Advice for Lunging a Young Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-16-2010, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for Lunging a Young Horse

Hello all,

I just got my two and half year old grade horse a little over a month ago. I have worked him in the round pen twice. The first time a couple of weeks ago and the second time today. The first time he trotted both ways for one circle then stopped and began eating the grass. He has gradually been putting on some weight as he was fairly thin when he came to me, and the sight of anything green will distract him, I'll show him the whip and he'll just stand there eating. I didn't put much pressure on him that first time because he is young and this is all new to him. Since then, I've just been walking him every other day for some easy exercise and he does good with that. Today I put a grazing muzzle on him when I took him to the round pen, so that he would be less inclined to stop and eat. This worked, but he became frustrated and bucked twice. He only went as first as a trot. And he will only trot a circle, then stop, then after a few circles of showing him the whip he'll trot another circle then stop and repeat that whole process or just turn and walk in to me. I don't want to confuse him or bore him, so these sessions have been very short, like 5-10 minutes. I know he is trying but I need some help. I've never had this much trouble lunging a horse, and i know it is not a big trouble and I know it will take time and I am patient, but I was wondering if any of you could give any good advice on lunging a green horse.
Please and thank you
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-16-2010, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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I meant he only went as fast as a trot.... and after a few seconds of show him the whip...
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-16-2010, 08:50 PM
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Try getting someone to lead him while you lunge him, just to teach him that he has to keep moving. then get them to just walk next to him without holding him then gradually move away. he should get the hang of it eventually. thats what we had to do with a pony at the riding school i used to work at. worked for him, should work for yours :)
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-16-2010, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I will definitely try this!
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-16-2010, 09:04 PM
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No problem :) let me know how you get on
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-16-2010, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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I will!
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-17-2010, 12:34 AM
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You've got it right by keeping it short. Young horses, well, horses in general, but especially young horses don't have great attention spans.

I'd lunge him rather than round pen him, then after you've got him going well on the lunge like try round penning him and in an area without grass if possible? He might focus on you a bit better if he's actually connected to you and can't wander about willy nilly. It's nice if they listen to you right off the bat, but if they don't, why put extra temptation in their way. You can use it as a test of your abilities once you do have him going well.

When lunging or round penning, walking or stopping is a reward. You may be being a bit soft on him, after he gets up and listens to you, by all means, let him walk and praise him, but until he does you need to be on. his. butt.

But, my number one recommendation is that I would try to evaluate your body language. That is of great importance when doing either thing. When you ask him to move out, are you standing up tall? Are you driving him with your shoulder tilted and standing at his hip?
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-17-2010, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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RomanticLyric, I think you are absolutely right. I've just been sort of slouched over. I'm at his hip for the most part, but I know not all the time. I will definitely be paying more attention to what I'm doing, I think that is why he has been confused. I'll work him tomorrow on a lunge in the arena instead too. I've only lunged trained or more experienced horses and so I guess they know the drill easier and this leaves me not having to pay attention to what I'm doing. I love these wake-up call/epiphanies. I'll keep y'all posted. Thank you
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-17-2010, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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p.s. I'm definitely a softie towards him. It's time I woman up. lol
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-17-2010, 01:16 AM
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I'll look for updates!
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