longe line help
   

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longe line help

This is a discussion on longe line help within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Lazy horse getting aggressive on longe line
  • Longeing aggressive horses

 
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    01-16-2010, 09:07 PM
  #1
Super Moderator
longe line help

Riley is a really lazy boy on the longe line (most of the time). I have to really snap the whip behind him to get him to go but even then it's only for a few times around and then he stops and turns towards me. I try to shake the line to get him to stay out but he turns and walks towards me, I'll snap the whip towards his shoulder to but he still comes in and then sometimes I'll take the whip and hold it out like a sword until it's touching his shoulders but he still comes in. I try to hold my ground and not back up because I know that's wrong and I try to move towards his rear and snap the whip to move him forward but he follows me anyway. I know it's a little respect issue and obviously I'm not the dominant one in this relationship. At home it's an annoyance that he comes in and tries to tell me we are done longing but when we are away and he's up it actually makes me really nervous the way he cuts in on me and then my longe line ends up being to long and I'm trying to collect it before he gets tangled in it. I have gotten a lot of advice on this but I need more because I'm not in control and I don't like that. At home he's fine and quiet but the point is, he's being well behaved, but he is the one in control and I don't like that.

Help?
     
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    01-17-2010, 12:23 AM
  #2
Weanling
Well, its probably just a matter of changing your body language! Lunging correctly is harder than people think, it isn't just all standing in the center holding the line in one hand and eating a popsicle with the other!

I've observed many many people at shows and at home lunging improperly. The key is to keep your shoulders aimed at the rump of the horse... and that seems to be the hardest part for people!

This is what it should look like when you are lunging your horse from above:



The orange dot in the center represents a cone, or the middle of the circle.
The blue blob represents the human
The blue circle intersecting the human represents the path the human makes while lunging
The red line represents the lunge line
The green line represents the lunge whip
The green blob represents the horse.

Unfortunately my microsoft paint skills aren't spectacular, but you get the idea!

You arms are essentially in a driving stance. A 45 - 70 degree angle. The whole point of lunging a lazy horse that invades your space is to drive him out onto the black circle/track. You're aiming for a horse that is responsive, takes light contact with the line, and holds gradual bend towards the inside of the circle/track.

It is common for someone to try to walk backwards as the horse walks forwards, but that is not correct, and the horse will turn in or stop. With a horse like yours, you should constantly be walking forwards towards the horse, creating a "pressure buffer". You are driving him with your body, and to do that you need to be aggressive with your body language. This doesn't mean abuse or harm to the horse, but you need to have an active stance that responds when the horse moves in a negative way.


Start out by asking him to move off in either direction. As he takes off, start walking towards his rump. Your shoulders should constantly be perpendicular to the horses body, not ahead of the horse.... at the shoulder is iffy as well. Aim straight for that rump! Keep the lunge whip pointed at or just behind his rump. You do want to walk in about a 2-5 foot radius around the cone (and it helps to have a cone in the middle for reference!), always walking toward the horse. Think determination! Get his feet moving.... pop the whip, stomp your foot, get BIG. Use those driving aids, clucks, whatever you have chosen to use.

When he inevitably starts moving in to your circle, your first instinct will be to back away from him. Horses are big! As right as it may feel, this is teaching him that he is in control. Move the lunge whip towards his shoulder (like you said you do), and take one foot and literally quickly lunge towards him (yes, like the exercise move!). Stomp your foot forcibly as you do this and use the whip to poke him in the shoulder. He should and likely will move out of your space just a little bit. Reward this action by resuming lunging like normal. Getting lower to the ground than standing upright helps drive horses out for some reason, as well.

Repeat this every time he even thinks of creating slack in the lunge line. He will learn soon enough that he'll get an adverse reaction to it whenever he tries it. It may help to start out on a medium length lunge line so you can manage the length of it better and don't get tangled.


If he shows aggression, get huge, take two huge, stomping steps towards him, get lower, yell, crack your whip, anything to get him moving.

I don't condone abuse or beating horses, but a horse that comes dangerously close to you on the line can benefit (in certain situations) from one quick crack to the rump as long as you are out of range of their hooves.

Good luck! Don't let him intimidate you, and if after you try this you are still intimidated, think about getting a trainer to help/teach you how to lunge more effectively.
     
    01-17-2010, 01:49 AM
  #3
Weanling
I agree with everything above! Very nicely written. I don't know when he started doing this with you, but I'd suggest from this day forward that his place is always on the end of that line, parallel to you. Never let him come to you - you go to him. That includes when you change direction. You go out to him, he is not allowed to face you and turn - you go out and reverse him. When the session is over, you go out to him, do not allow him to come to you. This way there is no confusion as to where he is supposed to be or what is expected of him…once he is sent out, that is where he stays.
     
