Horse gets antsy when in arena and lungeing question

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Horse gets antsy when in arena and lungeing question

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  • Will lunging calm my horse before riding?
  • How do i get my horse to go in the arena gate?

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    04-09-2012, 09:36 PM
Horse gets antsy when in arena and lungeing question

A lot of the time when I go to ride my horse in the arena, he gets really antsy and tries to speed up a lot. He didn't really used to do this; it has happened the past few times I've ridden him in the arena. It starts when I enter through the gate, he tries to refuse a little and once we're in there I can feel him fall on his forehand and he'll start trotting or jigging. He'll do this for a little while; only until I work him a little bit will he calm down. It's like he has getting done on his mind and wants to be doing something else. But once I get him focused he does really well. Is there any way I can get him to be calm when we first enter the arena? This kind of leads into my next question...he always does much better after he's been worked a while W/T/C; he'll start lowering his head and neck, and I can feel him really start working off his hindquarters. Usually for about half of the ride he'll be a little wound up (he's not too bad, just not completely focused) then he'll start really doing right. I'm considering lungeing (not sure if that's the right spelling) him before a ride instead. What's your experience with lungeing before a ride? Does it really make them calmer once you ride? What is a good time amount to lunge before a ride? I know it would be different for all horses but any generals would be accepted. Thanks!
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    04-09-2012, 11:43 PM
My horse is a bit of a nervous type. I usually lunge before I ride. I warm him up well, make sure he stretches nicely in w/t/c and relaxes. After that most of the time I do a bit of lateral work in hand, then get on. It reduces the warm-up time under saddle a lot. By the time I get on he's nice and loose, we do a bit more stretching at w/t/c and then start on whatever we are working on that day. Even when I just hack out I sometimes lunge him before the ride if he seems a bit nervous.
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    04-10-2012, 06:42 AM
Walk through the gate and if he's antsy, walk back out, turn around and walk through again. Keep doing this until he stops being antsy. You need to be consistent and calm. Don't anticipate that he's going to be bothered by entering the arena.

Some days I lunge before I ride just so my horse can warm up and expell some energy if he seems a little "hot" that day. Otherwise I just get on and go and warm up nice and long.

Your horse isn't going to be relaxed and ready until he warms up and gets his feet and balance (you on his back) figured out. It's normal. But if he seems really go go go, then lunging before would be a great option.

How often do you ride him or does he get ridden?
    04-10-2012, 09:31 AM
Your horse kind of sounds like he is a bit arena sour. That happens when a horse anticipates being asked to do a lot of repetitive fast work or just plain bored with arena work. Take your horse and go for some relaxing trail riding. It is also possible while trail riding to incorporate some training without the confines of an arena. Lungeing him may help somewhat, but getting him out and doing something different will work wonders.
    04-10-2012, 09:49 AM
He gets ridden 3-4 times a week. He's really not a nervous type; he seems more like arena sour, but I take him on a trail ride at least once a week...
    04-10-2012, 10:02 AM
I'd about wager it will help you and your horse a lot by getting out and about. Let us know how it goes for you and him.

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