Lunging...Issues
   

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Lunging...Issues

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  • Horse lunging issues
  • Horse lunge issues

 
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    03-25-2010, 05:16 PM
  #1
Foal
Lunging...Issues

I went looking for other threads on the specific problem I am having and couldnt find any.

I have a Thoroughbred that I am starting to work and get back in shape. He is older, Probably 17-20 years old. He was a rescue and his tattoo was so badly damaged by mouth ulcers we can't read it.

Anyways, he just got over a foot abcsess and now I have begun working him again.

I have started with some lunging. I don't lunge for long periods, usually 30 minutes max so as not to put any unnecessary stress on already aging joints.

So here is the problem. He hates it, I guess.....

I can usually ONLY get him going in one direction. IF I can manage to keep him going, and manage to keep myself behind the girth he'll walk, trot and canter in the counter clockwise direction.

When I want to change directions, I slow him and let him come in to me. I rub and tell him how well he did and then try to get him moving in the other direction.

He WILL NOT allow me to get behind him in any way to push him off into the lunge. He CONSTANTLY faces towards me. I can literally RUN circles to try and get behind the girth, and he just turn and faces me.
I have tried THROWING the lunge whip to side of him, and then like trick him in to thinking I'm just rubbing him and then get behind him, but he then Pins his ears and either A) immediately turns toward me again, or B) Runs AT me and threatens to run me over.
I say threatens because he has never actually DONE it, but he REALLY thinks about it.

I've tried having someone else lunge him...No Good.

I've tried having someone else LEAD him, and then get him trotting, and then slowly back up until they can exit the circle, the moment they are 2 feet from him, he turns in and faces me.

I'm at a loss, and frankly, more than a little frustrated.

Oh, I didnt mention once we stop the lunging in the direction he WILL go, he wont do it again. I can get him to go counter clockwise, but the moment he stops after the initial lunging, he wont do it again.

<< that's me when I'm done. Just sayin...lol
     
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    03-25-2010, 05:21 PM
  #2
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlabamaHorseMom    
I went looking for other threads on the specific problem I am having and couldnt find any.

I have a Thoroughbred that I am starting to work and get back in shape. He is older, Probably 17-20 years old. He was a rescue and his tattoo was so badly damaged by mouth ulcers we can't read it.

Anyways, he just got over a foot abcsess and now I have begun working him again.

I have started with some lunging. I don't lunge for long periods, usually 30 minutes max so as not to put any unnecessary stress on already aging joints.

So here is the problem. He hates it, I guess.....

I can usually ONLY get him going in one direction. IF I can manage to keep him going, and manage to keep myself behind the girth he'll walk, trot and canter in the counter clockwise direction.

When I want to change directions, I slow him and let him come in to me. I rub and tell him how well he did and then try to get him moving in the other direction.

He WILL NOT allow me to get behind him in any way to push him off into the lunge. He CONSTANTLY faces towards me. I can literally RUN circles to try and get behind the girth, and he just turn and faces me.
I have tried THROWING the lunge whip to side of him, and then like trick him in to thinking I'm just rubbing him and then get behind him, but he then Pins his ears and either A) immediately turns toward me again, or B) Runs AT me and threatens to run me over.
I say threatens because he has never actually DONE it, but he REALLY thinks about it.

I've tried having someone else lunge him...No Good.

I've tried having someone else LEAD him, and then get him trotting, and then slowly back up until they can exit the circle, the moment they are 2 feet from him, he turns in and faces me.

I'm at a loss, and frankly, more than a little frustrated.

Oh, I didnt mention once we stop the lunging in the direction he WILL go, he wont do it again. I can get him to go counter clockwise, but the moment he stops after the initial lunging, he wont do it again.

<< that's me when I'm done. Just sayin...lol
30mins is actually equivalent to well over an hour of riding...if you're 'really' longeing.

Anyway, quite typical for horses to have issues in the clockwise direction. Have you ever led him from the right side? Bet he doesn't do that either. Your problem stems from him being handled always from the left side, as it is with most horses. So, start by teaching him to lead from the off side.

I'd have to see you longeing him to give you any more advice specific to your situation.
     
