Dear Horse, Please Get Out Of My Space!

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Dear Horse, Please Get Out Of My Space!

This is a discussion on Dear Horse, Please Get Out Of My Space! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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  • 1 Post By tinyliny

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    02-09-2012, 06:03 PM
Dear Horse, Please Get Out Of My Space!

So I have a young horse. He's gorgeous, smart, and friendly! (I feel like I'm talking about a boyfriend!

I lunged him today (free lunging) and he seems to not understand the concept of "I'm in front of your shoulder... that means turn around!". I would be about five feet away from him and he would just blow by me. I am thinking it's a lack of respect type deal. But what can I do to have him respect my space?

I'm open to any ideas. Help please :)
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    02-09-2012, 06:25 PM
Subbing! I have the same problem ^^
    02-09-2012, 06:28 PM
I dunno. You say he is young? How long has he been free lunging?

Sounds more like a training issue to me.

It would be like me being mad at my fiance's 8 yr old daughter because she didn't separate the colors from the whites before doing her first load of laundry.

Before I blame the horse for being disrespectful, I would take a few steps back and break down the actual task you are asking for into smaller chunks.

When my trainer taught me to lunge my horse; he didn't want me to do in-motion directional changes at first. If I wanted my horse to go in a different direction, I had to stop him first, give him the clear signal of the direction change and then send him around. I would woa Sam from the center of the pen. After a few weeks of that I started sending him in the next direction, but walking closer into him, rather than stay in the middle. So, I taught him the cue to turn around from the stand at a distance and then by moving into him.

Just my thoughts. If he has been free lunging and doing this moving directional change for weeks / months and this behavior just started, well, that's different.
    02-09-2012, 06:30 PM
Make a stronger impression
    02-09-2012, 10:09 PM
Are you using a lunge whip or just stepping in front of the drive line and hoping? Set him up for success. Send him only a few steps at the walk in one direction before turning him back the other way. Only when you are sure he understands what your cues mean, go back to longing on a full circle. If he still blows off your request, flick him with that long lunge whip and get your point across.
    02-09-2012, 10:38 PM
Yes, don't panic about this, set it up for success. YOu can get in front of him more by crossing the pen, well ahead of him, and putting the whip out and making your body language bigger, to make him stop, and then keep asking a bit more until he makes the mental decision to turn around.

To get ahead of him, say the round pen is a clock face. Horse is at 12 going counter clockwise (left). If you move from dead center to about 4 you will be well in front of him when he gets around there.
You use this "cut him off at the pass" technique if he is trying to squeeze past the pressure you apply on him because you can get more in front of him. Give the whip a good crack in the air if he is not paying any attention.

Eventually, you will learn how to turn him not by stepping in front of him, but by drawing his face toward the center (to you) and then asking him to change directions so that he changes direction facing you, instead of butt toward you.
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