is u/s -- and for me has nothing to do with exercise or building suppleness, throughness and all those goodies we strive for. That is done by using cavaletti in the school and other exercises he so clearly explains -- including going out and riding hills and other cross country/trail work.

                  If people spend a ton of time lunging a "made" horse, I can't understand why, unless they just like doing it or they have a control issue... or are afraid to get on their horse without doing so (had a few here...). The incessent lungers must have holes in their training/communication somewhere (or one of the former issues mentioned above) , I think to myself...otherwise why do it? In that case, controlled in-hand work, can have more benefit, IME.

                  IMHO, the only time to lunge after the basic training of the young horse is complete (re: the lessons of lunging) is if one is having a behavioral issue (round pen is even better)...or if the horse is being fresh (which is a behavioral issue)... when it is needed to detect a lameness issue.

                  I LOVE teaching young horses (and problem older horses) the lessons that only the lunge can teach early-on -- about forwardness, obedience, finding balance, especially in the transitions, speed within each gait, acceptance of the bit, etc. But not lunging for the sake of lunging. Why go back to kindergarten? Plus it's nasty on the joints if done excessively.

                  Should I be wearing a flame suit? Hope not. To each their own.
                  Last edited by sid; Nov. 26, 2012, 06:11 PM. Reason: typos and punctuation...write too fast
                  www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                  "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                  Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

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                  • #29
                    I ride at a place with about the same arena dimensions as yours, perhaps just a little longer. We do a lot of lunging; hot horses + a rather unpredictable climate means that before most rides, we spend five or ten minutes asking the horse to a) get the bucks out and b) start paying attention.

                    If lunging is the only thing that's going on, we can fit two horses on 20 meter circles (or larger) comfortably. Now add a rider. Both lungers, because they're only going to be working for ten minutes max, shorten their lines so there's enough space to pass on the rail. Instead of a 20 meter circle, they work on a 17 meter circle or a little smaller, which gives more than six feet on the rail, without drastically increasing the joint stress.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      As a boarder, I did quite a bit of long lining, driving and some lunging. The "rider's rule" attitude honestly ticked me off. I never heard from the BO that my board check spent any differently than the checks of those who rode, and it definitely wasn't any less.

                      Unless you board check is more than those who lunge, I would hardly consider lunging a horse rude. They have just as much right to use the arena as you. I would bet that the only time THEY can get out to barn is after their work day. You have your issues, but they may have issues as well. Who's to say that your issues are more important? Well, I guess the BO makes that call.
                      Visit my Spoonflower shop

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by red mares View Post
                        As a boarder, I did quite a bit of long lining, driving and some lunging. The "rider's rule" attitude honestly ticked me off. I never heard from the BO that my board check spent any differently than the checks of those who rode, and it definitely wasn't any less.

                        Unless you board check is more than those who lunge, I would hardly consider lunging a horse rude. They have just as much right to use the arena as you. I would bet that the only time THEY can get out to barn is after their work day. You have your issues, but they may have issues as well. Who's to say that your issues are more important? Well, I guess the BO makes that call.
                        It's not about who pays more. The reason most people board where there is an arena is to ride their horses. If the arena is full of people doing something else -- groundwork, longeing, etc. -- they should, within reason, accommodate the riders. Not the other way around. And in my world, etiquette dictates that longeurs always ask before they start IF someone is riding in the arena.

                        I don't get the 30 minute longeing stuff. I do longe my horse every now and then but only for a few minutes to let him stretch his legs. Then it's on with the riding.
                        __________________________
                        "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                        the best day in ten years,
                        you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          It's not an issue of whose board check is worth more. It's about courtesy and fairness. If someone is riding in the arena and is monopolizing the space so that others can only ride in a small circle, that's just as much of an issue as someone lunging and monopolizing the same space.

                          You can fit many more horses with riders in a ring than you can horses on lunge lines. Thus when space is tight, preference should be given to riding for the reason that it's more efficient and thus, inconveniences fewer people. This isn't to say that lunging shouldn't be allowed, just that it needs to be adjusted so as to be fair to everyone when space is tight.
                          friend of bar.ka

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                          • #33
                            I cannot imagine lunging for 30+ minutes.....heck, we have a 20m round pen that I'll do work in free lunging and I get annoyed when the horse keeps testing the limits because I don't want to keep going in circles!

                            IMO, unless you're doing actual work while lunging, it's only necessary for about 10 minutes max. I usually lunge my guy when we go to a new place just to give him time to look around, but if after 10 minutes he's still hairy eye-balling the place, I know he needs something to work his brain under saddle...not to be mercilessly sent in circles.
                            To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.

