Originally Posted by amightytarzan5
I don't have a lunge line 60 feet long. Sorry, I meant where does the lunge WHIP need to be. At his shoulder, behind him, etc?
And I don't hang on him. He is at the extent of the lunge line. In some of the parts, I wasn't even trying to get him to canter. He is a very strong horse, and he pulls me, so I can't give him a whole lot of room. He also doesn't collect up. That was one of my questions that never got answered. How can you get a horse to collect up and work from his quarters on the lunge line?
Ok... for starters, the whip should be behind him, a comfortable distance so that when you flick it you aren't hitting him but he's aware that it's there and responds to it.
I think the comment that you "hang on him" was made because the circle is too small. I know that it is tempting with a strong horse that pulls to shorten the line and make the circle smaller, but it's not going to help. You can see in the video he is literally pulling you around. Making the circle smaller gives him less room to move in, and I can see where you would think that it would slow him down, however what happens is he just leans on you and gets heavier and heavier until he is pulling you around the ring.
I will start at the beginning of the video, and go through how to correct each problem, that way I don't miss anything you might have questions about.
You have the idea down of lunging. But there are some basics that you need to know.
When lunging you should make a triangle with the horse. You are the point, your lunge line makes a straight line to the horses head, and the whip just behind the horse. Position yourself just *behind* the shoulder, at the girth line. If you stand in front of his shoulder he will most likely stop or turn toward you.
Don't start him out on a circle by running/walking along side. Get him out on his own. And be consistent every time.
I am assuming that when you stopped moving, you were attempting to stop him? It took him an entire circle to respond to that. The idea is correct, but will not work unless the horse is trained to respond to it. So instead, half halt him the same as you would when you ride -- a firm squeaze on the line, say woah. He won't respond (b/c he never has had to before) so you'll probably need to be firmer, a firm pull on the line, move in front of his shoulder slightly, and say WOAH loudly. If he still doesn't respond, pull him in tighter on the lunge line and repeat this until the is forced to stop.
Then let him back out to the big circle.
In the video you'll notice he is bent to the inside and his haunches are fishtailing to the outside. The line is too short and he is hanging on it, forcing his haunches out as you drive him forward. You are also too far in front of the girth line.
Ok, so to fix this... I know it sounds crazy, but when he leans on you DROP HIM. Let a slack in the line. Then give him a firm tug (like a strong half halt) as you push him forward. This will encourage him not to hang on you, and will also give you a little of that collection you are looking for. You will need to drop and then half halt several times in a row, and then coast for a minute and see if he hangs again. If he does, repeat it again. Make sure when you half halt him to get him to stop hanging that you are pushing him forward with the whip at the same time. He needs to know the difference between asking him to hold himself up and asking him to stop all together. Start to anticipate at which part of the circle he is going to hang on you, and half halt ahead of time to balance him.
Also, when he is trotting and you ask him to walk, he needs to WALK. Not stop. (and vice versa, if you ask him to halt he needs to halt not just walk). You aren't being clear enough in your commands.
Establish these exercises at the trot before moving to the canter. (I don't mean don't canter himat all, I mean establish it each time you lunge him). Spend a good amount of time doing walk/trot transitions.
If you are still nervous about letting him out on the longer line because you feel you don't have control, you can shorten the line but walk a small circle. Do not however, follow him around as he drags you. It's helpful to draw a circle in the arena and stay on it. Or sometimes stand inside a hulahoop. :)
The circle needs to be 20m MINIMUM. He's a big boy and needs the room.
As far as getting him to collect and push from his hind end, I really recomend side reins. If you do not have them...
Lunge him in a bridle, and feed the reins through the stirrups. It's easier in english tack if that's available but if all you've got is western then feed the rein under the stirrup and up over the saddle. You want them to have a contact but not be pulling back on him.
Even if you choose not to use side reins/reins through the stirrups, the other exercises I gave you should help him to use his hind end more.
Do tons of transitions... like, every circle. He needs to focus on you, and as soon as you feel him getting away from you a little, transition.
Good luck, it's a lot of information at once but hopefully it's a help. :)