University of Vermont AAHS

Letter to the Editor: Lungeing Dangers


[reproduced from Fall 2002 Caution:Horses]



August 27, 2002 

Dear Ms. Dawson,  

I read your article on "Lungeing Dangers" with great interest. I recently fired an assistant trainer because, among other things, she refused to lunge in a bridle or lunging cavesson, or whip. She preferred a rope halter and whatever length of line was handy, with no whip.  

We had a near miss, where a horse kicked up toward the handler. That's why I have always insisted on side reins, a snaffle bridle and a lunging syrcingle or saddle and whip. 

It's come to my attention that some western trainers at one of our state equestrian colleges are promoting lunging without side reins, bridle or cavesson, or whip. I would like to see you do another article stressing the need for side reins, 30' lunge line, and whip. In my lifetime of experience, there is no other way to safely control the horse. It's not necessary to crank the horse down with tight side reins, but merely to have them snug enough to control the horse's shoulder. And yes, we always wear ASTM/SEI helmets.  

If I can be of any further help to you, I would be honored to do so. I am an AHSA (now USA Equestrian) licensed judge, an ARIA certified instructor in dressage and recreational riding, and also an expert witness. I very much appreciate the good work that you and your organization do.


Bobbi Lipka
Churchville, NY

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