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This is a discussion on Lunging within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-27-2007, 10:35 AM

    One of my horses lunge OK. Not extremely happy about the hard work (lol), but does it. My other one though doesn't want to lunge at all. She turns to me and just stands. Plus she tries to stay closer. I did try whip and rope and sounds, etc. etc. whatever I could find in books. But she just stands. When I lead her she leads OK. The moment I stop and try to make her go in circle around me, she stops too and turn her head to me. I did try to walk her in circle, she walks fins up to the moment I stop. Any advices?
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        04-27-2007, 01:06 PM
    Start her off in a tiny circle on the lead rope without even using a lunge line. She sounds totally confused and probably has no idea what you're asking for. Teach her to move away from you first. Don't even ask for a full circle. The second she takes one step away from you when you ask her to, ease up and praise her like crazy. Once she can walk a circle around you (even if it's only a foot away from where you are standing) give her a little more room and repeat the exercises if she stops. At this point, a lunge whip isn't necessary at all. I'd suggest waving your arms or using a crop or even pushing her away from you with your arm. Whatever it takes to get your point across. Some horses have no idea how to move away from their handler when asked to and that's probably what she's going to have to learn first before she will be comfortable enough to lunge.
        04-30-2007, 12:40 AM
    Well first off, when a horse turns into you and stands still, it is a sign of respect, although annoying, it's true. The leadline is a good idea to start w/, but I would not use my arms or any part of my body to spook the horse away b/c later on when you wave your arm, the horse will spook even though you don't want it to. Also, when I was first training my first horse I used a crop and would tap on her shoulder until she would shift her weight, then praise. After about one week (15 or so minutes a day) I could use one finger and apply the slightest pressure and she would take 2 steps over. This is a very tedious process, but it is definitely worth it. I did it in the round pen so she would get used to the round pen and when we went in, it was work time. So I definitely suggest just start w/ the tapping of the shoulder, and then after your horse has that down, when it is facing you, you can use the crop, leadline, etc. and make it circle you. Hope it works, and let me know how it goes!
        05-03-2007, 09:07 PM
    I had a baby that I trained that would do the same thing but he had no respect for my space :( . I tried free lunging him and still same result even if I used a whip. I tried long lines for a couple weeks and then went back to try free lunging and seemed to make a difference. It just seemed like he understood after that.
        05-04-2007, 05:54 PM
    A horse that doesn't know how to move away from you when you tell it to can be a dangerous horse. Using your arms will startle the horse - yes. That's the point. A startled horse moves away and IMO that is very important. A horse that respects you enough to move away is far less likely to spook and run you over. A crop or a stick is not always available. Plus, you can wave your arms in different ways. I use one arm outstretched and the second the horse moves away like I want, I drop my arm. When I'm training a horse to lunge that's the first thing I want them to learn. They don't suddenly flip out and bolt. If they do then your signals were too strong. A cluck and a flip of the arm in their direction is usually plenty to help them get the idea.
        05-09-2007, 05:29 PM
    If you can get someone to do this, it might help to have someone hold the line near the horse's head and walk or run around in a circle holding her. Do this for a while and eventually ask her to go on her own.

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