Help with lunging - stops and turns in

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Help with lunging - stops and turns in

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    06-06-2013, 02:15 PM
Help with lunging - stops and turns in

My three 1/2 year old shire/percheron cross is doing really well with one exception: clockwise lunging. He will go maybe 1/2 a circle then stops, swings his hindquarter out, and faces me. Eventually, I can get him to walk off again but then the cycle begins again. Please help!

Additional info: He's really a smart boy; he's not lazy and not stubborn. Lunging initially took longer than I expected for him to catch on but was going well ... then life and a rainy spring got in the way for a couple of weeks. He's always been much better counter-clockwise but now simply will not pick up the trot when lunging clockwise. Physically, he's just fine. He'll do it without a problem under saddle (tested briefly several times to just make sure). When I ask, he may go 1/2 a lap (sometimes not even) then stops, turns into face me (doesn’t come in though) and looks at me. Eventually, I can get him to walk off again, but it sometimes takes quite a bit of effort. He is unaffected by the lunge whip. We don't have a round pen right now (panels have been borrowed while parts of center are under constructions). He trots fine other direction and is starting to learn to pick up the canter. He's not lazy - if I take him off the line and crack the whip in the arena - he'll run around the whole time. I've tried everything I can think of, we've started all over again, I've tried a tight circle and a large circle, I've tried running and being very energetic, tried even popping him with the whip. I cue him with a cluck, then, if he's not trotting, a sharp TR-OT, and then, if he's still not trotting, a whip pop in the air (waist level) behind him. I've verified my angle to him and the whip are correct. Please help -I'm incredibly frustrated.
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    06-07-2013, 12:33 AM
Try staying closer to his rump while lunging. When he starts to turn in, step loudly towards him and vocally send him forward. I would avoid hitting him the whip as that can cause a resentful and/or whip shy horse. He is young so give him time. Most horses figure out human weaknesses quickly so you might want to try asking someone else to lunge him and see if the same thing happens.
    06-18-2013, 01:20 PM
Update: Took him off the line in the arena the other day. Gave exact same ques and, low and behold, he started trotting around me. He went in both directions without and an issue. Go figure. Have done it several times since and even put him back on the line after that without an issue.

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