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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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        12-07-2008, 05:11 PM
      #11
    Trained
    "I know that she was really babied and spoiled by the lady who owned her her whole life before me and that she had boys ride her all the time who just hopped on and made her run..."

    This just makes me think that she doesn't understand anything but being ran. I agree with what someone else said. Let her have her run. When she stops, begin your lesson as if she didn't run. Let her learn that she is going to have to listen to you either way and it would be easier if she didn't run.


    How old is she? It sounds like she doesn't really understand lunging either. I don't think it is something you are doing wrong. Have her stand and get used to you just holding the lunge whip. Get it so you can touch her all over with it. The whip should only be used to enforce your other aides (Voice in this case). Eventually you should be able to cluck to her for her to speed up and use your voice for her to slow down. I just say this because a lot of people over use their whip and it gets both the horse and person all frazzled and frustrated.
         
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        12-07-2008, 05:34 PM
      #12
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wallaby    
    How would I check her for a cold-back?
    Sometimes she is perfectly fine when I get on and other times she's just not. She's fine when I put the saddle on and I can brush her back and she's fine...
    I have two different saddles that I can use, one came with her, the other is owned by my trainer-lady. The next time I go out I'm going to try to get some pictures of how they each fit her.

    I really don't want to be a bad horse mom, I just don't know what to do.

    Edit: Thanks WSArabians! I'll try that. I've free lunged her before but I never knew how to communicate with her off the line. I will definitely try that. She is the horse in my avatar. =)
    No problem!
    The reason why she's behaving this way could be so many different things.
    Do you lunge with or without tack on? For what I suggested, I would go without tack until she's communicating clearly for you.
    Check for any signs of lameness - A noticable bobbing of the head is a great indicator.

    She could be anticipating that you are going to ask her to lope around, so she's doing it to get it overwith.
    She could be doing it because that's the way she was taught to behave in a round pen - therefore you'd have to teach her that it's not about running around like a chicken with your head cut off, but in a collected and communicative manner.
    She could be doing it just to say "Hey, I don't need you to tell me what to do."

    One great way to get her to really pay attention to you - if you're finding that her attention is wandering while you're trying to free lunge her - is to step right in front of her shoulder and make her change directions. Every three circles or so, make her change again.
    Soon, she'll be watching you like a hawk and really paying attention to what you're asking, which is why you alwas have to be away of where your body is. You get too far ahead of her, and she'll stop even though you didn't mean to ask her.

    As per saddle fitting, there are several ways to check from the ground. The gullet area (I'm not sure if you're western or english, so if you're english you'll have to deal with my western terms ) should have enough cleareance over the wither and the spine all the way done. No part of your saddle should ever have direct contact with your horses spine.

    You should be able to stick a few fingers in between the front skirts of your saddle and saddle pad and your horse's shoulder once it's completely tighented. If you can't, it's too tight and pinching your horse, thus limiting movement of your horses shoulder which will make her unwilling - and unable - to properly cooperate.

    The tree of your saddle should follow the contour of your horses back completely. Standing behind your horse, it should appear straight, and not crooked on your horses back. Some saddles have bent trees, thus putting more pressure on one side of the horses spine and back muscles.

    Also the length of the saddle is something to consider. If your horse has an shorter than average back (and this is something I always pay attention too being an Arabian breeder) and the saddle is too long, the back of the skirts may dig into the back, hips, or loins causing discomfort.

    After you've worked Lacy and she works up a light sweat, check her sweat marks on her back when you remove her saddle. The sweat marks should be even across, with none along the spine. If there are sweat patches on her shoulders and where the back of the saddle sits but none on the middle, the saddle is only hitting those two places and is uneven.

    Check your bridle, as well. Ensure the throatlatch is not too tight, the bit not too small or too tight. I've had lots of horses that have "head problems" and it was only because the brow band was too tight and was pinching underneath their ears.

    You can also take your middle and index finger and run them along either side of her spine with equal and mid-pressure. She will dip slightly, but if it is significant then she has a sore back.

    However, after saying all that (though it's good for future reference) because she is standing still when being saddled, she has no resentment towards it, therefore I doubt any pain, and I think you're dealing with a mental problem of sorts (like stubborn attitude, etc).
         
