How to teach an unexperenced horse to lunge
 
 

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How to teach an unexperenced horse to lunge

This is a discussion on How to teach an unexperenced horse to lunge within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to lunge a green horse
  • How to teach a horse to lunge that wont move

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    08-23-2012, 10:05 AM
  #1
Weanling
Question How to teach an unexperenced horse to lunge

Intro: So you probably might recognize my username from my other post: Training Tips for my New Dutch Warmblood Horse(very green). Which by the way I put a new post up answering everyones questions soooo if you've seen that thread and have replied to it then check out my latest and updated post for a lot more additional information.

Some important info: So if your new to my username you should know.... I'm (hopefully) getting a new horse named Finnagin. He is 8 years old, 16.1, a Dutch Warmblood, $10,000, and has a black and white paint coat. I know he is a bit pricey but he is totally worth it! I'm 13 years old, and have been riding for 8 years. I DO HAVE AN INSTRUCTOR TO HELP ME! Since I am a hunter jumper I plan to improve his jumping ability, because even though he is "green" he has a very willing personality and jumps wonderfully. The only places where his green characteristics come into play are: can get fast, where I have to do small checks with him (which is very common with a green horse), he gets destracted, where I was taught to lightly jiggle the reins or shift in the seat to give him the sense that we are going to do something next, or to grasp his attention. Lastly, and probably the most problamatic is....curling under the bit. I know that it takes a lot of time and training to fix this, but for now, since I don't have him (yet!?), I just lightly raise my hands up, so his head will come up. So anyways, even though he is a bit green, I love a challenge so this WON'T be frustrating or stressful for me, I find it fun and interesting to teach a horse new skills. Just to clarify, I am planning to do hunter jumping with him, and eventually when he is trained enough I want to show in hunter jumping.

Main Question: So for first starting out with him, I don't want to just jump on his back and ride him, that would soooo freak him out! I want to start out with ground manners, gaining his trust, and getting him used to the new barn and new surroundings. :) So for my first ground exercise, I want to expose some lunging techniques to him. I have another horse (16 year old quarter horse) that I lunge, but he was already familiar with it before I bought him. So I want to know some easy, stress free, lunging exercises with him, so he can get used to being lunged, while also learning to trust me.
If you would like to see finn, then go to youtube and type in t1mmycak3s finnagin and it should come up. If not, then just type in t1mmycak3s and go to my channel and all of my videos are at the bottom and finnagin is like the 6th one down I think, but you will see the big title: Finnagin!

Big thanks to everyone who replies to this, and if I left anything out please
Feel free to ask and I will surely answer thanks again!
     
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    08-23-2012, 05:55 PM
  #2
Started
Hi and welcome,
I guess congratulations are in order so congrats on your new horse. My first thought would be that its a little inappropriate for you to mention how much your horse cost. That's not information we need nor is it appropriate to give that information online. All the cost of your horse tells us is that your parents are wealthy enough to afford to give their child an expensive gift. It tells us nothing about you as a rider or your horse.

Now to the question you asked, lunging can go badly with a green horse. They are stronger than you and if things get tangled you can easily be dragged. I would ask your trainer to give you a lesson on how to lunge a horse. I would also ask the trainer to conduct a lesson or two on how to lunge your new horse. Its not a skill you can share online. Lunging is a dynamic process that changes and is adjusted at every moment.
     
    08-23-2012, 06:48 PM
  #3
Foal
Lunging a horse

Can someone explain the need or the use of Lunging a horse..?

I see and hear all sorts of folks lunging a horse before getting on it..!

Is this what folks term ground work..?

Are they wanting to wear the horse out....or wear it down before hoping on..?

Is the rider standing in the middle of the lunging circle trying to pluck up the courage by thinking they will wear said horse out first to calm it before hoping on..?

