Lunging problems - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Lunging problems

Ever since I got a round pen i've been free lunging my QH. But now my round pen is covered with black ice! So I have to lunge him in his pasture.

When i start him, i always go for a walk then move into a trot. He is perfectly fine when i first start it but then i break it up by weaving through our trees. And when i go back to lunging him he tosses his head and then freaks out because he is swinging the lead rope in his face.

How can I make this problem better?
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 11:02 AM
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Keep the lunge line taught, and send him forwards with a lunge whip.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 01:00 PM
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Ignore it. Really just ignore the head tossing. Give yourself a goal, and go for it. If he resists, urge him on towards your goal. Ignore the shenanigans and ask again. If he throws a fit, make him WORK! If he freaks at the trot, give a quick hard yank on the lunge (to tell him to knock it off) and then send him forward at a canter using your whip. He will most likely quickly get the picture.

You will find that free lunging is very different from lunging with a line, and some horses freak out because of it. If he is genuinely scared of the line, then it will take time and practice for him to get used to it. You can also desensitize him to it by throwing it over him while he is standing, or by tossing it while he is stopped, or shaking it and then praising him. He will soon realize the line is not going to eat him.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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but what if he bucks?
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by whispering willow View Post
but what if he bucks?
What kind of buck? Happy buck, or pissed off buck? If my horse pissed off bucks on a lunge line, I make him work his a$$ off, usually twice as hard as what I originally intended for him. I snap the whip and make them move, as I would in a round pen. BUT my horses do not run through the line, and unless you have trained him to not be afraid of the line, and to give to pressure and pay attention, he very well may run through your line if you go after him like that.

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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but you shouldn't want them to be scared of the whip?...but i don't use a whip, i use the other end of the rope and swing it in circles.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 01:48 PM
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but you shouldn't want them to be scared of the whip?...but i don't use a whip, i use the other end of the rope and swing it in circles.
NO! NEVER use fear as a training tool. They should not be afraid of anything. They should understand it as an extension of your arm. A willing, well trained horse will respond to a whip better than one who is afraid.

Using the other end is just fine, it works too, with a trained horse. You may want to get a whip (I use a dressage whip) and use it just as an extension of your arm, to keep them moving in the proper direction. It gives more control and stronger cues to stop the silly stuff.

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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He used to be a school horse, and he was awesome at lunging but i've been free lunging him for a while. I do have a lunge whip but i'de have to search for it in my loft :S is it only best to use a lunge whip?
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by whispering willow View Post
He used to be a school horse, and he was awesome at lunging but i've been free lunging him for a while. I do have a lunge whip but i'de have to search for it in my loft :S is it only best to use a lunge whip?
If he is being a butt, then I would go back to it, at least til you get his bucking problem in order. If you find that, after it is fixed, you can go back to not using it, then go for it. But if he is giving you troubles without it, then yes, use it on him to get his mind back on you and the task at hand.

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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okay thanks so much!
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