How to Free Lunge a Young Horse: Video Tutorial

By Greatmats Staff Created: January, 2019 - Modified: July, 2021

By Kelly Murphy-Alley

Let's go over how to free lunge a horse in a round pen. Round pens are wonderful for breaking colts (or fillies). They keep them closed in, but there's enough room that you can still work.
I highly recommend taking the halter off as a safety precaution.

The key to free lunging is staying at their hip and making sure they are paying attention to you. Make sure you've done a good job desensitizing first. Start by having them go counter clockwise around the perimeter of the round pen. Keep them moving forward for 5-10 trots around the round pen.

Then ask them to turn away from you and into the round pen and then go the opposite direction around the pen by stepping into their shoulder. Go another 5-10 times around the round pen. Don't worry about having them run yet. Worry about making sure their listening and paying attention to you.

When you get to the point where you want them to move a little faster, add a little pressure. If you want them to slow down, just back off a little.

To stop them, step away and move to their shoulder. Stand in front of them and say ''Whoa!'' That will teach them ''Whoa'' means stop.
Kelly Murphy-Alley
Striking KMA Performance Horses
Wilmore KY