Lunging the desensitized horse
 
 

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Lunging the desensitized horse

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  • Desensitizing a horse from a lunge whip
  • Lunging a very desensitized horse

 
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    08-29-2010, 10:35 PM
  #1
Foal
Lunging the desensitized horse

I attempted to lunge Jester for the first time today since I've purchased him. His previous owner said she lunged him before and he did ok, but when I put him on the lead and pointed the whip at his hindquarters he started trotting really fast and wouldn't stop. I got him to stop but everytime I picked up the whip he would start fast trotting again. I finally put the whip down and without the whip he wouldn't stop turning into me. He's the type of horse that follows me everywhere I go, which makes it nice in most situations, but not in this one!

Whenever I would teach a horse to lunge, I would start with just a lead rope and tap the horse's shoulder until he moved his shoulder away from me, so I tried that. I tapped for 18 minutes (my husband timed it), before he shifted! He's a very calm, laid back horse and not much bothers him so I don't think that approach will take me very far. Any suggestions?
     
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    08-30-2010, 04:33 AM
  #2
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcscott85    
I finally put the whip down and without the whip he wouldn't stop turning into me. He's the type of horse that follows me everywhere I go, which makes it nice in most situations, but not in this one!

Whenever I would teach a horse to lunge, I would start with just a lead rope and tap the horse's shoulder until he moved his shoulder away from me, so I tried that. I tapped for 18 minutes (my husband timed it), before he shifted! He's a very calm, laid back horse and not much bothers him so I don't think that approach will take me very far. Any suggestions?
I read through the first half and was just about to suggest tapping his shoulder as that's what worked for my horse! I didn't just tap repeatedly though like a "nagging mother" as Clinton Anderson would say. I increased pressure every four taps until he responded and then praised him like he'd done something incredible!

You have to increase the pressure a noticeable amount after giving them a fair time to react otherwise they will happily just ignore you. I don't mean wailing on your horse, obviously, but I had to get pretty firm once in both directions but he got it. What I did was I used the bottom of my lunge whip (the solid, rubbery part) to tap. You aren't going to hurt him by tapping firmly and it may be necessary to get the point across initially. Good luck!
     
    08-30-2010, 05:06 AM
  #3
Started
Agreed, if he's ignoring a tap, make it a thump. If he ignores that, make it a spank. If he ignores that, make it a whack. When the lead horse asks him to move, he needs to move now.
He just needs a lot of practice and firm instruction overall. Sometimes things have to be messy before they can smooth out.

Good luck!
     
    08-30-2010, 10:42 AM
  #4
Foal
Thanks, I thought I was tapping pretty hard already but I'm going to try it again. I probably wasn't, since he would just turn his head and look at me with a bored look.
     
    08-30-2010, 11:20 AM
  #5
mls
Trained
I also say "out". On the line or free in the round pen, if the horse drops shoulder or hip or cuts in, I say out and point with the lunge whip to the rib cage.
     
    08-30-2010, 12:00 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Just keep working with the whip. If he's scared of it, point it behind you or keep the end of it on the ground. Let him trot himself out until he realizes the whip isn't going to get him.
     
    08-30-2010, 01:11 PM
  #7
Weanling
If this horse is trotting off really fast, and refusing to stop just because you pointed the whip at his rear end, he is not desensitized to it, not completely anyway. Especially if he's ignoring it on his shoulder, but scared of it on his rear. You need to start over and desensitize him to your whip, remembering to keep your body language in a very neutral tone. Stand up straight, and avoid direct eye contact with him while you're doing it. Remember to keep his head tilted toward you while you are doing this. You should be able to rub him everywhere with the whip and sling the lash all over him, including around his legs. Just remember to use very light pressure in this phase of training. Once he is truly desensitized to the whip, lounging him should be relatively simple, change your body language to a more aggressive, direct eye contact, and shoulders slightly forward. With the hand holding the lead, point in the direction that you want the horse to go, then tap the air with the whip, if he does not move off, tap his rear lightly, keep progressing with increased pressure until he moves any. Once he moves change your body language to neutral and rub him with the whip again, then start over. He will eventually move around you like he is supposed to, with just a point of the finger. It takes a little time and consistency, but it will work.
     

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