How do you teach a horse to freelunge? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-25-2011, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question How do you teach a horse to freelunge?

Hey, yeah, it's me again. x) Sorry. Ok, I got my mare when she was 4 years old. She is now 9. And she doesn't know how to freelunge. I had to teach her how to lunge. (Not easy with a full-grown warmblood) I have no idea how they were able to back her. Once, I brought her in the round pen, curious of how she would react to being able to do anything. Well, I took the lead shank off after putting her on the outside of the round pen. I went in the middle, and asked for a walk. That was ok. Then a trot. She would cut inside but that's it. When I came to the canter...... Oh boy. She put her head against the wall and started rearing at the wall. So, I would tap her with the lunging whip. She was still rearing at the wall. After a few minutes, I stopped because I was concerned that she might actually jump the wall. (She did it once for a 3 foot log from a halt) Have any ideas how I can teach her that I just want her to canter in a circle? x) Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-25-2011, 11:39 PM
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Start by putting her on the longeline in the roundpen.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-25-2011, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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She's fine on the lungeline. But freelunging is another story.... x)
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-25-2011, 11:42 PM
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Did you have her on the longeline in the roundpen, or just outside it?
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-25-2011, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Both. Started in the roundpen, and when she understood what I was asking her, I lunged her out. With a lunge, she's ok, she understands what I'm asking of her.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-26-2011, 01:05 AM
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stick with walk , trot for a bit , for several times doing this, until she is not uncomfortable there. And keep sessions short and don't do it every day. IN time she'll just take the canter, no problem. Make sure you are not getting too far in front of her and cutting her and making her feel pinched between you and the wall.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-26-2011, 10:44 AM
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Agree with tinyliny.. free lunging is a skillful thing and you need to break it down into bite sized chunks.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-27-2011, 07:06 PM
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When she cuts in just wave your lunge whip in a side to side motion to move her back on the rail. If she lunges fine elsewhere why bother with the roundpen. We get caught up in what the well publicized trainers are doing with a round pen but thousands upon thousands are trained without one.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-28-2011, 03:46 AM
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Make sure your mare listens to your vocal commands on the lunge, otherwise how are you going to send her forward and bring her back?

Once you've established walk, trot, woah, change. Make sure you are stood towards her hind to send her forward, and her front to slow her down. If she tries to go faster to get past you when you want her to slow down or change use the lunge whip as an extension of your arm. If she rears at a wall, position yourself so she can go either left or right, and send her on, give her butt a tap, then a whack, and a vocal command, don't let her decide what she's doing.

Its a great way for a horse to let off steam without rider and gadgets attached, and well worth learning for those days where you need a quick workout!
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-29-2011, 04:34 AM
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well horses have interesting feature that they can circle without any special training. every work with a new horse I begin with this to establish some rules.
well, if you send her to move while she rears I suggest not to let her decide which direction she goes but it is your decision. great test of free circling is to try this in bigger arean than roundpen because horse can go away when something is wrong (to many preassure, horse doesnt like this exercise, and simply doesnt want to do that)
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canter , freelunge , rearing

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