    01-17-2010, 09:33 AM
  #4
Super Moderator
Thanks guys. He does not do it when my trainer longes him (but she's a pro). He has always done it a little to me but at shows I have people coaching me for what to do but I don't think I'm not UNDERSTANDING them when they are telling me how to react. It's not like I freak, I just don't counter act like. My ground skills have always been lacking. I am going to print this post and keep it handy. I believe when I'm longing I am probably facing his head...and I don't think I'm moving at all, just standing in one spot so this is going to help me I think. I might try to get someone to video tape me so you can see, but I think you understand my problem. It's raining today but tomorrow I'm try this. I am thinking it will help alot. Making myself big is hard too. I'm going to try it. I think part of my problem is that I own Ri's mother, which means he's been with me since the day he was born and he knows I am no threat... geuss I need to become a potential threat huh? (Threats not the right word but it's all I can think of right now.)

Thanks!
     
    01-17-2010, 09:57 AM
  #5
Weanling
I have had a horse that is lazy to lunge, I've also had that same horse, upon reaching a new barn, turn into a racecar. Sometimes, the typical standing croup level facing the horse shoulders on with the whip pointed at the rump does not work. I think you need to adjust your body language based on your horses reaction to lungeing. I would start out with a solid 10 minutes of groundwork. Pretend you are a horse of a higher position, and boss your horses feet around, in an assertive, non-aggressive way. Make him move backwards, yield his hindquarters, even move laterally. You'll find that it will be ok for the first couple of minutes, get bad, and then go back to being good. Allow your horse to take seconds in-between each ask to process this information. Youll find he'll begin to lick and chew, and become more attentive. When you ask him to lounge, you may want to begin by moving with him on the lunge on a much smaller circle than he is. Make sure your elbows are resting against your torso, down near your hips. All your forward energy comes from the hips, and if your arms are flailiing around it's lost in translation. Keep the line taught, you may need to collect and drop loops based on how true your circle is. Turn your hips into the lunge, almost as if you are walking into the lunge line. Make sure your feet are treking in the direction you want to go. Make sure you aren't pulling his head into you by making the line too taught, else he'll just swing right into the circle and face you. The whip, for now, should continually be pointed at the shoulder, gently flicking it, with the occasionally cluck to move on. I'd ask for tons of transitions, because you will find that your horse will lunge for about 3 circles and then switch off and revert to his learned behaviour. If you shake it up a bit he won't zone out. You can even pull his head in to the circle, ask him to yield his hindquarters, and then send him off in the opposite direction by standing in frontg of him, pointing with the rope where you want to go and twirling the whip. This has worked for me immensely.
     
    01-17-2010, 12:32 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmpony84    
Thanks guys. He does not do it when my trainer longes him (but she's a pro). He has always done it a little to me but at shows I have people coaching me for what to do but I don't think I'm not UNDERSTANDING them when they are telling me how to react. It's not like I freak, I just don't counter act like. My ground skills have always been lacking. I am going to print this post and keep it handy. I believe when I'm longing I am probably facing his head...and I don't think I'm moving at all, just standing in one spot so this is going to help me I think. I might try to get someone to video tape me so you can see, but I think you understand my problem. It's raining today but tomorrow I'm try this. I am thinking it will help alot. Making myself big is hard too. I'm going to try it. I think part of my problem is that I own Ri's mother, which means he's been with me since the day he was born and he knows I am no threat... geuss I need to become a potential threat huh? (Threats not the right word but it's all I can think of right now.)

Thanks!

Hey, you can do it!

Put the fact that you've known him his whole life out of your mind. He's a new horse you are working with, and you are trying to establish that YOU are the boss *wink*.

It's very weird to abandon all preconceived notions of a certain horse, action, or method. Act for the day... he's a new horse, you are a confident horse trainer. You wouldn't let a clients horse/horse that you didn't know run in on you, would you? If he was a strange horse, you'd consider that action dangerous, what if this new horse struck out, ran you over, bit at you, or cow kicked you? You've known him forever, so you know exactly what move he'll make and how fast he'll do it. Its very easy to get so comfortable with a horse that they can get away with things!!!

Don't be afraid to really act the part of dominant horse. Dominant horses are strong and clearly the boss, but they aren't control freaks. There has to be give and take. If you watch a horse in the field he'll move horses around to get the desired effect, and then he'll go right back to being their buddy. You can do that too... the release is the reward!

A dominant horse will use one quick, action or reaction (depending on what he's doing) to reprimand or claim dominance. You just have to think like a horse! Abandon all thoughts of being a normal looking person while you're training. Sometimes the things needed can make you look *really* stupid. That's okay! Haha.

Move quick when you need to, and exaggerate those movements. You've got it!
     

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