Lazy Horse in Round Pen

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Lazy Horse in Round Pen

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  • 3 Post By tinyliny
  • 1 Post By RQEquestrianCenter
  • 2 Post By ArretelaBWs
  • 2 Post By Tessa7707

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    01-20-2013, 03:00 PM
Lazy Horse in Round Pen

The horse moves out just fine under saddle, but on the ground, asking him to move forward in the round pen, sending him through between you and fence, etc. he just stands there, no reaction. I have popped him pretty hard, but I don't want to beat the living day lights out of him. Suggestions?
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    01-20-2013, 04:04 PM
Some horses have problems with this.

You might need a lung whip for this possibly.

Start by pointing in the air, and if he doesn't do anything kiss/cluck, if nothing start spanking the ground with the whip. If he still don't do anything start by lightly tapping him with the lunge whip and increase the pressure.

Once he takes a step, stop what your doing and say good boy. Then do it again until you get him to trot and lope, etc.

Good luk.
    01-20-2013, 04:11 PM
I had to really get after mine hard, harder than I like to, but it only took two sessions to get the point across and then he was fine. I used a lounge whip, and he did get it across the rump a few time. I don't like to do it, but I had exhausted all other options and nothing was working. But once he was moving forward make sure I praised him. I also used a lunge line so I had more direct control of him as well.
    01-20-2013, 04:21 PM
I guess that maybe your body language is a bit conflicting. It's possible that you are blocking him more than you realize. So, you are asking for forward, but possibly blocking that . Many times people don't realize how conflicting their signals are to a horse. For example, they are saying GO with the whip, but are backing away from the hrose, which is as much as saying "Come here".

If your horse is freezing, then he may be confused.
The other thing is that if he worries about going through a tight space, such as the squeeze you are putting on him between you and the round pen, then that is something that might show up in other situations, such as trailer loading or going through gates and such. Can you work on moving him through squeeze places with him on a long rope, not in the round pen and just at a walk?

OK, if none of this rings true (and remember, I am just specualting since I can't see you and your horse work), then you need to get the hrose to really move out forward . Start by loosening up the squeeze, giving him as much of an "open door" as you can and get him to cut loose and really move out. Do whatever it takes. Tie a plastic bag to the whip and make some noise. Get him to stop holding back. And when he goes forward with committment, STOP the whip and let him run.

So, your release is as soon as he goes forward with committment. Do not chase him or try to keep him going. He should feel that the freedom comes in going forward. So, if he comes down, like to a trot, let him, then go and ask for forward again. This works on his responsiveness to upward transitions. You reward the response, not how long he keeps going forward, just that he jumps to it!
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    01-20-2013, 04:37 PM
You might try doing your ground work out of the round pen.
Horses tend to get bored and sticky in a pen. This will also help you tell if he is confused about what your asking or if he is sticky.
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    01-20-2013, 06:39 PM
Horses only have 'a problem' with this because of the person handling it! The reality is, it doesn't have a problem at all, but that you are the problem because you do not know how to get him to move out.
Increase your pressure, it doesn't matter if it is in the round pen or not, do not use that as an excuse.
Stop being worried that you have to beat him and increase pressure until you don't have to use as much pressure.
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    01-20-2013, 11:13 PM
It is very likely that your horse is actually respecting your space and not wanting to push through where he believes he shouldn't. Try adjusting your position so that your centre (belly button) is aimed at the centre of his shoulder and you are at about a 45 degree angle from him. Here are a couple of resources that explain the correct position in more detail. They refer to lunging but the same principles apply in the round pen, too. How to Lunge Your Horse Successfully and Lunging a Horse Successfully - Tips to Get Your Horse Going Forward, Relaxed & Willingly on the Lung
    01-21-2013, 12:56 AM
Ive had clients come to me with this same problem. It is in fact never a horse problem, but instead a human problem. Lol. I mean no offense by this, everyone makes mistakes, its part of learning. But the horse is only a horse. That is all he knows how to be. If he is not doing as youd like, you are doing something wrong. It is hard to determine what you are doing wrong without seeing, it could be a number of things, so I cannot give any specific suggestions other than reflect on yourself. Most all horse 'problems' are actually human problems. When lunging, always remember to stay behind the driveline. As someone else said, if you get in front or are constantly moving your body unconciously, you could very well be sending conflicting signals and confusing the horse without realizing it. They need clear consistent direction and will respond correctly if they know what is wanted. As parelli says, 'you either asked the question wrong, or asked the wrong question'. Horses are not purposely or intentionally defiant, they only know what is taught to them, whether it be what is wanted or not. We are always training the horse when we interact with them. Whether it be positive or negative training depends on the human. The horse only knows how to respond as a horse, bad and good are human concepts. Good luck, continue to work at it and your horse will only get better when you do. You can do it.
    01-21-2013, 01:17 AM
Thanks, everyone. I thought I was competent in the round pen. Maybe I need to go back and re-evaluate. If reading my posts in the future, don't be afraid you'll offend me. :) I view every bit of advice as a gift.
I have lunged many, many a horse. Both on the line and in the round pen. This was the first time I had worked with this particular horse. He isn't responding like other horses. Someone mentioned something about him being 'sticky' and that describes this well. I worked with him in his pasture and in the round pen. When I rode, he definitely felt freer in the arena, so I plan on lunging him on a line in the arena next time. I definitely agree with the concept of 'you either asked the question wrong or asked the wrong question' and while I'm not afraid to pop a horse with a whip or the end of the lead, I don't believe in blindly beating horses into submission. I think I need to take him a step back and just reward for free, forward movement. I was, to an extent, but maybe I was asking too much for our first time together. Oh, and tiny liny, I did try tying a plastic bag to the end of my stick, and it worked at getting his feet moving for a short time, in fact, I greatly rewarded his moving out in response, but then he got used to it and it wasn't evoking the same response. Maybe I can take a video to show what's happening. Anyway, I greatly appreciate the responses! Thanks!
AnneGage and ArretelaBWs like this.

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