Recently at this persons place I arrived with my horse for a ride with this new rider to find her lunging her horse around and around... both were quiet tense as horse was not doing what rider wanted and was being constantly told off.. she then pulled said horse up. Yelled at it then demanded it walk backwards very fast with her tugging on the end of the lead rope...!
She hoped on and the entire ride was a disaster.. her horse played up was fired up and gig joged the entire time...

I just would like to know what the benefit is of it..?
     
    08-23-2012, 07:30 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by canterburyhorsetrailrider    
Can someone explain the need or the use of Lunging a horse..?

I see and hear all sorts of folks lunging a horse before getting on it..!

Is this what folks term ground work..?

Are they wanting to wear the horse out....or wear it down before hoping on..?

Is the rider standing in the middle of the lunging circle trying to pluck up the courage by thinking they will wear said horse out first to calm it before hoping on..?

Recently at this persons place I arrived with my horse for a ride with this new rider to find her lunging her horse around and around... both were quiet tense as horse was not doing what rider wanted and was being constantly told off.. she then pulled said horse up. Yelled at it then demanded it walk backwards very fast with her tugging on the end of the lead rope...!
She hoped on and the entire ride was a disaster.. her horse played up was fired up and gig joged the entire time...

I just would like to know what the benefit is of it..?
Well usually if you do it properly it is really helpful for many reasons: to burn excess energy out of hyper horse, to gain trust and teach the horse ground manners, and it can also teach paitence.
     
    08-23-2012, 07:36 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by rookie    
Hi and welcome,
I guess congratulations are in order so congrats on your new horse. My first thought would be that its a little inappropriate for you to mention how much your horse cost. That's not information we need nor is it appropriate to give that information online. All the cost of your horse tells us is that your parents are wealthy enough to afford to give their child an expensive gift. It tells us nothing about you as a rider or your horse.

Now to the question you asked, lunging can go badly with a green horse. They are stronger than you and if things get tangled you can easily be dragged. I would ask your trainer to give you a lesson on how to lunge a horse. I would also ask the trainer to conduct a lesson or two on how to lunge your new horse. Its not a skill you can share online. Lunging is a dynamic process that changes and is adjusted at every moment.
I'm truely sorry if I made you think I was a spoiled brat, unexperienced, or immature. I agree 100% about the cost being unnecessary, but I included it because a lot of people like to know that information, don't ask me why, haven't the slightest clue, but to some people it's interesting.
Also, about the lunging, the reason I asked the question is mainly because I want to teach my horse ground manners, paitience, and gain his trust before jumping on his back. All I was looking for were some names of different exercises I could try with him, like clicker training or something, just some specific names, or youtube videos I could watch. I am definitely going to ask my trainer for help because though I know the basic concept of it, I don't want to injurse myself, Finn, or anybody near by for that matter, and I certainly don't want to overwhelm or stress out Finn.
HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
     
    08-23-2012, 08:00 PM
  #6
Foal
Probably a really nice horse--congrats. First off, he is not a baby, so longeing (sorry, but correcting your spelling) has probably been done, so he knows the ropes. If you have a trainer, I would put yourself in his/her hands initially. I also would not be jumping the horse till your trainer has you working basic dressage. You have aspirations which is great, but the steps to get there are steep. If those steps are not climbed one by one the end result is never successful.
     
    08-23-2012, 08:23 PM
  #7
Started
Hi,

Canterbury, I lunge my two horses because its a good place to start with green horses. I have a 4 year old that started out the summer bucking on the lunge and on the circle undersaddle. Not cool for a "trained horse" so we have been working on the lunge and undersaddle. He now bucks in one corner on the first time around the ring and when he is going at a trot or is asked for the trot. This is also the direction that he is weak moving in. Some days I don't feel patient and don't want to get mad that he bucks undersaddle so I lunge him let him get his stupid out. A lunge line can also be great for evaluating movement. In my opinion, lunging is a basic skill that all horses should have. The horses I place in pleasure homes will probably be lunged at some point. So, they should know how to behave.

