Lunging an Icelandic horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-29-2013, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Lunging an Icelandic horse


I've a little problem with a new horse that I bought recently. It's an Icelandic gelding, that is wonderful in everything, except when I try to lunge him.

The thing is that he always follows me very closely, just right behind my back or just a few centimeters away. In normal cases I would have seen this as dis-respectfulness, for nothing giving me any personal space. But as I've experienced, heard from other Icelandic owners and read, that Icelandic horses are very "crowdy" and are usually very close to each other, as they don't have the habit to kick or need of having personal space in the same manner as other horses do, unless the horses despise each other.
And he only backs away when I press him or goes to the side when I back (but then I must have my back pressed against his face for this to happen, REALLY crowding him). But he gets really close to me again whenever I stop pressing him.
And I've tried a lot of things to just make him stay away at least 1 meter from me, but normal exercises doesn't seem to work on him.

So I'm asking you other Icelandic owners, is my gelding just being disrespectful? Or is this just a normal behavior? And in that case, how did you teach your horse lunging? What kind of exercises did you do? Or should I just trash the whole idea of lunging?

(First time I've an Icelandic horse too, so yeaah, feels like a whole new world.)
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-30-2013, 09:59 PM
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You just need to keep demanding your space from him. It shouldn't matter what breed he is, he's a horse first and horses show respect by giving you space when you ask for it.

I don't have any advice on the lunging as I'm new to it but I'm sure some other members could give you some tips :) I would not 'trash it' though. (IMO) It's a great tool to teach respect and will be a help in the long run.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-30-2013, 10:26 PM
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a friend of mine had two Icelandics, years ago, and they were pushy little fellows. They were very, very stubborn at times, but when they were good, they were amazing. I think the demeanor is more pony like, so may take a bit more finesse.

practice sending him away from you. you can even put treats on things, like on buckets or other things you put out in the pasture. put the hrose on a long leadline, send him over to the place where the treat is and let him find it. he will learn to accept being sent away.

send him out away from the length of the rein or the leadline, and allow him to stand and rest while you make a cell phone call or just take a long relaxing stand letting him do nothing. All he has to do is stand out there, away from you. start making standing off from you a nice place to be.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-24-2013, 01:41 AM
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Just FYI my imported Icelandic has NO idea how to lunge. He very well could have no idea about lunging, since I'm not sure it's traditionally taught. Start from scratch, I haven't bothered with my girl though.
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