Horse Score-Lunging Criteria
UNDERSTANDING THE HORSE SCORE-LUNGEING CRITERIAThe understanding the horse score document is in place so that judges, lungers, vaulters and coaches can have an understanding of what quality training and basics are. The AVA’s understanding the horse score was drawn with permission from the FEI guidelines for vaulting.
The Lunger stands at the top of a triangle and the front and back of the horse form the base. The lunger should be facing towards the horse’s middle. They are connected by the lunge line to the front and by the whip to the rear.
If the horse is a little sluggish, it is acceptable to move a little to the side, so that you are more behind the horse; or, if the horse is moving too fast, you can move more towards the head – again in a sideways movement – and raise the whip in front of the nose as a barrier.
If the circle line or the engagement of the horse needs to be corrected, the lunger may change position accordingly; if the horse is lacking engagement, the lunger may move towards the hind of the horse; if the rhythm needs to be slowed down, or the length of the strides needs to be shortened, the lunger may move more towards the head; the lunger may also move the whip from the shown position, pointing it in front of the horse’s nose in such a situation.
With the side reins properly adjusted, the horse can carry its nose correctly in front of the vertical.
The lunge line takes the place of the rider's rein aids. It may be held like a riding rein, with the line running to the horse held between the fourth and fifth finger, or held like a driving rein, with it running between the thumb and pointer finger. The elbow should be softly bent.
Like rein aids while riding, signals should be given smoothly and as softly as possible to get the desired response, with aids given by squeezing or turning the hand (half-halts) - no pulling or hanging on the line.
The lunge whip takes the place of the rider's legs. When the whip is not used for the purpose of giving the necessary aids, it should be held in an angle of about 45 degrees, pointing towards the horse's hocks, with the lash dragging on the ground. The horse should accept the whip as an aid, without showing fearful reactions.
The horse must be encouraged to have freedom of forward movement. The whip should not be used to drive the horse forward continuously as aids are intended for changing the way of going, and should not impact the horse continually.
When the lunger goes toward the horse to adjust equipment, the lash should be gathered and the whip turned backward, so that it does not interfere with the horse.
The voice is mainly used for transitions, praise, to call the horse’s attention, to express disagreement. The voice is an important aid in lungeing and should be used (as described above) to change the way of going, without constantly speaking to the horse.