How to Lunge in a Round Pen

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    • 1). Attach an approximately 30-foot lunge line to the halter on your horse, either at the ring under the lower chin or the ring on the side nearest you, depending on the direction in which you plan to start.

    • 2). Walk with your horse to the middle of the round pen.

    • 3). Give your horse some slack in the lunge line, and ask it to walk in the direction you prefer. Keep giving slack in the line until the horse is near the round pen fence.

    • 4). Hold the lunge line in the same hand as the direction you want your horse to move. Hold your lunge whip or flag in the opposite hand, making a triangle in which the whip or flag, horse, and lunge line create the three sides.

    • 5). Encourage the horse to move faster by using the slightest cue that is effective; start with simply extending the line ahead of the horse like you were leading it from afar. If this does not cause your horse to move faster within the gait or to the next gait, make a clucking sound or scuff your feet. Shake your flag or lightly snap your whip in the air as a last resort.

    • 6). Move calmly in a smaller circle around the middle of the pen as your horse goes around at the outer edge. You need to move faster as the horse moves faster, but you should be able to stay at a walk in the center.

    • 7). Slow your horse down by slowing your own body down. If the horse stays at the same speed, pull back slightly on the lunge line but not enough to pull the horse in toward you.

    • 8). Ask the horse to come to a complete stop. Turn the horse in the other direction. Clip the lunge line to the other side if you are using the cheek rings on your halter rather than the chin ring. Move your lunge whip or flag to the opposite hand, and do a similar exercise regimen to the one you did in the first direction.

    • 9). Cool your horse down at a walk before taking the horse out of the round pen.

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