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This is a discussion on Lunging within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What does lunging teach a horse

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  • 1 Post By tinyliny
  • 1 Post By Rockman

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    01-03-2014, 12:24 PM

My horse never learned to lunge. He's about seven, and every time I try to lunge him, he either ignores my cues and stands there looking at me or follows me around the pen. I can tell he is confused, but I don't know what to do. Any suggestions?
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    01-03-2014, 12:43 PM
Are you free lunging him, or using a line?
    01-03-2014, 01:38 PM
If he was never taught how to lunge, then of course he is confused. XD

I would suggest getting a trainer to work with your horse, just to work out the confusion, then they can hand the 'reins' over to you.

Aside from that, I would suggest using a lunge line (with either a halter or a bridle, though a bridle may be more forgiving in the beginning) and a lunge whip. Stand in the center with your horse, and drive it away with the lunge whip. There is not need for wild movements, light flicks of the whip usually suffice.
Try to stay mostly in the center (I assume you're using a round pen?). When you move forward and close in on your horse's space it is asking the horse to slow, and backing up implies a faster pace or gait.

Also, how does your horse respond to verbal cues? If he knows them, use ones he is familiar with. That may help to clear up some of the confusion.
    01-03-2014, 02:13 PM
Sorry, but it is you who most needs the lesson on lunging. He may not know how to lunge, but if you knew a fair amount about it, you would be able to teach him. Not many people really know how to lunge a horse. I am not saying that I DO. But, I took a couple of lessons purely on lunging from a very masterful trainer and , boy! Did I see how much I had to learn. Check out getting a trainer to teach the two of you together.
Kayty likes this.
    01-03-2014, 02:39 PM
It's really difficult to teach things from scratch especially with that gorgeous 'I don't get it mum' look they give you!

If you can find and afford a trainer then they are always the best option as they help you to eliminate any bad habits!

But first I'd try helping him to understand, attach your lunge line as usual and on the other side attach a lead rope. Ask someone to walk on the other side of him and teach him your commands, so when you send him out on the lunge there is someone there to show him what that means. When you ask him to trot the person on the other side with good timing puts him into trot so eventually he links your voice to the action.

Use different tones of voice for the different paces as these will help him to distinguish between them. Also when riding him use your voice as well as your leg, he just needs to learn to understand voice commands as he's never had to before. Plenty of small steps with him on the lead rope and over exaggerating your voice will help him to understand and eventually he'll do it independently!

This worked with my OTTB as he only knew to trot and canter on the lunge and had no idea about walking to warm up and standing straight at the end!

Good luck and enjoy :)
tinyliny likes this.
    01-03-2014, 03:05 PM

Thanks, I will try everyone's Advice.

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