How to teach your horse to lunge *without* a whip?
 
 

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How to teach your horse to lunge *without* a whip?

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    08-10-2013, 08:19 AM
  #1
Foal
How to teach your horse to lunge *without* a whip?

I recently bought a horse (well, about three months ago) and we are still patiently awaiting a round pen to be purchased. Jäger was abused and is terrified of whips, so we have been diligently working on desensitizing him to them, which is coming along well, but he still has his moments of flight or freeze.

Ultimately, I would love to start lunging him for exercise until which time that the round pen goes in, which I know he does round pen. I have long lined him, which works very well for him at the walk, but he gets confused when he starts trotting. When it comes to lunging, he does not want to get out and stay on the circle. He will go out, take a few steps and come right back in. I have worked on making sure my body language is clear in asking him to move forward and away, out to the circle. I have had a friend who is a trainer give me the all clear on my body language, but she suggested I use a whip to get him going. This, of course, causes him to explode out of fear, as does hitting him violently (with the rope). I'm just wondering if anyone else has had experience with abused horses and their special needs when it comes to training. I have started horses in the past, but none of which who had a deep rooted fear of something from bad previous experience.

Again, there is no round pen, and no great enclosed space for riding - he is also a bucker under saddle, something we are working on, too. We also spend *a lot* of time, as long as three (spaced out) hours each day, working on ground work, and that is helping, but not getting him moving.
     
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    08-10-2013, 08:44 AM
  #2
Green Broke
Just spinning the end of the rope?
Not actually hitting him with it just spinning it when asking fir a faster pace, always make sure you use your voice with the aid though, or even have a lunge whip in with you and hold it there as soon as he goes a faster pace drop it, making sure to use your voice again, tell him he's a good boy once he's moved off as well, alpart from that im not really to sure.
Hope other HF users give some better advice
flytobecat likes this.
     
    08-10-2013, 08:50 AM
  #3
Started
Have you tried to encourage him to go forward with your arm. Once you are standing in the correct position and holding your arm out, you should be able to push him forward.
     
    08-10-2013, 08:53 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTree    
Just spinning the end of the rope?
Not actually hitting him with it just spinning it when asking fir a faster pace, always make sure you use your voice with the aid though, or even have a lunge whip in with you and hold it there as soon as he goes a faster pace drop it, making sure to use your voice again, tell him he's a good boy once he's moved off as well, alpart from that im not really to sure.
Hope other HF users give some better advice
I will have to try bringing the whip out and just picking it up and dropping it - that could help! And also help with his desensitizing.
     
    08-10-2013, 08:54 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple    
Have you tried to encourage him to go forward with your arm. Once you are standing in the correct position and holding your arm out, you should be able to push him forward.
If you mean holding my arm out in the direction that I want him to go, then yes, I do this each time I ask him.
     
    08-10-2013, 09:01 AM
  #6
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelRacer724    
If you mean holding my arm out in the direction that I want him to go, then yes, I do this each time I ask him.
No, I mean have your leading hand holding the rope and use your "back" hand to hold out, like somebody would do if they held a whip. You should be able to encourage him forward with it directed towards his hind end. When you want him to move on, bring the arm out and push him forward. You want to create a triangle with the horse, using your leading hand and your driving hand to create the lines with the horse.
     
    08-10-2013, 09:06 AM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple    
No, I mean have your leading hand holding the rope and use your "back" hand to hold out, like somebody would do if they held a whip. You should be able to encourage him forward with it directed towards his hind end. When you want him to move on, bring the arm out and push him forward. You want to create a triangle with the horse, using your leading hand and your driving hand to create the lines with the horse.
Ah, okay I see what you are saying now, I have heard the triangle analogy since taking lessons when I was much younger. Again, this is something I do currently with him, but he sees this as I want him to disengage his hindquarters and stop, unless I have the end of the rope in that hand and am swinging it. Half of the problem is that he doesn't necessarily want to stay or go out onto the circle. His default is to disengage his hindquarters.
     
    08-10-2013, 09:19 AM
  #8
Super Moderator
Stop coddling him. Every time he 'blows up' and you 'back off' so you won't scare him, you literally teach him to blow up. You are reinforcing his worst fears and making him worse in the process.

Forget that he has been 'abused'. Many horses have been abused with whips. Just about every horse I used to re-train that had a bad trailer loading problem had been beaten with whips to unsuccessfully try to get them in a trailer. Since 'I use 'leading training' to load difficult horses, I could get them loaded and brought to my place without addressing their whip fears.

Once I got them home with me, one of the first things I addressed was their fear of whips. It usually took about an hour to get them to respond properly to a whip. I had to train them that they should move away from a whip when I smooch and use correct body language and should not be a afraid of a whip or 'over-react' to me using it around them and hitting the ground with it all around them.

Learning the proper way to use 'pressure and release' training is all it takes. I will try to get back in later today and explain my way of getting a horse over its fear of a whip. It is very important to do this as a horse will continue over-reacting with inappropriate fear reactions until the problem is fixed.
     