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                            • #34
                              I would think common courtesy would dictate that if there is someone waiting to ride or more than 1 person waiting to ride then the lunger should not lunge for 30 minutes. I know that if there is someone lunging we usually just wait till they are done because we have a space issue as well and I feel it is unsafe to ride in the arena when someone is lunging.
                              Also if someone is riding first and someone wants to lunge then they should ask first and if the rider says no then they should wait.
                              So no you should not have to suck it up IMO.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I dunno - I lunge before I get on this time of year, but he is never out of control, and in side reins within 3 minutes. It is MUCH more productive for our ride if he warms up his back, neck, and muscles before adding a rider's weight. Lunge time is NOT play time, it is part of training.

                                What I would have to spend 25 minutes doing on his back, I can accomplish in 10-15 on the lunge. It is also much more productive mentally for him. He's warm, and ready to work when I get on, so he does not associate playing around and not going straight to work with my getting on. It is not what every horse needs, but it's what *this* horse needs. My training time is as valuable as yours, and I have the same right to space as you do. I am always on a 15 meter or smaller circle, and cognizant of any other horses so that I give a wide berth to the rail as they go by. Our arena is 20m x 50m ish, and we will lunge 2 or ride 1, lunge 1 at any given time.

                                I would be annoyed if I was stuck on a 20 meter circle from a rude lunger, but by the same token, they are often the rude rider in the ring anyway, and while on the lunge, I at least know where they are going to be all the time rather than having to duck around them.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  IMO horses should not be ridden and lunged in the same arena together. If one of the horses spooks and bolts (not that this EVER happens when snow slides off a barn roof in winter ) you have a very real possibility of the ridden horse getting tangled up in the other horse's lunge line. In a small arena, as described by the OP, there's also a possibility that the lunged horse will kick out at the ridden horse when they pass each other. This is a good way for the rider to get a broken kneecap.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I have a giant indoor so space isn't an issue, but my barn is not attached to the indoor so if someone is hacking and I want to ride, too, I'll usually stick my head in the ring and let them know I plan on being up to the ring in about 15 minutes to ride. Then, they know that they shouldn't shut off the lights and they also know that if they wanted to do something that would be tough with another rider in the ring, they have 15 minutes left to themselves.

                                    So maybe you can do something similar. If someone is lunging, stick your head in when you get to the barn and say "Hey, how much longer do you think you'll be? I hope to get on and ride in about 15 minutes". It's a nice way to let them know your schedule, without immediately coming across entitled.

                                    If no one is in the ring when you get there, maybe you can stick a little note on the door that says "FineAlready plans to ride from about 6:20-6:45, fyi!". Or, if your barn is small enough, when someone comes into the barn as you're tacking, let them know your plans/timeline. If it's someone likely to lunge you can say, "Oh, I was just going to hop on and ride for about 30 minutes- I'll holler down the aisle and let you know as soon as I start cooling out so you have enough room to lunge!" Or, if you've just started grooming you can let them know that they have the ring to themselves for about 10-15 minutes.

                                    And even if the lunger is slow to exit, there are LOTS of things you can work on at the walk on a 20 meter circle. Of course you wouldn't want to spend your whole ride like that but it's a good way for you not to lose all your time... and it's also like the "play off music" at the Oscars, cuing the person it's time to GTFO

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I DO think it's rude to lunge a horse in this case, while somebody is riding. That said, if it's just 5-10 minutes and everyone's ok with it, fine.

                                      My thought - horse issues aside - is that lunging is a more selfish use of space than riding. It very much impinges on what the other rider is able to do, restricting him/her to small circles.
                                      Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        I am not sure how preaching here that lunging is all that is evil in the world and there is no reason for people to do it will help the OP's issue.

                                        Some people like to lunge, some people do not. Shrug.

                                        Any barn I have boarded at has had the riders have a the right of way rule.

                                        And sorry Red Mares it has nothing to do with who pays more and it has everything to do with common courtesy. A person lunging can not share the area they are using with others. A person riding can. No one pays enough board to claim half the ring as all their own for a huge chunk of time when others want to use it too (sharing it).
                                        Kind of like if you decide to turn Dobbin out in the indoor and leave him there. That means no one else can use the indoor at all, but I guess since your board check cashes the same that is OK with you?


                                        OP, I think you should talk to the BO or trainers in a non-confrontational way. You have said yourself that this does not seem to happen to anyone else so they might not even know there is an issue.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                          Kind of like if you decide to turn Dobbin out in the indoor and leave him there. That means no one else can use the indoor at all, but I guess since your board check cashes the same that is OK with you?
                                          Well, I did have the one time where I was riding a very reactive horse (which everyone KNEW was very reactive) and the barn help came in leading a horse and asked is it ok if we just turn out this horse in here while you ride? Not another boarder, the BARN HELP.

                                          Now, I will suffer in silence when everyone and their mother wants to longe because I really do not feel like I have sole rights to the ring, and especially not when I am not the one writing the board check for the horse I am riding but rather am a free lance trainer, but in that particular situation I spat out, "NO it would NOT" without hesitation and with some vehemence. I'm sure she thought I was rude, but that was actually me restraining myself from the rest of the paragraph that sprang to mind and limiting myself to simply the most pertinent point, so I thought I handled it fine.
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