Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Angus, Scotland
• Horses: 0
Its quite normal for horses to be 'sticky' to lunge on one side or the other. Many will go well one way, but will evade on the other rein. It could be that your horse was able to turn to face his handler during his early training, and the handler may have frightened the horse with the whip in their effort to lunge him on that side.
Once a horse has learned this evasion it is quite difficult to train them out of it. Going after the animal with the whip only serves to send his quarters too far round, resulting in the horse facing the handler and, if the handler persists, the horse will work hard to prevent the handler getting down that side to send him on on the circle.
I find that working quietly with the horse in-hand and teaching him to yield his head/neck/shoulder to pressure, first from a training stick, then, progressively, from the hand and then the posture/energy of my body, I can persuade the horse to yield his fore end away, allowing me to step to the side and away as I focus on his quarters to send him on.
Because the horse has learned that he must yield his fore end, I can send him on and, if he attempts to evade by turning in, I can step in toward him and prevent him falling in and turning.
If you decide to try this, you will have to be watchful for the signs of the horse looking to evade, and deal quickly and decisively with it. You will have to be proactive in your lunging, and quick on your feet, and be aware of how your position in relation to the horse, as well as your posture/energy, will affect his going.
Oh, and you might want to lose the whip.
Last edited by AengusOg; 06-07-2012 at 05:10 AM.