Lunging issue. Please help. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-30-2011, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Lunging issue. Please help.

I've been lunging my horse, she's fine with going one way, but not the other. It's the same when I ride her. She doesn't like going a specific way. Is there anything I can do to stop this?

Also, when I lung her she bucks and pigroots when going from a trot to a canter. She's not in any pain, just stubborn. I pushed her through it a few times, it's hard work, but she'll get stubborn and buck again after a few seconds. Same thing when I ride her. Any ideas to help this?
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-30-2011, 06:49 AM
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First and foremost I assume your horse is healthy, sound, and pain free and there are no issues with back or otherwise.
Horses, much like people are left or right handed and without getting complicated lets just say your horse sounds like she is quite normal in that she does not enjoy going one way.
You must always be sure to lunge or work both sides of a horses brain equally. So when you lunge you should lunge to the left and right equally. When under saddle you should also work all three gaits equally so both sides are exercises. Do some flexion exercises, ask her to bend and flex softly for you both ways.
Bucking when going from a trot to a canter may simply be that she is unbalanced and needs plenty more walk, trotting, before asking for too much canter work.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-30-2011, 08:16 AM
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I agree that you need to work both sides, even if the horse doesn't want to. However, I feel you should work their "bad" side more than the good side. Just like if we were to write with our off hand, it would get better but not as good as our normal hand unles we practiced more. We don't like to use our off hand because it feels uncomfortable. It's the same with the horse. They don't want to work their off side because it's not as comfortable as the other side. When we can get them used to using their bad side, they aren't as resistant.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-30-2011, 06:40 PM
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She is telling you she doesn't like lunging. Try keeping it brief with mainly walking and lots of reversing until it's farily smooth. Then move up to the trot. It's not really necessary to canter a horse on the lunge.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-30-2011, 07:39 PM
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It's normal for a horse to have a "preferred" side and be a little more hollow or stiff going the other way, but it's not normal for them to object that strongly. Honestly, I'd look again to see if there's any pain that's causing the problem. Is this a new problem, or has it been going on for a while?

If you haven't already, get her checked out by a vet or chiropractor.

Past injuries or pain could also be an issue, since horses will remember that going to the left or right always caused pain due to a poorly fitting saddle or injury in the past. This is more of a mental block that you need to work through with the horse.
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