Am I giving the wrong cue?

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Am I giving the wrong cue?

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    08-18-2008, 04:08 PM
Am I giving the wrong cue?

Again, I purchased a AQHA Buckskin 3 year old about 10 days ago and have worked with her about 5 of those days.

The day after I purchased this mare, I worked her on a lunge line and gave some simple cues and she responsed to them.

I had the lunge line in my left hand and about 3 foot of the end in my right to use to twril. I stood off to to her right side and she started walking (to the left) after I clicked. I twirled the end of the rope on my right side and she picked up into a trot. While she was going circles around me, I tried to position my self to be behiind her shoulder or "girth" area. For a stop, I held out my left arm and said a firm "Whoa". The horse stopped and faced me. I switched hands with the line in my right hand and the 3 foot loose end to use to twirl in my left. I stepped to the horse's left side and twirled the rope and clicked and the horse started in the other direction (to the right). I continued to work with her changing directions and working her in circles about 3-4 times each way. I worked with her for about 15 minutes before riding.

Yesterday (1 week later), I wanted to just work with the horse on the ground and review the lunging to find out areas on where I needed to work on for the horse and myself's sake. I used the same cues (as stated above) and started the horse going to the left. After about 4 rounds I held out my right arm and said "Whoa" and the horse stopped and faced me. HERE IS THE PROBLEM: I stepped off to the left side of the horse's shoulder, twirled the end of the line, and clicked to cue the horse to start of the in the other direction (right). But the horse just stood there acting like it did not know what I was asking. Did I miss the cue? Or Give a wrong cue?

I did try to completely walk over to the horse's left side to position myself behind their shoulder ("girth" area) and gave the cue to go to the right. However the horse stayed in the same spot but turned and faced me again.

So what cues should I be giving....

Reminder:.. I purchased this horse about 10 days ago. I have not worked or been around horses in about 1 1/2 years due to a tragic loss and lack of time.
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    08-19-2008, 01:12 AM
It sounds like you're doing everything right.

Like people, horses are left and right "footed" and usually always have a bad side and always takes longer to teach things on one side then the other.
In my experiance, this is usually the right side as most horses are actually left footed.

I would try asking her again, and if she just stands there looking at you, I'd walk up and pysically put her in the direction you want to go. Then step back into the center and ask her to walk.
Switch to the left direction and after a few circles ask her to turn right again.
If she still stands and looks, I'd move her over by the halter a few times to re-inforce what it is you want for a few rotations

However, if you think she's being just plain ignorant to your cues, you have to be more assertive about how you ask her.
Really get behind her and drive her forward, after you ask her nicely.
This may work better if she is free lunging, just make sure that she always turns toward the center - keeping her head towards you and not her rear end.

You guys are both new to each other, so she may just be testing you to see if you're really serious about what you're asking of her.
Amount of training is another thing to consider, though it does sound as if she knows what she is supposed to do in the round pen.
    08-19-2008, 08:02 AM
Good advise by WSArabians. I would be using a training whip at this stage due to your horse's age and perhaps lack of experience. I would also not be afraid to tap my horse with it if he didn't move off after my cues. Use the whip as an extension of your arm not a punishment.
    08-19-2008, 12:24 PM
I'd concur with the other two replies. It could be inexperience or just testing the waters. My horse is fairly one-sided and he doesn't always go around on the right rein - usually when he's just having one of those stubborn days.

If your horse starts refusing to go one way consistently (not just the odd off day), it's worth getting his teeth checked. If sharp edges develop on one side, it can cause pain when lungeing, as the cavesson presses the cheek against the teeth.

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