lunging question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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lunging question

Since I got my mare in October I have only round penned/lunged her 2-3 times. Our round pen is maybe 30' (Pretty sure its smaller) which seems to be uncomfortable for her to lunge in. I don't need to round pen for respect as that is not a problem at all. I want to lunge her because she needs to be worked to get in shape (she is overweight with hardly any muscle and no balance at all) and I want to make working her easier for me (Rather than running with her). I want to lunge her in an open area. She has probably never been lunged besides the 2-3 times I did using the round pen. What are some good ways to go about teaching her to lunge in the open? I haven't tried it yet because I want my trainer present. Lunging out in the open seems a bit trickier than a round pen. I have lunged plenty of horses but they already knew the drill. My mare is very willing, yields to pressure, moves out from me, and she listens very well. We communicate extremely well and I can often cue her with minimal body language. She gets what my looks mean and often that's all it takes. I also know her quirks and how to read her pretty well. I can usually guess how she is going to act just by looking at her when I walk up. She is a really good girl and I know lunging her isnt going to be a huge problem. I am just hoping for some good tips and tricks, things to keep in mind, etc...

Like I said I am going to have my trainer present but I wanna do some homework beforehand. Thanks ahead of time for the advice :)
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 12:31 AM
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Lunging in the open isn't much different than free lunging in a round pen. The difference is you are using a rope confining her to a space instead of the walls of the round pen. She may pull against the rope at first not understanding the invisible confinement. Just bump her nose towards you to get her to come to you a little. Other than that, all your cues would and should be the same.

Edit: I would be cautious about working her too hard too quickly. Remember to slowly get her back into working if she is out of shape. Also if she is not very balanced, be careful about pushing her too hard and that you do it on good footing.
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post #3 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 12:45 AM
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Agreed with above. I don't own a round pen so all my horses learn to lunge without one. Just start of with like a walk or trot so she can get ahold of having the invisible boundary, horses are smart they figure it out quick!

Noey's Herd
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Her balance was my main concern about the round pen. If its the slightest bit wet she slips at the trot (never fallen but makes me fearful to get after her with the lunge whip in case she did) and its not worth a lame horse to me. I have access to a huge empty pasture and am only planning on working her at the walk and trot 10-15 minutes a few times a week and build up from there.

In the round pen she didnt have a clue what to do. She is so out of shape and unbalanced that as soon as she did something right I ended the sessions. I lunged her 3 times I think and then winter hit and I don't feel safe lunging her in the round pen anymore. I doubt anything stuck in those few lessons so Im expecting to have to teach her to lunge all together which is my worry. If she already knew how to lunge I probably wouldn't be asking for advice. But luckily she learns quick and we communicate well. Im expecting the worst but hoping for the best. She has never tested me other than getting pushy in the beginning and space invading also nipped in the bud now but plenty of horses have. So I'm trying to do as much research as possible to be prepared and my trainer will be there but I'm also a firm believer that no one knows everything (my trainer is pretty dang good though)

I guess you could call me a research nut LoL
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppy Barrel Racing View Post
Agreed with above. I don't own a round pen so all my horses learn to lunge without one. Just start of with like a walk or trot so she can get ahold of having the invisible boundary, horses are smart they figure it out quick!
I know its done I just am unsure of how to do it. It sounds easy but I've learned with training horses that its never as easy as you think. So I've changed my reasoning to expect the worse and hope for the best, this way even the worst training sessions go good :)

I want to be confident in my knowledge of how and why before I attempt something. I know the why and I know how in a round pen.I don't think its going to be much different but at the same time you never know :)
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrylove View Post
I know its done I just am unsure of how to do it. It sounds easy but I've learned with training horses that its never as easy as you think. So I've changed my reasoning to expect the worse and hope for the best, this way even the worst training sessions go good :)
I want to be confident in my knowledge of how and why before I attempt something. I know the why and I know how in a round pen.I don't think its going to be much different but at the same time you never know :)
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Your horse may be confused at first you may have to attempt to send her out a few times once you get her out lunge like usual. Just give it a try!
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post #7 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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I'm definitely going to try it cause jogging in hand sucks LoL

She likes to be near me so I am worried about the sending out part. She will move away from me just fine but is always trying to come back.

Any tips or tricks for sending out and staying out?

I'm going to start tomorrow :)
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 01:28 AM
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Turn her away from you tap the base of the neck with your lunge whip. Tap lightly at first but if she doesn't move or comes closer I'd get firm. She may in her confusion try to move into you so If she doesn't just step away keep up the firm concise hits to the neck when she moves point your whip at her shoulder for forward propulsion and to move her farther out let her make a few circles if she's doing good lunge how you normally would you can probably give pressure release and add when needed as usual. Make sense?
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post #9 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 01:35 AM
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If she moves away from you fine, just keep her moving forward which should keep her out. If she does move back into you, send her out again. Many times, the sending away is the hardest part that people have. If she just stands there facing you, swing your rope or stick towards her head and then walk towards her. If she doesn't move by the time you get close enough to hit her, don't feel bad about doing it. You've given her enough warning to move away. It may take a few tries but she will get it.
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-20-2013, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Yea that makes sense and both responses are what I would have done on my own. I'm feeling pretty confident about this all now :)
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