"Keep the circle moving" & "I am my horse's Safe Place"
(From Clare's article archives, Circa 2010-2015)
"Keep the Circle Moving"
When you are lunging a horse, you really don't want to
just stay in one place and go around and around.
You want to move the circle up and down the arena, up and down the long side,
make the circle bigger, make the circle smaller, remembering that the smaller the circle,
the harder it is on the horse.
If you keep the circle moving around the arena, it's much easier on their bodies,
and infinitely easier on their minds.
(And it's better exercise on the human as well, you'll get your gym
workout going up and down the arena.)
The barn owner will also much appreciate it, because it is much better on the footing.
Most barn owners don't want you to lunge, because you just go around and around, and it ruins the footing, but if you keep going up and down, it is just like riding the horse.
Adding the cavalettis into your lunging program: fantastic!
Gives your horse something to think about.
Move the cavalettis around.
Put them in new places.
Put them in different patterns and combinations.
All of that stuff is great for getting your horse supple, getting your horse fit, getting them nicely warmed up, without the weight of the rider on their back, and then you can hop on, and your horse is ready to "rock and roll."
You don't have to lunge before your ride, obviously, but,
I find it's nice for horses to get them warmed up physically and mentally.
The 'hot' horses, the young horses, the horses that are learning,
they do well to start off on the longe line.
"I am my horse's Safe Place"
So, the Natural Horsemanship people talk about the horse having a 'safe place' to be.
In my opinion, I am that place.
The horses go to me for confidence, security and comfort.
I think it is a really positive, good thing, to be your horse's safe place.