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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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    07-11-2009, 10:19 PM
Green Broke


Well my boy will easily walk, trot and canter on a lunge with a rider but when it comes to without a rider we have a problem. Iíve basically re-training him to lunge (I was told he has been lunged beforeÖhard to believe). So anyway, he is perfect at walking around on the lunge and has been doing it for about 6-9 sessions and I think he is ready to start trotting on the lunge. So my question is: How do you teach a horse to trot on the lunge line? When I walk him on the lunge, I can ask him to halt, walk on (faster), whoa (slower), Out (away from me) In (towards me). Do you think he is ready to start trotting. He is out of riding work at the moment so I can not work him with someone/thing on him.

Thanks for the help!
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    07-11-2009, 10:26 PM
We had the issue with Dixie. She is horrible on the lunge line, but we got her trotting fairly easily. What we did for her, and it may work for your boy, was to hold the lunge whip a little higher (and occasionally letting it whip a little), adding more energy, and saying "trot" with a little more "oomph" than we say "walk" if that makes any sense.

She took a few times, but eventually understood what we wanted.
    07-12-2009, 12:05 AM
What exactly is the problem, when it comes to longing? It sounds a bit would help a bit to know what exactly the horse does or doesn't do on the longe line.

If he is already walking on the line, then yes, you should be able to get him to trot and canter, using a stronger cue than you did for the walk. Remember to keep your own body in line with his flank when you are asking for foward motion, and to step toward his shoulder when asking for a halt; that way you are using your body most effectively to communicate to him for forward and halting motion.
    07-12-2009, 04:50 AM
Green Broke
The problem was, I was told he could lunge. But I had my trainer try and lunge him, no luck he would "face up" and then bolt. So I spent time just getting him to walk on the lunge he is quite happy walking and will do it without a problem. So I think he is ready to trot on the lunge. So the question was: How do I ask him to trot?
    07-12-2009, 07:27 AM
Usually you just say the horses name, then very clearly TROT and use the whip (just moving it around behind the horse) to urge them on faster, they normally break into a trot no problem if they are already going well at the walk.
    07-12-2009, 09:02 AM
Presumably you've taught your horse some of the basic whip aids...such as pointing the whip at the hock or hip for an upward transition from halt to walk in this case.

The other key to transitions is the voice aid. You ONLY give the voice aid for a transition 'when the horse is about to give it to you'. In other words, if the horse is cantering around and you want it to trot, you don't keep repeating 'trot, trot, trot, trot', while the horse canters round and round. Same deal, you don't let the horse walk around and around and around while you're saying, 'trot, trot, trot'.

When giving voice aids you elongate the words. On upward transitions you speak in a higher octave and raise your voice on the last of the word. On downward transitions you speak in a lower octave and drop your voice on the last of the words. You also change how the words are elongated.

Up transitions it would be 'ttttttrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - OT, or caaaaaaannnnnn - TER!
Down transition would be 'tttttrrrr-oooooooooooooooootttttttttt, or wwwwwwaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllk

Ask the horse to walk, then 'push' the walk a bit with your body, raise the longeing whip and point it at the hock. If the horse doesn't begin to think trot, then you'll need to increase your body push and raise the whip to the point of hip. If still the horse isn't thinking about trotting, then you'll need to touch the top of the hindquarter with the whip. The moment the horse 'thinks' trot, you need to add the voice aid with lots of 'happiness' and inflexion in your voice.
    07-12-2009, 07:36 PM
Green Broke
Thanks guys, I'm hoping to try for a trot today.
    07-13-2009, 11:05 AM
Did you get a trot?
    07-13-2009, 11:52 AM
Green Broke
Use your voice and your whip. Drive his hip forward. Praise him when he gets it right, and don't punish him if he gets it wrong, just keep trying.
    07-17-2009, 10:24 PM
Green Broke
Didn't get to do lunging, went for a ride instead and I might not have time to work on ground work for a while (We are getting ready for our first show)

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