Lunging Issues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-18-2012, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Lunging Issues

Hello eveyone.

I have a question about lunging. My horse has been taught to lunge and there was a time when he would do it (decently) but he is no longer willing to go around on a lunge line. Everytime I try to lunge him he spins around and backs up quickly. I try to move to get closer to his hip and try to drive him out onto the circle but he is just way too quick!! I can lunge other horses but do not know how to deal with this naughty behaviour.
Has anyone else here expercienced this and maybe have some tips/advice for me?
Thanks in advance

Teagan & Khamy
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-18-2012, 06:56 PM
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My only advice would be if he wants to spin, MAKE him spin. If he wants to back up MAKE him back up. Make it seem like it was your idea all along, after he's submissive to that try to lunge again. If he pulls the same trick, repeat. He'll eventually realize lunging is A LOT easier.
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-18-2012, 06:58 PM
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yup, what she ^ said!

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post #4 of 19 Old 06-18-2012, 07:01 PM
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I was gonna say the same as Palominolover :) I had to do the same thing with Sky on a couple things-when he would step back I'd make him back up even further and quicker with my body tense-repeat until he stops trying to back up :)
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-18-2012, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks I will try that :)

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post #6 of 19 Old 06-18-2012, 07:40 PM
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How often do you lunge this horse? Don't want to wear him out to lunging.
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-18-2012, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Not very often, maybe once a month??

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post #8 of 19 Old 06-18-2012, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BaskKhamsin17 View Post
Not very often, maybe once a month??
well, then it shouldn't be an issue of the horse getting sour to lunging. Just a thought.
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-19-2012, 03:39 AM
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What is your reason for lunging him? What do you aim to achieve with it? I ask because different people have different ideas. I personally use lunging type exercises to teach & reinforce the horse responding to me at a distance. Therefore if I tried & got that sort of response, I'd take a step back in training & ask for him to yield how/when I asked from closer before trying to do it on the end of a long line.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-19-2012, 05:29 AM
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I will have to disagree with those that say to make him spin or back up. By making him spin or back up, you have stopped asking for what you want. Essentially releasing the pressure to go forward, which is what you want. That release or change tells the horse that what it did was right, so it will continue to do it again.

OP, he hasn't forgot how to lunge. He has however, learned how to avoid it, by spinning and backing up. By trying to get closer to his hip, you are the one getting lunged. He spins not only to avoid lunging but because you are trying to get to his hip.

Let's put a different perspective on this. Instead of "making" him spin or back up, let him. Let him make the choice of going forward. When we put pressure on the horse, the horse will try different things to "get away" from the pressure. When we release the pressure, whatever the horse did last, that is what they learn is what was needed to make the pressure stop.

When you ask him to lunge, let him spin and back up but keep asking him to lunge. Keep asking until he takes a step forward. That step will actually be him moving his front end away from you by pivoting on his rear end.

When I lunge a horse, I don't try to get to its rear to make it go forward. I put pressure on its head and neck to move away. That will give you your access to the rear end to move the horse forward. I give a horse a count of three to respond when I ask it to lunge. Then I go directly towards their head. At first I may end up smacking their neck or the side of their jaw before they turn away. The instant they turn away, I quit asking. When they get more consistent about turning away when I first ask, then I start to ask for more forward movement.

I have had to work with different horses that did the same as your horse. Some were quicker to respond than others but they all figured it out. Just remain calm, be patient and be consistent.
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lunging , training , young horse

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