My advice is that you take it slow. I have played the follow me game where the horse follows me. I focus more on speed transitions and voice commands. Its not a time for the horse to run around like a ninny its time to listen to me.
HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
     
    08-23-2012, 09:43 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlaflack    
Probably a really nice horse--congrats. First off, he is not a baby, so longeing (sorry, but correcting your spelling) has probably been done, so he knows the ropes. If you have a trainer, I would put yourself in his/her hands initially. I also would not be jumping the horse till your trainer has you working basic dressage. You have aspirations which is great, but the steps to get there are steep. If those steps are not climbed one by one the end result is never successful.
Thanks for your comment
     
    08-23-2012, 09:58 PM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by canterburyhorsetrailrider    
Can someone explain the need or the use of Lunging a horse..?

Wow, I thought you were the rehab expert, I am totally amazed that you have never come across lunging, *shakes head* In this case I feel Google really will be your friend
     
    08-24-2012, 12:05 AM
  #10
Weanling
You asked me to look at this post so I did and I can tell you that lunging did wonders for my mare when I first got her (she is 4). She came off the racetrack so she knew how to lunge to the left, but not to the right. Since she had the basics to the left the right was a bit easier. First, I find free lunging so much easier than with a lunge line. I only learned how to properly lunge a horse about a year and a half ago and it's so much simpler not to worry about the rope in the beginning (Since your horse doesn't lunge this might not be a good idea to start HIM off with). If you have a round pen I suggest start in there because you don't have to worry about the size of your circle. Start with walk-halt transitions and work your way up.

To start: Point in the direction that you want your horse to go in and give a forward command (click, kiss, whatever..just be consistent). You should be standing in the middle of the ring with your horse by the rail. Stand in line or just a bit behind his shoulder to make him move forwards. If he walks in that direction then praise him and make him halt (next paragraph). If he doesn't go forwards then wiggle or flick the lunge whip at his butt, but you don't have to hit him. Then praise when he walks forward and ask him to halt. If this STILL doesn't work then take a forcefull, commanding "I'm in charge" step/stomp forwards towards him.

Halting: Standing in the middle of the ring, step just in front of his shoulder and say "Whoa". Praise if he stops then ask him to walk again. If he doesn't stop, the take an "I'm in charge" step in front of him towards the rail. Obviously don't go where you can get run over, but just out of the center of the ring and so you look like you are going to cut him off (at the trot/ canter, you will probably end up stepping sideways to get in front of his movement). If this doesn't work then you can take the lunge whip in front of him and block him off. Remember to always praise if he does what you want.

Problems: If he walks towards you instead of forwards lead him back to the edge and try again, but don't stand all the way in the center, just a little closer to him. If he absolutly won't go forwards, then walk him around the arena like you have him on a lead rope and each time you go around, get a little further away from him and closer to the center. I found a big problem with my gelding is that he crowds in on me sometimes and doesn't stay on the rail. You can take the lunge whip and give a little flick towards their girth area paired with a forceful step towards them to tell them "Stay out of my space".

Tips: BE PATIENT!! This isn't going to come in a day, probably not in a week, it might take a month for him to really understand and lunge well. Lunging is such a different experience than what they're used to so don't have high expectations. Another important part of lunging is being confident and holding yourself with the belief that you are in charge. I really had a hard time with this because I'm the kind of person that can't say no- kind of like a pushover- and my horse was taking advantage of me. My trainer told me to keep my head and shoulders tall and take control of the situation. Then my horse would stop crowding me and being disrespectful because he knew that I wouldn't take it. Remember to wear a helmet and gloves when you lunge because you don't know how he will behave. My gelding used to buck and crowd me at the canter and it is not a fun place to be in. You might look silly, but it's better than being kicked in the head :) When he gets really good at lunging with a line- try free lunging :) I find it easier and more fun

If you managed to read all the way through my book-- Good luck and ask me if any other problems arise because I'm sure I left something out :)
     

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