Lunging help... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW Michigan
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Lunging help...

I am sure this topic has been beaten to death, but I couldn't really find anything in all my googling that addresses this problem. Rocket free lunges and lunges on a line great in the round pen, but with winter fast approaching and it all ready being a pretty muddy mess up here in Michigan-land, our days in the round pen are numbered. I would like to continue working him in side reins to build and top line as well as use lunging to get some extra energy out of him before riding, but he does not lunge well in the indoor arena. Actually it's pretty much sucidial to attempt to.
He does great when he is by a wall, but as soon as he hits the open area he tries to go flying down the arena, and unless I just let go of the lunge line I would be getting dragged for have my hand taken off. This has happened both times that I tried to lunge him, the second time I even set up a series of jumps to try and make like a fourth wall, but he just went flying through them and down the arena.
Any suggestions would be great, as he is a very high energy horse and I think lunging is going to have to be done to get the excess energy out of him that he can no longer expend in pasture time.
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 01:03 PM
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Try long reining, my boy is a pain in the arse to lung but with 2 lines he is fine and settles down :)
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 01:22 PM
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If you know when he is going to run off take a tight hold and sit back putting all your weight on the line. He won't pull you very far with his face. Teach him to disengage his hindquarters and work at a walk and trot untill you get him good then move to the canter. By letting him pull away from you and run off your reinforcing the behavior. You need to find a way to shut him down and stop him when he runs off.

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post #4 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 01:40 PM
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I agree with Kevin. You need to put yourself in charge of him here. Get yourself a good pair of gloves and work him. Start him slow and in small circles. As he gets better respecting you indoors, you can move him up the next gait.

~CoCo 17hh 4 yo OTTB~
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 05:16 PM
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I agree with Kevin and ADG...You need to teach him to longe anywhere; your control should not deminish JUST because you take him to a larger area. Start out slow, and small circles, focusing on maintaining his attention; do lots of direction changes, backing, and disengaging of his front and hind end. Teach him that you have the authority no matter where he is at. If you can work him mentally on the ground in the arena before you ride, that will be just as 'exercising' for him as longing in the round pen would be.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 09:20 PM
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My boy is the opposite when i try and lunge him in the arena I get maybe to laps around me and then he comes back to me and rests his head on my shoulder.

Bailey's Mountain
6 year old tb
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-16-2009, 02:50 AM
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Agree with previous responses *depending on the cause*. Is he afraid of the arena at all? Is he afraid of you, the lunge whip, your cues? Has he been taught properly to lunge, to yield to pressure, etc? Do you make it worth his while when he does do 'the right thing'?

I'd first ensure there was nothing about the arena, me, my tools & 'games' that made him nervous. Then I'd start up close, teaching him how to *yield*(that is, respond calmly to pressure, not react, push against it, etc) to pressure in whatever direction. I'd start first at a walk, then gradually ask for the same stuff further & further away, until he's 'lunging'. I wouldn't bother asking for a trot or more until he's reliable & calm at a walk.

When Kevin says "take a tight hold and sit back ..... He won't pull you very far with his face" I have to beg to differ, as I've seen many a person go 'skiiing' behind their horse. I think it depends what's on their face & what angle you're on as to whether you can be effective. If you have a thin or rope halter and you ensure you're more to the side of your horse rather than behind, you have leverage on your side & can turn the horse around. If he has a wide, flat halter & you don't get control before you find yourself behind him, then good luck stopping him! Also depends how well he's learned to either yield to pressure from the halter or to resist it.

After previous experiences, I'd also think his behaviour is likely to get worse before it gets better. After all, it's worked for him in the past, so when it no longer does, he's likely to respond by just trying harder. Grin & persist & he'll eventually stop it, so long as you're effective.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-17-2009, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I don't think it's fear, we ride in that arena on a regular basis. I also don't think that he's afraid of me, we have been working on his ground manners a lot, but he has a tendency to be pushy sometimes. He is a bit spooky about the whip, but that is also something we are working on, he has gotten to the point where he will stand still while I move it around and over him.

I usually lunge him in a a bridle with an adapter type thing on it so I have the control of having a bit in his mouth, even though that hasn't helped much. The last time I lunged him I added loose side reins and that seemed to help a lot.

He is also not just pulling with his face, when I say he likes to run off on the open side, he heads straight down the arena, so he's not just jerking me a little with his head.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-18-2009, 02:48 AM
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I don't advise lunging in a bit. The leverage of having such a long rein connected to it means even when it's loose there is some pressure on his mouth, & any rein 'cues' will be very strong. Also depending on the bit & how you do it, the pressure will always be on one side, which may confuse & frustrate. That may be (part of) your problem, as he may be resisting it.
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