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Lunging techniques for one handed riders...

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  • Lunging techniques for one handed riders...

    I am a riding instructor who has a rider who has limited-to-no control or use of one hand. This rider will need to learn some lunging/long-lining techniques. Do you have any suggestions, tips, techniques, modifications that are helpful and safe? I have a number of horses to use who are safe, well-trained, school-horses who would typically be safe to try modified equipment/techniques with.

    I would appreciate any links to info which might help.

    I appreciate any insight!
    O! for a horse with wings! ~William Shakespeare, Cymbeline **or a unicorn horn. Whatever works.**

  • #2
    I've had to lunge 1 handed before, the hardest part is holding the lunge whip and line in 1 hand. Its doable, but takes some practice to find a comfortable way to do.

    Could you teach any of the horses to respond to voice commands for lunging so she just needs to hold the lunge line?


    • #3
      I know of riders who are not able to grasp their reins and a whip simultaneously who wear an upper-arm cuff to which the whip is attached. That way, they are able to use the whip by basically clapping the upper arm against their side.
      Does the rider have use of his/her forearm? If so, you could probably use the same cuff/whip combo to put the lunge whip on the arm with no hand.
      ... Of course,, you'd have to get even more creative to go the other direction...
      Maybe you could figure out a way to use su
      I evented just for the Halibut.


      • #4
        My left hand has very limited use. A brace helps me have more use of it. I cannot use a full sized lunge whip. I use the short lunge whip offered by SmartPak. When I have bad days, I do not have the ability to use a whip. At first, I would have a whip person, but I have since taught my horses voice commands. They actually now "up the pace" when I say "MORE" or cluck. I generally prefer to say more, as a cluck often leads to too much forward.

        For long lining and ground driving, my horses are "light" enough that they do not yank or pull, so I hold my lines like reins. There are times when I drop my left line, but I tell my horses to stand and they stop immediately. They did not become good overnight. They learned voice commands first on the lead line and slowly, but surely I was able to use the commands in a round pen on the lunge and with long lines. I am now able to lunge, long line, and ground drive in my entire arena because my horses compensate for my disabilities.

        If you have any more questions, feel free to pm me. I am more than happy to help where I can!


        • #5
          A few thoughts start with a long lead rope say 10 feet. Then she can hold the line in one hand and use her body to push the horse forward rather then a whip by walking towards the horses hip and clucking or kissing or saying walk (or trot) have her do this when inside hind leg is pushing off the ground, basically work on walk. Depending on the coordination of the horse you can do a small jog also, with the shorter line, once this works well, move to the longer line and the horse will under stand the movement and the cues. The verbal cues need to be consistant. (i.e. walk, trot, canter) or cluck, kiss,shushing sound or whatever you use)

          When it comes to long lineing I would use side reins (I always use when lunging also) so contact isn't completly lost when starting out. Then look in a driving book and you can hold the reins Achenbach (very standard one handed driving method- leaves right hand free for whip but you aren't useing one anyways) http://www.horsedrivingtrialsclub.co...hdrivingsy.htm

          Look at top picture, the bottom picture shows how to use with 2 hands also which don't need. To steer you rotate your wrist and tip your hand.

          Diane Kastama


          • #6
            I wish I'd had Cadriver when I was going it alone and trying to figure this stuff out!!!
            You have some awesome techniques and ideas. You are a huge asset to this thread! Thank you :-)


            • #7
              I have use of both hands but my grip can be extremely limited sometimes.

              I try and teach the horses off verbal commands so I can use both hands on the line and not worry about balancing a whip too.

              Other then the regular w/t/c woah and stand commands I use OUT(move out on the circle or make the circle bigger) IN(well obviously to come in/make a smaller circle)

              at first you'll need the whip for the out command but they usually get it quick enough.
              Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

              Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!


              • #8
                I also know that there are light-weight shorter whips being made. I am very weak in one hand and was considering getting one.

                He makes a long one 7' but I thought I saw a short one by him. I think if you search you might find more.

                Just be careful to put it where you won't step on it! these break very easily!


                • #9
                  What is the point of the session?

                  If the point is to simply exercise the horses, than no whip is fine (in my opinion).

                  I think the idea of trying the whip alternatives/attachments suggested is good, except I am not seeing how you can lunge on the side where the weaker arm is on the head side of the horse - help from those who have had success?

                  Also - have you thought about putting in a round pen and lungeing without a line... just a whip? That would be my choice, since the whip can keep the horse out on the circle and the pen keeps them in.


                  • #10
                    CapitolDesign - exactly where I was going! We are very lucky to have a small indoor (who'd have thought to hear someone say that?) - absolutely perfect for free lunging. I never use a longe line.

                    Body position is key. The whip and voice are useful aids, but the movement comes from your core. The whip is an extension of that. Maybe you could work together to have her learn, and the horse better understand?
                    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


                    • #11
                      Even though I am one and a half handed (both are on my body, but the left has limited strength and function) I prefer to long line and ground drive rather then lunge. It does present some issues at times, but for the most part I do okay. The OPs student wants to learn some long lining as well as lunging. The round pen will help the student to free lunge, but she will have to use lines for long lining, so it might be good to start out lunging with a line. Going from 1 line to 2 lines is a lot easier than going from no lines to 2 lines. IMHO, a round pen would be the best place to start the OPs student.