How to teach a horse to lunge without a round pen? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-27-2013, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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How to teach a horse to lunge without a round pen?

I have two horses, one of them needs to build muscle mass and the other needs to lose some weight. I want to teach them to lunge but I don't have a round pen. I am also a fairly new horse owner so I am not sure what to do. Can someone please tell me how to lunge a horse without a round pen and how to actually teach them how? Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-27-2013, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaOllendick View Post
I have two horses, one of them needs to build muscle mass and the other needs to lose some weight. I want to teach them to lunge but I don't have a round pen. I am also a fairly new horse owner so I am not sure what to do. Can someone please tell me how to lunge a horse without a round pen and how to actually teach them how? Thanks!
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Hmmm, I was able to teach my mare, kinda easy kind of not. How do your horses react to the sight of a lunge whip, sound, being on a long line? My filly couldn't be trained without a round pen, the sight of a whip scared her to bits. My mare caught on and after a while you can just drop the whip if they are easy going.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-27-2013, 02:39 PM
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Don't snap the whip. Think of it as an extension of your arm. The horse may start walking then start coming in to you. If so point the whip toward it's jaw and even give it a little tap if you have to to turn it away. Try to keep your feet within a 4' dia space. If you start backing away he will know "aha, I got your number". Don't worry the first time if a circle isn't completed. Just help him understand what you want him to do. If you begin to feel frustrated or angry it's time to stop.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-27-2013, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Is there a certain way I need to start them?
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-03-2013, 10:05 PM
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Hi there! I have always said, "say what you mean and mean what you say" when I am working with my horses (or in life general!) :). That being said, you must be clear on what you are asking your horse to do. I recommend driving your horse from behind (with a carrot stick or something similar), but directing your horse from the line itself. Show her where you want her to go, direct her, with the line! Try not to keep slack in the rope initially and point with your finger where you want her to go. Once she is on the circle, release slightly (but keep her on track, keep your arms extended, still showing her where you want her to go). Try to keep her in between the stick and line, but you should stand just behind her shoulder while maintaining forward motion. Remember, the rope acts as your arms would as if you were riding, but the stick acts as your leg. When you decide its 'game over' disunite the hip by stepping towards the hip and releasing both the line and stick. I hope this made sense and helped out a little bit! Good luck!
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-03-2013, 11:56 PM
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I've never had a round pen, though I have had a corral or two, the type one works cattle in for sorting and shipping. But, still, I've taught several to lunge just in their pasture or my yard.

Anyway, I start by leading the horse in a circle and gradually giving them more line while still encouraging forward movement with my arm. So, it may look like: if the horse is to circle to the left, the line is in my left hand and my right arm is extended outward toward the horse's hindquarters.

I rarely have to wave my arms to push them out and away from me. I don't use a lunge whip, mostly because I would probably fall over it!

But, I will add that two of my three kids can do it like I do. The third? She thinks we're all rotten because she has more trouble for some reason. I think it's body language and the fact that she gets distracted easily.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-04-2013, 12:05 AM
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I trained a horse to do it without a round pen. It was kinda hard, kinda not. The first thing I did was teach the TB I was working with you move away from me. (This was done in a 2 acre pasture setting. If you can work in an arena that would be more ideal than a pasture.) I would put him on a long line and ask him to move forward gently and slowly tossing the whip at his behind. I didn't snap it or flick it, just enough to make it swish behind him and drive him forward ask I asked him to move forward like I was leading him. It is easier to do this with a short about of the long line, maybe 4-6 feet at first. You can let out more line and get more distance later. I would then pull his head towards me a bit still walking next to him. You want to walk with him, but face him at the same time. You are basically hand walking him in a small circle. Use the whip as a drive forward. Once he gets good at that you can let out more line and ask him to move around you without walking next to him!

Keep at that until he is walking in circles around you. Let out more line and continue to ask him to walk. If he does it keep at that for awhile and eventually you can ask him to trot and canter.

~He knows when you're happy
~He knows when you're comfortable
~And he always knows when you have carrots.
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