    08-10-2013, 09:42 AM
  #9
Yearling
Regardless of his past keep in mind he is a horse first, and needs to learn to respect you. He needs to learn to not be afraid of you or your tools, whips and lead ropes. Forget the lunging for now and work on desensitizing him to your tools. The whip is a tool think of it as an extension of your arm. You need to be able to rub and touch him with the whip. Keep in mind horses learn from the release of pressure so if you remove the whip while he is moving then you have taught him that is what he is supposed to do. If you keep rubbing him until he stops and relaxes then you remove the whip he learns that standing still will give him relief. The way to do that is find a starting point stand at a 45 degree angle from his front leg so your in safe place if he runs forward or strikes out. Start with touching him on his shoulder with the end of the whip if he moves you move with him keep his two eyes towards you, when he stops and stands take the whip away for a few seconds then do it again. If he you think he will stand for three seconds remove it at two. Once you can touch him on his shoulder rub his shoulder, then move to rub up towards his withers, back across his butt, his belly, hind legs, front legs, head and neck. If at any time he gets worried and begins moving just stay with him until he stops. Make sure you do the same thing on both sides, and he may get reactive on the other side horses have a left and right side and you have to train each side, whatever you do on one side you do on the other. And don't try to rub his whole body in one day maybe make a goal to be able to touch him and rub his shoulder, then the next while you rub his shoulder start moving the whip to rubbing his back. Any time he stands still and relaxes remove the whip for a second, then go back. Then you would desensitize him to the lead rope by just tossing the end of the rope towards him doing the same thing if he moves stay with him, and keep going until he stops. Get to where you can toss the rope over his back, butt, hind legs, front legs and neck. Then when you can do that gently toss the end of the whip over his back, legs and neck. The goal is to be able to touch him all over with your tools, while he stands relaxed. By sneaking around him and making excuses for his behavior your causing him to be fearful, do the desensitizing with rhythm and feel and don't stop until he stands still and shows you he is relaxing.
     
    08-10-2013, 10:09 AM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by gssw5    
Regardless of his past keep in mind he is a horse first, and needs to learn to respect you. He needs to learn to not be afraid of you or your tools, whips and lead ropes. Forget the lunging for now and work on desensitizing him to your tools. The whip is a tool think of it as an extension of your arm. You need to be able to rub and touch him with the whip. Keep in mind horses learn from the release of pressure so if you remove the whip while he is moving then you have taught him that is what he is supposed to do. If you keep rubbing him until he stops and relaxes then you remove the whip he learns that standing still will give him relief. The way to do that is find a starting point stand at a 45 degree angle from his front leg so your in safe place if he runs forward or strikes out. Start with touching him on his shoulder with the end of the whip if he moves you move with him keep his two eyes towards you, when he stops and stands take the whip away for a few seconds then do it again. If he you think he will stand for three seconds remove it at two. Once you can touch him on his shoulder rub his shoulder, then move to rub up towards his withers, back across his butt, his belly, hind legs, front legs, head and neck. If at any time he gets worried and begins moving just stay with him until he stops. Make sure you do the same thing on both sides, and he may get reactive on the other side horses have a left and right side and you have to train each side, whatever you do on one side you do on the other. And don't try to rub his whole body in one day maybe make a goal to be able to touch him and rub his shoulder, then the next while you rub his shoulder start moving the whip to rubbing his back. Any time he stands still and relaxes remove the whip for a second, then go back. Then you would desensitize him to the lead rope by just tossing the end of the rope towards him doing the same thing if he moves stay with him, and keep going until he stops. Get to where you can toss the rope over his back, butt, hind legs, front legs and neck. Then when you can do that gently toss the end of the whip over his back, legs and neck. The goal is to be able to touch him all over with your tools, while he stands relaxed. By sneaking around him and making excuses for his behavior your causing him to be fearful, do the desensitizing with rhythm and feel and don't stop until he stands still and shows you he is relaxing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
Stop coddling him. Every time he 'blows up' and you 'back off' so you won't scare him, you literally teach him to blow up. You are reinforcing his worst fears and making him worse in the process.

Forget that he has been 'abused'. Many horses have been abused with whips. Just about every horse I used to re-train that had a bad trailer loading problem had been beaten with whips to unsuccessfully try to get them in a trailer. Since 'I use 'leading training' to load difficult horses, I could get them loaded and brought to my place without addressing their whip fears.

Once I got them home with me, one of the first things I addressed was their fear of whips. It usually took about an hour to get them to respond properly to a whip. I had to train them that they should move away from a whip when I smooch and use correct body language and should not be a afraid of a whip or 'over-react' to me using it around them and hitting the ground with it all around them.

Learning the proper way to use 'pressure and release' training is all it takes. I will try to get back in later today and explain my way of getting a horse over its fear of a whip. It is very important to do this as a horse will continue over-reacting with inappropriate fear reactions until the problem is fixed.
In response to the two of these. I have been using pressure and release since day one. He allows me to throw the lead rope all over his body and various strengths, and allows me to rub his body with the whip and use it around him.

The real problem I am having is with the lunging part of it. I am not quite sure he was ever taught to lunge, only round pen. So he is fine with the whip when he is standing still, but if he is asked to move faster by means of the whip, even if only picking it up when he is walking, he becomes white-eyed and explodes into running away.
     

Tags
abused, exercise, horse training, lunging, whip shy

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