        12-07-2008, 05:42 PM
      #13
    Super Moderator
    When I'm letting her have her run should I be really passive and just stand there or should I be being more active about it? I'm figuring that I should just be pretty passive until she stops...?
    She's 20. I'm not sure if she understands it either. She appears to sometimes, but sometimes not so much...
    She's not afraid of the lunge whip if that's what you mean... I haven't tried touching her all over with it but I have had it really close to her head as I lead her to (or away from) the arena and she's absolutely fine with it. I'll try touching her all over with it next time I go anyway though.
    Edit: I've been riding her in a english saddle. I'm totally sure her attention wanders when I lunge her. I will definitely try getting her to turn. She does arch her neck and look really happy when I take the saddle off... Does that mean anything?
         
        12-07-2008, 06:12 PM
      #14
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SonnyWimps    
    Round Penning

    Once a horse is up and going, and defiantely when they are kinda freaked out (which happens in alot of the cases), they don't stop...probably because they don't feel safe to stop. Horse's are herd animals, when the horse is away from his original herd, you have autimatically become his herd. Going to lunge you are asking them to leave you and run and, as you said, if he comes in you'll "jump at her and wave my arms to get her out again".
    Sounds to me that he does not trust you with the lunge whip...that he's frightened and many things are going through his mind and it's nothing about "Hey, my mom is asking me to stop!" it's more or less "SOMETHING IS GOING TO EAT ME!!"

    If you didn't read the link I posted first, it's definitely worth the read. ROundpenning=lunging so it's the same thing, yet doesn't need to be in a round pen and what not. It gives you a good insight on what a horse is thinking when being lunged. I personally NEVER use lunging...ever. It's way too hard on the joints and extremely bad for their mental health


    If you are set on your ways to continue to lunge, then try when you want to have her stop, dropping the whip and squating down. Exhale and put your head down. The main important thing is to drop the whip. Most horses that I have seen being lunged look at the whip only as "an evil stick thing used to make me to run and also that is scary".
    My friends horse was trained this way. Every time the lunger would bend down the hrose would stop and walk towards you right up in your face as you bending over or on the ground. She got really bad and started charging at the lunger everytime they got lower than her. It just taught her to walk over the top of the lunger when the lunger was lower-giving the horse the power.
         
        12-07-2008, 07:14 PM
      #15
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wallaby    
    When I'm letting her have her run should I be really passive and just stand there or should I be being more active about it? I'm figuring that I should just be pretty passive until she stops...?
    She's 20. I'm not sure if she understands it either. She appears to sometimes, but sometimes not so much...
    She's not afraid of the lunge whip if that's what you mean... I haven't tried touching her all over with it but I have had it really close to her head as I lead her to (or away from) the arena and she's absolutely fine with it. I'll try touching her all over with it next time I go anyway though.
    Edit: I've been riding her in a english saddle. I'm totally sure her attention wanders when I lunge her. I will definitely try getting her to turn. She does arch her neck and look really happy when I take the saddle off... Does that mean anything?
    Yup, when she wants to run, just stand there, looking at the ground or at something that doesn't concern her. When she stops, then you pay attention, so she realises that even though she's running it doesn't mean a thing to you, therefore has no relevalance.

    As for looking happy when you unsaddle her... well, I think we'll all happy at the end of the day when we're all done our work and looking forward to some nice R&R.
         
        12-07-2008, 10:04 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Lunging is an excellent training AID. While in large quantities it can be damaging to them physically, if done right it does not cause anymore stress than riding a 20m circle on them except this time they have less weight on their back to do it. The biggest problem comes from over lunging and lunging in a circle that is too small.
         
        12-08-2008, 09:35 AM
      #17
    Super Moderator
    I have a couple horses that are cold backed. When I first put a saddle on them they will feel kind of tense and their backs are a little rounded.... Sometimes their tails will swish too... it takes about 10 minutes for them to warm up (bending excersizes are great for that or even longing).

    Sometimes horses are being playful on the longe line as well... Cold back, ill fitting tack, and pain are always good things to consider but if your horse trusts you and you have a good bond, sometimes it's just a good way to unwind. And sometimes the horse may not have longe experience so then it's a learning curve, they have to figure out what you want out of them. Don't down yourself too much. You'll figure out the problem after some trouble shooting....
         

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