lunging problems! tips and advice please - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 07-29-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb lunging problems! tips and advice please

Okay so I have a welsh pony who is 12.2 and around 500 pounds. I got her about a month ago and really fallen in love with her. I orginally got her as a pasture companion/pet for when I get my horse within the next 3 months. And when our pasture and stable is ready at our property. Right now I am boarding her. She is young and has not been ridden much since her previous owners purchased her only as companion as well. I do much groundwork even though she is only going to be a companion because I still need her to be respectable and handable. She is also very lean. The last owners underfed her and she never had any grazing time. So since I had her she has put on weight. But now I really need to build muscle in her hind, back, and neck.

So anyways! I'm starting to lunge her. They told me she mostly free lunged when they lunged her and rarely lunged her on line. So recently I started working with her in the round pen without a lunge or lead line. I sent her out and she took off in a trot on her left side. I don't need to do ANYTHING for her to keep going. She just keeps troting sometimes breaking into a canter and back to a trot. She would not walk, no whoa, no turns. Just troting and canter on the edge of the round pen. My body language doesn't even matter with her. I could lay down and she would still keep going. For me to stop her, I have to step directly in front of her saying "WHOA" and even then it's not an instant stop. She takes a few steps. my other problem is that I can't get her to free lunge on her right side. If I get her to turn, she will quickly turn back to the left side.

So I am working with a trainer, and I am starting her on a lunge line on her right side. She gets very uncomfortable. I get her to go out on the line by holding the line out and saying walk on. Im slowly teaching her to know "trot-trot" and evenually canter. But even on the line to get her whoa, I hold the line up. Relax my body language and say whoa. Sometimes she gets it (lots of praise) and other times she just slows and takes a few steps then stops. When she just slows and takes steps how do I inforce her to "whoa"? When she doesn't whoa, I've been snapping the line just a little to get all her four feet to stop. Then praise. But I really want to know if there is a better way.

Thank You!! Please any tips on her free-lunging "left side" problem and lunging in general would be great!
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post #2 of 2 Old 07-29-2012, 11:23 PM
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She has probably been pushed hard in there. I would take her in, stand in the middle and let her run it out. You just stay there, no pressure, not even looking at her. When she stops give her lots of love, halter her and walk out. Eventually she will not associate the round pen with running like a looney. When she finally relaxes ask her to trot gently, then pressure off. Not for long maybe a lap or two and ask her to walk. Keep building on that.

As for stopping a lunge line comes in handy here. I start on a small circle and when I say woah I disengage the hind quarters and have them face me. Send them out again and do it over. And over. And over. I guess similar to parelli, but I'm sure he would charge you $50 just to say the name of the "game".

As for going left its as simple as making her go left. Cut her off and really send her the other way. If a horse tries to runs past I pick a spot a little more then opposite them and cut them off there. When they come screeching to a halt and turn and go the other way I like to add a departing pop with my whip on thief butts. They know I have it and I'm not afraid to use it. To me if they are close enough to get whacked with the whip I whack them. Unless I ask them to be close there is not reason for them to be in my bubble!

Also, make sure you are really driving from behind, especially left! Definitely stay behind the shoulders but left I would say more towards the flank. If she turns around you will have a better chance of cutting her off.
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canter , lunging , pony , trot , whoa

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