horse pulling on my hands while on the lunge.. advice? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 05-17-2011, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down horse pulling on my hands while on the lunge.. advice?

I am just going to get straight to the point here...
The day before yesterday I was lunging my horse and his head is very heavy on my hands. He's always pulling on me with his head... When he's walking it's not as bad but, when he's trotting I swear I feel like I got to walk with him to keep the pressure off of me.

Any ideas? I am going to try carrot stretches with him once the rain calms down over here but, till than I am open to more ideas that I can do with him.
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-17-2011, 09:46 PM
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I'm definitely no expert, but I would guess that your horse isn't very supple. Is he better going one direction than the other? What is the ground like the you're working on? Definitely work a flat, smooth surface. Is your horse flexible or stiff when lunging? Does his whole body strain against you or just he just pull his head around like he wants out?

I had this problem with Roxy, my horse, and something needed to be done about it because I wasn't going to go through all that strain every day. So I taught her to be flexible, supple, and to "give" her body to me as I call it. Basically, I wanted her to walk and trot in a nice, even circle around me with just a touch of slack in the rope (not enough for her to trip over it) but I didn't want it to be tight as she pulled on it either. So I started lunging her at a walk a small circle around me. When I felt that she was supple and bending towards me and not dragging me, I let her into a slightly bigger circle. If she started pulling again, we'd go back to the small circle and start over. Eventually when the circle got large enough for her to trot, I cued her to try it. It's a little harder for a horse to trot and keep their balance in a tight circle - so you want the circle to be small enough that the horse learns to bend and be more supple but not too small that it puts strain on them. So basically, I did this with Roxy and now she lunges just fine. Try smaller circles at first, and get larger as long as she doesn't start pulling on you. :))

I have no idea if this works for every horse - it worked for Roxy and maybe it'll work for your horse. Roxy is a really fast learner, so it might take a little longer for other horses to figure it out. If it doesn't seem to be helping at all, I would definitely try some other ideas.

Hope that helps a bit! :))
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-17-2011, 09:46 PM
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Don't get into a tug-of-war with him, you'll never win. How do you attach the lunge line? Do you attach it to the bit or to a halter or cavesson of some sort? My suggestion would be to loop the lunge line through the closest ring of the bit, and clip it on to the other ring. This allows you to have more influence over the "inside rein" but not have to worry about pulling the bit through the mouth. Hold your lunge line like a rein (between pinkie and ring finger) and check and give (you can always check stronger but not longer) if he gets too heavy. Offering something for him to pull against will just pit you against him, and he will always win.


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post #4 of 21 Old 05-17-2011, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerxy View Post
I'm definitely no expert, but I would guess that your horse isn't very supple. Is he better going one direction than the other? What is the ground like the you're working on? Definitely work a flat, smooth surface. Is your horse flexible or stiff when lunging? Does his whole body strain against you or just he just pull his head around like he wants out?

I had this problem with Roxy, my horse, and something needed to be done about it because I wasn't going to go through all that strain every day. So I taught her to be flexible, supple, and to "give" her body to me as I call it. Basically, I wanted her to walk and trot in a nice, even circle around me with just a touch of slack in the rope (not enough for her to trip over it) but I didn't want it to be tight as she pulled on it either. So I started lunging her at a walk a small circle around me. When I felt that she was supple and bending towards me and not dragging me, I let her into a slightly bigger circle. If she started pulling again, we'd go back to the small circle and start over. Eventually when the circle got large enough for her to trot, I cued her to try it. It's a little harder for a horse to trot and keep their balance in a tight circle - so you want the circle to be small enough that the horse learns to bend and be more supple but not too small that it puts strain on them. So basically, I did this with Roxy and now she lunges just fine. Try smaller circles at first, and get larger as long as she doesn't start pulling on you. :))

I have no idea if this works for every horse - it worked for Roxy and maybe it'll work for your horse. Roxy is a really fast learner, so it might take a little longer for other horses to figure it out. If it doesn't seem to be helping at all, I would definitely try some other ideas.

Hope that helps a bit! :))
No, my horse does it in both directions (tracking right and left). We have a sand ring so it's really soft and he moves pretty well in it. He seems pretty stiff when lunging but, it seems to be that it's just his head that's he pulling not his whole body..

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Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
Don't get into a tug-of-war with him, you'll never win. How do you attach the lunge line? Do you attach it to the bit or to a halter or cavesson of some sort? My suggestion would be to loop the lunge line through the closest ring of the bit, and clip it on to the other ring. This allows you to have more influence over the "inside rein" but not have to worry about pulling the bit through the mouth. Hold your lunge line like a rein (between pinkie and ring finger) and check and give (you can always check stronger but not longer) if he gets too heavy. Offering something for him to pull against will just pit you against him, and he will always win.
He's in a 5' snaffle bit. I run the clip side on the lunge line through the bit and put it over his head behind his ears and clip it to the other side of the bit and work like that. What do you mean by give him a check?
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post #5 of 21 Old 05-17-2011, 09:59 PM
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I would suggest trying my way of attaching the lunge line. With your way - think about it - when you pull on the lunge, where is the pressure? On the outside cheekpiece, as if you're asking him to follow his nose to the outside.
What I mean by check and give is: when you're holding the reins, don't get into a tug of war. Instead, start squeezing the rein - you don't have to squeeze much, just as if you're squeezing the water out of a sponge. Check (squeeze) and give (release) - you don't want the "check" part to last longer than one hoofbeat. It's easiest to get right at the trot - squeeze and release in time with his strides. One:squeeze-two:release-one:squeeze-two:release.


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post #6 of 21 Old 05-17-2011, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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I never thought of it that way JDI about the lunge line. I will definitely try it the way you said of attaching the lunge line. I like the idea of the check so, I'll be trying that also
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-17-2011, 10:04 PM
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Nothing will change if you don't change what you're doing ;)


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post #8 of 21 Old 05-18-2011, 03:29 PM
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I often use the same way of attaching as JDI. It has helped a lot with my youngster.

The other thought is that he just doesn't want to listen. That's my case at least. Be consistent and don't stop until he has relaxed. This may take a while and you might have to push him a bit but he needs to learn to respect you and the lunge line. Just a thought..
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-18-2011, 11:51 PM
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You could try lounging in a snaffle bit(without reins)get a lounge line without a chain and run it thru the bit, up the otherside clipping to the bit. Sometimes they like the secruity. Mare that I broke out used to do the same thing in a lounge line, so I put her in the bit one day to try it, been a dream since then!
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-19-2011, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momo3boys View Post
I often use the same way of attaching as JDI. It has helped a lot with my youngster.

The other thought is that he just doesn't want to listen. That's my case at least. Be consistent and don't stop until he has relaxed. This may take a while and you might have to push him a bit but he needs to learn to respect you and the lunge line. Just a thought..
I don't think it's that he doesn't want to listen, I think it's more of him being incredibly stubborn. Once, the torrential rain cuts the crap, I am going to be more consistent with him. Thanks momo3boys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by countrygirl91 View Post
You could try lounging in a snaffle bit(without reins)get a lounge line without a chain and run it thru the bit, up the otherside clipping to the bit. Sometimes they like the secruity. Mare that I broke out used to do the same thing in a lounge line, so I put her in the bit one day to try it, been a dream since then!
that just made me think countrygirl91. Maybe it could be the reins that are maybe confusing him?.. He is in a snaffle bit right now and I don't have a lunge line with a chain. I run the line through the bit and up the other side to the bit.

I'm at a standstill right now because, of the rain though
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