Frustrated ~ Learning to HO on the lounge line - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-29-2009, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Frustrated ~ Learning to HO on the lounge line

Hey all.
I had my ground work lesson with one of the barns trainers and when we worked with my horse together it went okay.
She showed me how to ask my horse to "ho".
So say my horse is on the rail in the RP on the lounge line and walking. I am in the triangle position and I give the voice command Ho. If I have no response I then give a slight tug on the lounge line repeating the "Ho. command in a sharp kind of tone.

My horse is 8 and has not really been worked with in a long while. About 4-5 yrs. So he has some bad habbits and I am certain I do

Anyhow. When practicing he is in a flash nose band bridle with a surrcingel and side reins. He has a loose ring snaffle on. I have two Loose rings. One is a 5 inch and one is a 5.5. He is a TB and I think he fidgets with the 5.5 more than the 5 so I tried the 5 again yesterday. All in all I do not really know that either one makes a difference. I feel the 5.5 fits better.

So my issue is this. For one thing I feel so stupid out there saying Ho Ho Ho ho ho ho...until he finally stops which he eventually does. He kind of saunters into the complete stop.
When I continually ask for him to stop, the trainer had told me to shorten the line just a bit each time I give a tugg on the lounge line. What ends up happening is both the horse and I will spiral in towards the middle of the round pen. Or even if we are in an open area we spiral in.

Now in the past I have taken horses from the Race track and retrained them but most were a lot younger and had just come right off the track so there was no time off in between their training etc. I have not had such a hard time in teaching this as I am having this time. And, it has been years since I have done this...

I guess I am frustrated and should not be. I do not take it out on my horse and I really try and be as patient as possible while working with him because if I get frustrated he will sense it and then get frustrated too which is not the purpose.

We usually work 5 days a week and he has 2 days off. Sometimes 3 depending on what is going on with my life. Some days are better than others and on really good days where I am not asking 25 times for him to Ho, I will quickly move on and stop the session in a short amount of time if he is real good. I always try to end on a positive note so we are both in a good place upon ending the session.

Lately I have really been making sure he has enough time to warm up.

What do you all think??? Am I doing alright so far and just need more time to work on this?

The trainer was out of town for a week and just came back so I will try and set up another session for next week.

Hope you all can share your experiences with teaching a horse to lounge and Ho. My horse was taught to RP a lot so he likes to come into the center which I would eventually like to have him not do while lounging....

Oh we are mostly walking and slow trotting. I am trying to build some muscle along his topline and spine..

Any advice will be great!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-29-2009, 10:57 AM
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When I ask my horse to HO on the lunge line, I ask her HO. The I slowly shorten my line. If she doesn't stop right away, I say "Easy, HO Ruby" and then I stop spinning around in circles. Most of the time, she'll stop when I stop, but sometimes once I stop she still keeps going untill she hits the end on the line. Hope it helps! =)

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-29-2009, 11:54 AM
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It sounds like your horse just doesn't understand what it is you are asking for and there isn't quite enough incentive or "pressure" to try and figure it out. Pressure is on when you are asking for the horse to change what he is doing and pressure is off when he is doing as you desire.

After body language and use of the word, "whoa" have proven to not work, the easiest way I have found to get a horse to understand "whoa" on a longeline is this: Body language is always first. Lower your longe whip, slow your breathing, drop your eyes, drop your shoulders.... Ask the horse to whoa. Move your feet now perpendicular to the arena or round pen wall. You are "cutting off" your horse's direction of motion and "squeezing him" toward the wall. You should always do this exercise at the walk first; you do not want your horse to feel panicked into trying to run over you! If your horse has that inclination, he needs work on manners and space.

Hope that helps! Good luck!
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-29-2009, 12:59 PM
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Try leading him and practicing "whoa." He needs to associate the command with the action, and telling him, "ho, ho, ho, ho, ho" on the lunge until he stops doesn't teach him anything and will just confuse the command further. So try leading him around, and every time you stop, say, "ho." When you try on the lunge line again, give a sharp tug or wiggle the lunge line, quickly if you have to. You need to get the message across, and you won't be able to do it with soft, ever so gentle suggestions. Tell him to stop, and be firm about it until he understands, and then you won't have to be so firm anymore.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-29-2009, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone...
When I walk him on a lead line he is fine and stops. I would think a lot of this is probly my body language and that he was only round penned for all the years I could not ride. He always wants to turn in. Which is something we have worked on.
Today I just got home from working him and instead of going into the round penn we went into the open area. I was really impressed with him today because usually we have really poor circles and the Ho command takes a bit before he will stop.
However, today was a really wonderful day and I saw a huge difference. Our circles were uniform and not sloppy and when I asked for the ho command he actually stpped this time after 3-4 hos and did so without coming off the edge of his circle....
I was extatic. He was asked to continue and eventually I got 4 more good Ho's out of him. Now the other direction was antoher story but we ended on a good note.
I think the way I carry myself is something I really need to start paying attention too. When I go out tomorrow I will work on concentrating on how I am asking and what my body language is.

I was also impressed with his behavior today because a woman came out to the same area to work her horse. She asked if it was okay and of course I said yes. I figured it was good for my horse to have the distraction. He was really good and kept his focus on what we were doing...

ajegburg, my horse does have some manners issues we are working on and one of them is space. He leans on me and I have been working to put a stop to this and his fidgets. This is something the trainer said is hard when the horse has not been handled for a while and is a bit older. He is 8 not that old but she meant not a youngster.

I still did not see the trainer out at the ranch so I will catch her on Sunday or Tues.
Half Pass
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-30-2009, 11:02 PM
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I had to send my horse to a trainer for a month. One of his problems, among many others , was that he didn't necessarily stop when you say Whoa. The trainer taught me to give him 3 really amounts to 2. First time I say whoa (and make sure the whip is in a position that is not pushing him forward)...if he ignores me, I tug on the line and say Whoa a little more sternly....If he still ignores me I will pull hard on the lunge line (pulling him out of the circle in a position where he is facing me) while saying Whoaaa very firmly. I make him lunge until he stops both ways with just one Whoa. This technique worked great with my when I say Whoa, he knows I'm serious about it and that includes while I'm in the saddle too.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-31-2009, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Sandy!
( when I say Whoa, he knows I'm serious about it and that includes while I'm in the saddle too. )

This was the same reason that my trainer taught me to ask the horse this way.
The desired result of the horse knowing how serious you are about it and that when your in the saddle he/she will better understand.

Yesterday when I went out to work with my horse it was really windy. I decided not to work and just have a fun day where we walked around on the bridle path and he ate grass etc. Today might be more of the same since I start back to college today.

Since I will be in school again I will now only work him 4 days a week. Once I see the trainer again I will talk with her about having some more sessions.

If after a few more weeeks we are not seeming to make better progress then I will have to have the trainer work with him more because of school.

I was impressed with how well he did do the other day. The same day I posted this. I know he is smart and wants to learn so I think it will all work out!!

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