Apparently, this horse likes lounging... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-07-2009, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
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Apparently, this horse likes lounging...

I have had this problem for about three weeks. Whenever I lounge Lola before I ride her, she doesn't want to stop! I put down the wrip (I'm free lounging, by the way) and tell her "whoa." She just keeps going around and around and around. I just stand there and wait five minutes for her to stop. Am I adressing this problem the right way? Why does she insist on running around and around and around?

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post #2 of 7 Old 06-07-2009, 10:02 PM
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What is her body language like? Is her head up? Tense through her neck? Eyes wide? Tense movement, etc?

Usually when a horse keeps running and running and running that is a horse that is on adrenaline and is in 'prey animal' mode. He's not thinking, he's not relaxed and he's unconfident. Scared, in a lot of cases. That is a horse's first instinct is to run when afraid.

The place to fix this is back on-line. When you have him on-line, it's like you are "holding his hand" so to speak. Get him confident on-line with doing a lot of confidence building exercises and doing lots of transitions to get him thinking. A good rule that I go by is "teach on-line, test at liberty." So you have to help teach the horse to be confident and trusting on-line and then you test your strength of bond at liberty. If it doesn't work out at liberty, GO BACK ON-LINE. Things rarely get better if you try to fix things at liberty.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-07-2009, 10:06 PM
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Oops, sorry, I should have said 'her' when talking about your horse lol. Sorry 'bout that!
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-07-2009, 10:10 PM
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My horse wont stop running when free lunging if she's outside. If she can see any other horses, if there is any wind rain, she just wont stop. She will though if she's inside. In a covered round stall (roof and walls).

Do you have any signals to stop her? I've taught all the horses I've worked with if someone ducks down near them they stop/don't move. As a precaution, if someone falls over while leading, it's nice if the horse stops, safer too. :P
Try teaching something like that?

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-07-2009, 10:14 PM
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Either she isn't understanding your "whoa" command, or you aren't communicating it effectively enough. Maybe you're just dropping the whip, but not really putting yourself infront of her motion? If so, the dropping of the whip means nothing to her, because you're still in a 'go' postion. Also, you shouldn't have to keep the whip "up" while free longing...the whip is only a 'go' foward cue, and should be dropped right away, otherwise you are always giving pressure to her even when she has responded to it properly.

Try 'overexaggerating' the whoa cue for a while, by stepping a bit further infront of her motion than you normally would, so there's no doubt that she shouldn't 'get' what you are asking her to do. Give her a few seconds to stop, and turn in toward you, and if she doesn't stop, then you need to drive her onward, not let her continue to run blindly. "Ask" her to stop often, but if she doesn't stop right away, you need to continue asking her to move...she shouldn't be the one deciding when to stop. Change directions often, as well...she will eventually start asking you to let her stop (turning her ears to you, trying to stop on her own, licking her lips, etc); again, don't let 'her' decide when to stop, however...when you notice those signals, YOU need to be the one to step in front of her motion and ask her to stop.

You can certainly practice your cues on lead, as well, just so you know you are communicating effectively, but if it's free longing where you are having the issue, it's free longing that you need to work on your communication with.

Last edited by mom2pride; 06-07-2009 at 10:19 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-07-2009, 10:17 PM
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I think it depends what you're trying to accomplish when lunging. Everything you tell your horse is through body language, aided by a voice command...while asking her to whoa, what's your body saying? Are you in an arena or round pen?

I do things backwards from Spirithorse. I find it easier to lung at liberty than on a lead...I'm constantly fumbling with the length of it and it takes away from what I'm trying to ask my horse to do. I personally see that as a step up from at liberty. Then again, I only lunge in a big round pen. An arena would be alot harder to keep their attention.

Everything else I agree with though, she sounds as if she's only getting worked up as opposed to warmed up. I'd work on walk/whoa transitions, when she's confidant to do that add trot, and so on. Definitely keep us updated on how things work out!

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post #7 of 7 Old 06-07-2009, 10:18 PM
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I'm with spirithorse, sound like she's still running away. Maybe go back a step - go back to lounging on line and work on the whoa command.
Fire Eyes also has a good idea teaching to stop through a visual cue as well.
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