I had a brief conversation with Trainer #1 last night about how the Princess lost her adorable little mind last night. She said that this is why she does not lunge, because the horses just end up losing their focus and it's much harder to get them back. Trainer #1 does groundwork such as disengaging the hindquarters instead. Most of the time though, Trainer #1 just gets on. Did I mention she's fearless?
I totally see Trainer #1's point and think she's on to something. I'm not the world's most competent person when lunging and spend a fair amount of time just trying to make sure I'm not getting tangled up and reminding myself to put my hand down. For some reason my hand that is holding the lunge line likes to float waaaaay up in the air, especially when the pony gets a little crazy.
On the other hand, I see why Trainer #2 is having me lunge the pony first. Even if a spook on the lunge is a 100 and it would only have been a 10 under saddle, I'd rather have a 100 spook with me on the ground than a 10 with me on the saddle. Mostly the pony ran around like an idiot, but she did get sweaty and tired enough that I was able to get on her. Plus, when I've tried to do the groundwork that Trainer #1 does I don't feel like I have calmed the pony down any and I don't feel any more confident about getting on.
So, I'm wondering what you all think about lunging horses and the pros and cons? Do you lunge your own horses? And what are your tips for getting them focused back on you when they are tearing around in a tizzy?