Lunging issues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-19-2009, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Lunging issues

My horse just dosnt seem to get it.

I have watched the Videos.Ive used Clinton Andersons Methods.I dont know what i am doing wrong

First I throw the whip over his head to get him started moving is feet.He just looks at me.Then I will move to the side past the drive line and try to get him going that way ..He just turnes and faces me.The only way i can get any movement from this horse is to use a stick with a bag on the end and then SOMETIMES I can get him to lunge but most of the time he gets so spooked he ripps away from me and takes off and im chasing him in the pastuer.I use the halter with the knots in it and I use a 25ft lead.The lunge whip though is no use all he wants to do is face me..How do you train a horse to lunge well.
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-19-2009, 09:33 AM
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Has he ever been lunged before? Can he lead? I would start in very small circles, try to just get him to go around you in tiny circles. You may even have someone else lead him around you, while you stand in the place with your whip to get an idea.

The idea is that not only should the whip be behind his withers, so should you. Try that if possible. If you had a small corral or round pen, things would be easier, then you could just startle him to go around you.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back. -- Unkown
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-19-2009, 09:45 AM
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I agree with ChevyPrincess, double-check your position. Your body should be at a 90 degree angle to his driveline. The whip should never come ahead of the driveline. Also, since he keeps facing up to you, maybe make sure that you aren't nagging him with the whip (he could be misinterpreting the presence of the whip as a cue to disengage his hindquarters). Really raise the hand holding the line high, opening the door wide to move forward, and use the whip until he is going at the speed you want, and then allow him to go. Here's an OK picture of what the ideal position is... See how if you cut the triangle of the line and whip in half, the halfway line connects you (the apex of the triangle) to the spot just behind the driveline?

I hope that was fairly clear, sometimes it's hard to describe how I do things .

You might try polishing your leading cues as well, establishing a solid trot in hand, so that the cues you use might carry over better to the lunge.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-19-2009, 09:48 AM
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i agree about starting with a small circle to start.

also remember stand your ground, i think CA says whoever moves first loses, you have to win ! point the direction you want him to go with the hand holding the rope, if he doesnt move you can cluck or toss the rope/end of the whip towards his neck, if you do it at his hindquarter that means yield the hindqr so hes not gonna move forward, is is gonna face you

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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-19-2009, 11:25 AM
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I agree that this is probably a problem with your body position and your use of the whip. However, I disagree that you need to use the whip towards his back half. That would be the solution if you already had the horse going around on the circle. You are not to that point yet. To get the horse started going on the circle, you need to get him to move his shoulders away from you so you need to focus your whip in such a manner. Tap or twirl the whip at what will be his inside shoulder (or any point in front of his withers) until he is moving away from you with the front half of his body. This will lead the direction that the rest of his body will follow.

When he starts walking around the circle, then you can change the focus of your whip to be towards the back half of his body. This will get him to increase speed or change gaits. If at any time he is swinging his back half away from you & stopping, then you have too much focus of the whip going towards the back half. You would then focus on the front half (shoulders) to get him going back on the circle. A focus on the front half of his body will also allow you to get him to expand the circle if he decides to cut into the middle at any point around the circle.

It's the shoulders you need to focus on.

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post #6 of 9 Old 11-19-2009, 12:31 PM
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all good advise and i agree its the shoulder you need to focus the whip on ( i have never in 35 years, heard of starting a horse to lunge by flicking the whip over his head) . your body positioning is really important and to help him get the idea of what you want from him, get someone to walk at his head to begin with, and just practice walk both directions, until he is responding well to your commands without someone at his head, before you start lunging at trot.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-19-2009, 12:49 PM
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^^ I agree with lillie. Moving a whip over a horses head seems odd to get a horse moving. What I do to get my gelding to move out/away from me (he turns to face me on a line sometimes also) is I move the whip towards his front feet. Snap the popper on the ground, touch his legs with them, I've even poked him in the shoulder. Once he starts walking out to avoid being annoyed by the whip then you can start focusing on his back end. Do you have access to a round pen anywhere? We have a pony at my barn that does not move even if you smack his butt with a dressage whip, but he hates the sound of the whip clanging on the metal bars.

Also, are you lunging him out in the middle of a field? If so, move into one of the corners so there's less of a chance that he can get away from you if hes just acting silly, but you still have an option to let him go.
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-20-2009, 04:24 AM
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we simply flick the whip behind the horse, in the someone earlier demonstrated, the horses head, the person, and the end of the whip should all be the points of a triangle. the whip behind the horse drives the horse forward, the only time you would need it further forward is to keep him from turning in to face you, but if it is just a matter of moving forward, it needs to be behind. from the horses point of view, one that doesnt know what he is doing lunge wise would be very confused by the whip somewhere between his front and back feet- he is thinking " does she want me to move my feet forward or is she warning me not to move my back feet forward over this line?" the easiest way is simply get an assistant to walk at his head for a bit, until the horse understands what you want him to do.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-21-2009, 12:16 PM
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The thing to remember about teaching a horse to lunge is that if you don't focus your energy in exactly the right spot and make it very clear what you want, your horse will not get it. You (should) have taught your horse NEVER to get ahead of you or run you over. If your energy is not behind the horse allowing him to go forward, he will stand still, back up or turn away. Try to remember that when you teach a horse to lunge you have to stay calm and try to leave only one opening (forward) for him to go. A scared horse running around on the lunge line defeats the purpose. Be calm, clear and kind every step of the way.

I know I repeat myself alot, but mean lungers or people who run the crap out of horses to tire them out really irk me.
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