Lunging Problem!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-03-2009, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Lunging Problem!!

My horse keeps taking off when I lunge him. He's totally fine on a line in a round pen but the moment I take him into a bigger pen he takes off running and I cant stop him. He just turns his head out and runs. It only happens when I ask him to lope. Open to any suggestions, cause Im out of ideas.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-03-2009, 08:00 PM
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I had a horse that did the exact thing. I found that voice commands really work. It takes some time to get them completely voice trained, but it works. Also, if you are having problems getting him to stop, a lunge whip may help. Pulling him in tight and putting the whip in front of him should at least help decrease speed.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-03-2009, 08:05 PM
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First of all, what do you lunge him in?

I would put a bridle on him, circingle and side reins. Just so he knows you mean business. You don't need to cinch the side reins up, just enough to maintain contact. Then, you need to reinforce your stop aid/cue. Make sure that comes to second nature to him, along with all of his transitions and then make sure he never thinks about bolting. He knows now that he is capable of doing it, and he will always try. My suggestion would be to always lunge him in the round pen from here on out, till he is very very responsive, and then keep going for longer.

He will probably forget about the habit after a length of time.

Part of the trick, is never letting them know they are capable of the 'naugties'.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-03-2009, 08:12 PM
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My horse used to do that too.

It didn't take too long to fix though.

I'm not sure how long you have been doing this with your horse. I'm going to assume you are just starting?

Is your horse fine with the walk and trot transisitons?

Remember to always start your horse out walking. Work on a good whoa.

Change directions often. Have your horse walk until you see him relaxed. Don't go to a trot even if he is excited or nervous.

Only have the horse do at most 3-4 circles before switching directions.

When he is good and relaxed at the walk add the trot. Same thing for that.

Mix it up, use voice commands. Have him walk, whoa, trot, walk, whoa etc. Mixing it up as you go.

ONLY when your horse is relaxed at both of those gaits, ( this can take several days ) ask for a nice lope.

If you are in an arena do it near the gate at first. Make it easy on you and him. You will gradually with time move away from the gate.

Make sure when you ask for the canter you are not over asking. What I mean by that is gently kiss, don't start kissing like a love sick cow! LOL Gently move your stick and string towards his hindqtrs. If he doesn't move out get a bit more aggresive. Do it in stages.

Again, do transitions. At first he might go into the lope like a banshee, but, the more you do it, the more he will figure out it's not something worth getting excited about.

Ideally you want to ask for that transition when you see your horse relaxing.

If you really concentrate on the walk/trot first you should see a huge improvement when you get to the canter.

Don't worry about how pretty it is at first.

And ALWAYS end your lunging session with him at a nice relaxed walk and whoa.

Edited to add:

I just re-read your post. It seems like your problem is out of the round pen.

Start out having a great lunge in the round pen, if it's not good there, it will be worse out of the pen.

And then start just outside of the round pen. Working your way away from it in stages.

Always go back to the previous comfortable stage if he's getting too worried.

Last edited by Horsegma; 03-03-2009 at 08:16 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-03-2009, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much everyone I will definatly try these tommorow.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-03-2009, 08:25 PM
Green Broke
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Mine does it too, sometimes at a trot. He is young your horse young or just learning? All these are great tips. I am afraid to lunge in the bridle though as if he did turn and take off, ive heard horror stories of the bit doing damage to the mouth. A good tip I was told as well, is shorten your circle (make it smaller) so you have more control. If you're on a huge long line, it's easier for it to get out of control. Also, Make sure you are aware of his/her body language and look for the sign like he's going to spin and then you can pull his head in a bit and keep him moving in the direction you want.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-03-2009, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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He's a eight year old proud cut gelding. But he has a degenerative joint disease and tight circle hurt him so I have to make them rather large circles.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-03-2009, 08:31 PM
Green Broke
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oh shoot.....then I would start out with slow and relaxed like the above poster said and just don't move on until they are relaxed at that stage in the excersise.
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lunging , problems , taking off , training

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