    03-25-2010, 05:26 PM
  #3
Foal
I can lead him from the Right. I can also mount from the right side too. So I don't think that has anything to do with it.

With him being as out of shape as he is, we are only doing walking and jogging on the lunge at this point.

I appreciate the help though!
     
    03-25-2010, 05:30 PM
  #4
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlabamaHorseMom    
I can lead him from the Right. I can also mount from the right side too. So I don't think that has anything to do with it.

With him being as out of shape as he is, we are only doing walking and jogging on the lunge at this point.
Well, then start leading him from the right and walking him as if longeing just on a much shorter line, and slowly let the line out, maintaining the correct position.
     
    03-25-2010, 05:39 PM
  #5
Weanling
I agree with the above advice. Get him used to being led around both sides.

With my gelding, he was violent when it came to longeing in the counter-clockwise direction (his weak side). I mean flat-out offensive, striking out and kicking.

We managed to overcome this from first leading him around in small circles using the lead rope, not the longe line. Eventually graduated to having him walk in very small circles on the lead rope, in his favoured direction. Nothing from a distance, and just walking. A lot of this, in short bursts at first (nothing longer than 15 mins), as to keep it fresh. At this point I worked on getting him to "WHOA" -- meaning once I gave that voice cue, he was to stand exactly where he was and not follow me.

Once this was established, and I was able to walk to his other side without him turning in to me, I could ask him to walk in both directions. Eventually we graduated to actually using the longe line and slowly increasing the distance, but I feel that getting him to know what whoa meant was important to being able to get on his "bad" side -- because before, much like your horse he would try to be crafty and not let me get on his other side to direct him. Now he is walking, halting and trotting on voice in both directions. I'm working on getting him to be able change directions now without me having to stop him and physically get on his other side.

Just saying, don't give up hope, you'll be able to correct this. I'm no trainer, this is just from my own experience. The key is to be consistent...and for my horse, lots of praise when he did something right. When he trotted, I'd stop him after two circles and then give praise. Then I'd keep him trotting for longer periods of time before stopping. Before he'd prbably only trot half a circle before having a fit.
     
    03-25-2010, 05:42 PM
  #6
Weanling
Some retired race horses have troubles going in a clockwise direction, as they usually race counter clockwise. After a race, the jockey's change to a clockwise direction, indicating the horse is done with their work. I might try lunging him in a clockwise direction first, at least for awhile, to help your TB to understand that he needs to work in both directions.

Most people halter, lead, bridle, tack up, and start grooming on the left side. Try to make a point in using both sides of your horse as equally as possible. Turn the halter inside out and halter him from the off side. Practice leading from the off side, moving his haunches away from both sides, etc. Basically, everything you do on one side of him, mirror on the other. My gelding Scotch was a very one-sided horse like your TB gelding, and I had to teach him everything twice--once on the on side, once on the off side. I can now tack him up, lead him, mount him, and lunge him from both sides--it takes a lot of patience, but your TB can do it if you stick with him.

Do not let him face you when you switch directions or stop--more often than not the horse will try to make this decision for you. One of my geldings was trained by his previous owner to come in whenever he was asked to stop lunging...it can put you in a dangerous situation. Instead, you walk up to the horse and lead him around to face in the opposite direction.

The moment he starts turning to face you, toss the whip at his shoulder. Don't hit him or anything, just try to 'push' his shoulder away, keeping him in his track. Praise him verbally when he is going. This will probably take a lot of patience, but if you stick with it, your TB will catch on.
     
    03-25-2010, 05:43 PM
  #7
Foal
Thank you so much! I am definitely going to try all the advice!

He's a great horse, and I love him to death. He's just...special I guess...lol
     
    03-25-2010, 06:47 PM
  #8
Banned
We also have this problem with my OTTB....the trick is to get his forequarters moving away from you when he tries to face inward. Try working in smaller increments, TB's learn best in short sessions. Do his hardest direction first, and even if it takes fourty five minutes to get two complete circles around you, stop whenever he's done two circles. Then ask for 2 circles in the other direction, and call it a day.

Also, do you have access to a round pen? I've found that Ice is a nightmare on a lunge line, but free lunging him in a round pen works much better.
     

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