Horse lunging is simply the practice of moving your horse around you in a circle at a walk, trot, or canter. Typically, it is used to burn off excess energy before riding your horse or to do some structured exercise between riding sessions. Horse trainers will also use it to develop a horse’s balance at different gaits or to teach new riders who aren’t ready to go out on their own in the arena yet.
But there are so many more benefits, particularly if you don’t limit your horse to just running around in circles, but instead use the Circling Game. The Circling Game is one of the Seven Games used to build a partnership with your horse and is the best way to develop mutual responsibilities of the partnership. Contrary to the potentially mindless work of lunging, this game stimulates your horse mentally, emotionally, and physically and teaches him to stay connected to you. It keeps a softness in the line between you and your horse, and develops your horse’s lateral muscles while establishing your leadership dynamic.
Parelli Natural Horsemanship is celebrating 40 years of teaching the Parelli Method with a live, three-day event at the new state-of-the-art World Equestrian Center in Ocala, FL onMarch 4 – 6, 2022.
Most lifelong horse enthusiasts cannot remember a time when Natural Horsemanship didn’t exist. The simple systems of equine partnership helped shape the way that equestrians approach their relationship with their horse in every riding discipline imaginable. This year marks 40 years since the father of Natural Horsemanship, Pat Parelli, gave his very first clinic.
However you came about horse ownership, you likely have some goals in mind for you and your horse. Whether you have your sights set on a competition or simply a peaceful ride out on the local trails, a good ride is founded on harmony with your horse. Harmony in horsemanship isn’t some elusive concept that we chase. You can actually achieve harmony and build on it daily with your horse. Read on for tips to make your future rides your best yet.
Many of us horse owners are accustomed to working in the round pen, arena, or on the trail. Yet the incredible thing about working with horses is that every moment we spend with them is a teaching moment. Horses are never not learning, so your work together starts not when you swing your leg over, but from the very moment your horse sees you.
You plan weeks in advance to take that incredible trail ride on the beach. Your trailer is packed and you’re excited to hit the road with your barn buddies. Everything goes to plan up until the day of the ride, and your horse refuses to load. After a fit of pulling back, kicking, and finally just halting as far away from the trailer as possible, you give up and commit in your mind to working on trailer loading before the next group ride.
Perhaps the most common sticking point in developing a partnership is when your horse reacts with a big “no” to what you ask of him. Understanding equine behavior doesn't have to be a mystical phenomenon reserved for those with decades of experience in the horse industry. Getting a fundamental blueprint for understanding a horse's reaction will significantly improve your ability to address the behavior and work towards a solution (minus the frustration).
Pat Parelli developed a skeleton of communication that goes beyond the traditional yields and coupled them with love, language, and leadership principles. The Parelli Natural Horsemanship program works for any horse, any breed, any discipline. It works because it is NOT about the sport; it is about understanding and relating to the horse's point of view. Humans think very differently from horses, which seems obvious. Still, we try to rationalize the mistakes, bad behavior, and opposition with intellect when most of these issues are rooted in the simple emotion of fight or flight. This combination of human intelligence and rationalizing with the horse's instinctual and emotional nature can be like oil and water if you're not equipped with the right tools.
Waarom heb ik intussen zo’n 17 jaar geleden gekozen om niet langer mee te lopen in de ‘normale’ manier van omgaan met paarden? Waarom besliste ik toen geleidelijk aan om niet langer het gangbaar uitgestippeld pad te volgen van:
Ponylessen op de manege
Paardenlessen op de manege
Privélessen op een privéstal
Dressuur- of springwedstrijden en trainen in LRV- of HROV-verband (of gelijkaardig)
Wie weet waar ik ooit kon belanden op internationaal niveau (Olympische Spelen?)?
Waarom koos ik dit NIET?
Want dit leek mij op mijn 13 – toen de wijde paardenwereld me eindelijk wat duidelijker werd en mijn spaarboekje zicht kreeg op m’n eerste echte eigen paard – eigenlijk echt de enige weg om vooruit te komen, bekeken vanuit de manegeblik die ik toen had. Want ja, alle ruiters deden dat toch zo? Eens ze 13-14-15 jaar waren, gingen ze les volgen bij een bekende privélesgeefster in de buurt, met haar paarden, of met een eigen paard, en dan konden ze zelfs na een tijdje wedstrijden gaan rijden!
Dat leek dus ook mijn doel… tot… ik ontdekte dat er ook nog een andere weg was!
"I found myself with a lot of ambition but no patience or principles. I also found out once I got to the show that the trainers showed their real colors in the warm up arena, this is were I found out that birds of a feather flock together. I soon started calling the warm up arena the torture pit and I was in there doing the same things."