Horse With No "Go" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Horse With No "Go"

Hi all..

My new boy Bentley is settling in very nicely at the new barn. I don't want to get on yet and give him a work out.. so I went to go lunge him over the weekend. (I've never lunged him before). Anyway.. I quickly found out that he will not go forward. No matter what I do (cluck, kiss, crack a whip, verbal commands, waive my hands, ect) I'm not sure what else I can do to encourage him forward. Has anyone else experienced this? What has worked for you? It's not incredibly important to always lunge him.. but now that I know that this is an issue.. I want it corrected.

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post #2 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 09:09 PM
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Having the same problem. My guy kinda moves to the side instead of forward though...
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post #3 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 09:15 PM
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Though without seeing everything going on, just off what you describe, I’m guessing he is on his way to putting you in your place. Once you want him to go, and you don’t up the pressure till you make him go, then you may as well start calling him “sir”. If he wiggles his way out of it by going in a direction other than where you want him to go (assuming he has been taught how to do it all in the first place) then it nearly as bad.
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post #4 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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I agree that he's testing me. Trying to control the situation. He will stay out, and not come to the center.. He'll walk for the most part.. But I can't get anything else out of him. I've never had this problem before. My other horse will go off of verbal commands alone. I've also changed the environment to see if something else would work. Inside vs. outside.. indoor arena, and outside round pen.
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post #5 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 09:34 PM
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When my horse used to get what I called sticky feet, not wanting to send off on the circle, what I do is I take my lunge whip and lightly start tapping the air around the middle of the neck. I do it in a rhythm 1 2 3 4, if at 4 he still wont send I actually start tapping his neck, and each 4th beat I get slightly harder, so more pressure, till he sends off. Just make sure you are not standing in front of him and are diagonal with his shoulder so you can be driving him forward too. Learned this from watching Clinton Anderson stuff, I may of not described it perfectly so you can prob find it on youtube...but its what works best with my horse.
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post #6 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 09:37 PM
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Yep^^^^^^^^^^^. You will just have to up the pressure till he gives in. The moment he gives a little, stop. Repeat process till he learns that a movement from you is the cue and it will be followed by more persuasion if he doesn’t like it.
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post #7 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 09:49 PM
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I do not think the OP is talking about sending the horse out on the circle (as you are describing with the putting pressure on the neck), but rather just getting the horse to move faster than a walk out ON the circle.

Yes, you have to get serious about requiring more movement out of him. you can vibrate the whip back and forth really fast , pointed very nearly toward his hip, and the noise will probably make him move. yep, he'll move AWAY from that noise, but at least you broke him from a walk to something faster. you use the directional pull on the leadline, and if this is a traditional lungeline, you work on lunging him no further out from you than you can actually touch him with the lunge whip, so , like a 8 foot radius, max. the tug you put on the lungeline, in the direction you want him to go, will get him thinking about going THAT way when you get him to move his feet quicker. Loosen up the feet, direct them forward. When he moves forward, quicker, let him coast for a bit. Don't require him to stay there at first, because what you are training in first is the upward transition. get his "GO!" coming , and reward him with allowing him to coast down if he wishes. then you can get another "go" and allow him to coast, and when he is giving it to you with less and less whip (don't forget to ask with a very little bit before you get big), then move into asking him to keep that "go" for a full circle and so on . . .
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post #8 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 09:50 PM
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So you never actually touched him with the whip? Does he know how to lunge?

How did you ask him to move forward? What part of his body were you trying to direct? What was his response?

Here is an easy step by step process of how I teach lunging.

First he needs to know how to disengage his hindquarters.

Walk to your horses hip, keeping the lead short so your horse needs to turn his head. You don't want a long lead where he can dart off or just ignore you with his head low. You also want your hand up a bit so if he goes to move his shoulders into your space you can bump him out of the way. You want to slightly lean in, putting some visual pressure on his butt.

With your whip at the ready tap the air by his hip, if he doesn't move tap his butt, if he doesn't move smack his but, if he still doesn't move whack. Once he steps his hindquarters away and the inside hind crosses OVER the outside, straighten up and lower you whip. Repeat until you don't need much pressure.

To lunge:

Take your lunge line and point the way you want him to go, lets say clockwise for discussion sake. Raise your right arm to shoulder height and have the slack just taken out of the line so there is slight pressure on his face.

Keep pointing. Cluck. Or whatever your trot verbal cue is.

Keep pointing. Don't cluck insistently or it won't mean anything. With your left arm swing the lung whip at the left side of your horses neck ( the left to you, your horses right) If your horse doesn't move walk toward your horse, if by the time you've gotten to your horse and he hasn't moved tap on the side of his neck. You must direct the shoulders of your horse out onto the circle first, this is what you're doing here.

Some horses will go backwards, do NOT increase pressure. Your horse is trying, it just happens to be the wrong thing so calmly keep the same amount of pressure until your horse tries something else. When your horse does something wrong, you are not looking for the other end of the spectrum and for your horse to do something really right. Keep the pressure until your horse stops backing. Ask again, as soon as your horse goes forward and away from you on a circle at all, quit! Take the pressure off and leave him alone. It doesn't matter if its only two steps forward, that's fine.

At the point above you are just trying to get the horse to figure out to move out on a circle, you aren't worried about keeping him going at this point. Keep repeating getting your horse to move out on a circle, by escalating the pressure slowly as you have been doing it will take less and less to get him going. Once he understands that bit, THEN you can keep him going. When he stops immediately drive him forward again.

Once the horse s out on the circle, any pressure to encourage forward should be behind the driving line, for simplicity's sake, his butt.

If he leans on the pressure of whatever you have on his face give a bump back towards yourself. You don't want to just pull, a steady pressure will give him something to lean on.

When you are ready to stop take the line and bump his nose in as you move your arm across to your opposite hip, then take your whip and do a bit tap in the air towards his bum. You may need to shorten up on the line a couple of times before he turns to face you again. Afterwards make sure he's still soft at just disengaging.

Then keep in mind, horses need to be taught things twice, once for each side. Just because you've taught him to lunge clockwise it doesn't transfer to the other direction.

EDIT: I was watching tv and hadn't refreshed to see the new replies.

You need to get more firm with him, he knows you won't touch him with the whip and there's nothing to take seriously.

Put him on a small enough circle where the end of the line can still touch him

Raise your hand and cluck, raise your whip, then swing your whip getting progressively closer ( yes tapping or whacking him is needed until he moves out into a trot) once he speeds up leave him alone.

Do not nag him after he's moved, relax your body and lower your whip. Let him make the mistake of coming back to a walk before you get after him again. If you babysit him and don't allow him back down to a walk you are further desensitizing him to the whip and he'll never learn.

Last edited by BreakableRider; 11-04-2013 at 09:54 PM.
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post #9 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 10:22 PM
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With horses that don't want to go forward on a lunge line, I tend to go "wild woman" in the direction of their hindquarters. Holding the line, I'll throw my arms up, roar, jump at them... They will move! Even on the laziest or most resistant, if I've had to use that tactic, the next time I only have to take a step toward their hindquarters and perhaps give an abrupt, "Get up."

I can count the times I've used a whip on one hand. I joke that I'm not coordinated enough to manage both line and whip, but really I've just never found it necessary.

Oh, and getting a horse to move in that manner? It's never carried over to "fear" when working with any horse.
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post #10 of 27 Old 11-04-2013, 10:39 PM
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A) Does he know how to lunge? Do you know how to direct a horse to lunge? Is he healthy and free of pain/lameness?

B) If yes to all the above, what did he do when you smacked him on the rear with the line or whip after he so pointedly and rudely ignored your more polite requests?
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