lunging question

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lunging question

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  • Lunging on a heavy rope
  • Horse stops and looks at me when i lunge her

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    10-25-2010, 07:03 PM
lunging question

Hello all Iv tried to lunge my horse on a line but either I'm doing something wrong or she just doesn't know how to lunge what she does is she treats it as a lead rope and then when I try to push her and make her run she turns her rear end towards me then I try to get her rear end turned around or trying to get her to move and she just moves further or she'll jump and it turns into a worse situation she knows how to lunge because she will do it in a round pen
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    10-25-2010, 09:11 PM
Are you saying that you want to lunge on a line but not in a round pen? Or are you just looking to teach your horse to lunge anywhere? I think its much easier to lunge without a line at first until you and and the horse get the hang of it. But that doesn't sound like what you are asking.

Most of the time, the horse gets confused because the handler is having difficulty juggling the rope and the whip. First of all, I suggest you get a nylon lunging line instead of a thick, heavy rope. You will also need a traditional lunging whip with a long string. Take the horse into the area you are working (I suggest doing this in a round pen for the time being). Go to the center of the space. Have your line in your right hand and your whip in your left. Step back abruptly from the horse and just behind the horse's shoulder and urge her forward and MEAN it. If the horse makes a move towards you or turns its butt towards you then drive it forward URGENTLY with the whip. You don't have to touch the horse with the whip but you do need to crack it and make it mean business. When the horse moves just be conscious that you are not getting in front of her forward motion. Stay behind her shoulder and drive. Keep feeding her line until she has enough to move out and away from you. Drive her forward for a good bit of time and don't give her time or opportunity to stop until you are clear that it is what you want.

Most of the time its a matter of coordination and the horse needs to get a clear signal. Its really easy to give horses mixed signals and get in front of their movement when first learning to lunge.
    10-25-2010, 10:38 PM
Hey thanks for all of the advice part of my problem may be that im not cordinated haha and I don't hit her with a whip. Unless the sitution warrents it I.e. She tries to kick me and that is my way of saying that is totally unacceptable and not allowed. I have one of those rope lung lines I will have to try a nylon line. When I start out trying lung she will turn her butt towards me and the lung line will be under her or end up under her so I try to get her started and it just doesn't happen if I try cracking the whip she will just bolt a couple of steps and stop. I know what she is doing by turning her butt towards me she is like nope im not doing that I just need a way effectively say yes you are doing it without the situation getting tense.... I also don't have a round pen which also sucks wish I had one
    10-25-2010, 11:00 PM
I don't think the material of the lunge line will make a difference. You say she lunges in a roundpen... Are you using a line on her in there? If not, you could be mistaking lunging with running away from you. If you are standing in the center and chasing her to the outside, then making her run in circles without giving cues that associate trotting with trotting, cantering with cantering, stopping with stopping, etc, then that's not really lunging.
    10-26-2010, 12:00 AM
If you ask the horse to go forward and she turns her butt toward you; either you are trying to move her by pushing energy against her head, which would naturally make her move it away from you, leaving her butt facing you.
OR, she is showing you some bad attitude, and that has to be addressed.
If you push her forward by applying energy just behind her shoulder/girth (right where your leg would give the "go" cue) , use your body cues like a slight step toward her raise the hand that is closer to her hindend and "push" her forward with your body energy. YOu have to really MEAN it. Your INTENTION is manifested in how you step toward her and "lift" up your mental energy) If she doesn't move , then you must apply MORE energy, and use the whip. This doesn't mean you have to hit her, but you have to make an impression. Either crack it, or smack the ground or whatever, but you have to get big and mean it. Of course she will bolt forward. Does'nt matter, you asked her to go forward and she did! Now, you try again with a softer ask and more focus on her going forward in a Non-bolt gait. If she still bolts, just keep at it and remember to be as soft as you can but as big as necessary to get a CHANGE. You kind of spiral up in your intensity of asking. Do it like a level One, then a level three and then a level Ten! But always start with a level one low energy and body cues only (no whip). Whip is only for backup if necessary, tho you can keep it THERE, just keep it pointed downward to the sand.
When you start out lunging, don't worry about which gait or the quality of the gait you get. Just get the horse to respect your request to go forward. When you have that, QUIT for the day.
Next day review the "go" stuff and see if you can slow the bolting horse down to a trot and keep it for a bit. Do'nt dull your horse out by running them in endless circles. As you get better at lunging, keep it short and interesting with lots of changes in speed and direction.

As many have said, lunging is an art in itself.
    10-26-2010, 12:11 AM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
As many have said, lunging is an art in itself.
Agreed. And it can be very difficult because you are not right there with the horse. The horse has to understand your body language.
    10-26-2010, 11:25 AM
My horse had a hard time with this too. I had to start by focusing my energy BEHIND him. Slowly I was able to move up and focus energy on this butt, then his girth. But I had to start by focusing on the area just behind him to get forward moment. Watch some videos on lunging and watch others do it and see what their body language looks like. Lunging is all about body language!
    10-26-2010, 11:58 AM
The material of the lunge line is only relevant in that I find that thin line to be a lot easier to manage in my hand than the thick cotton rope. Just from a coordination standpoint. But that will be a personal preference.
    10-26-2010, 11:25 PM
I had a horse that when you lunged her you had to make sure you were in a certain spot and moving with her. If I was to move out of my "position" she would turn and look at me, ready to go the other way. This may be how your horse is trained as well. It was difficult for me at first to adjust but now I do it with every horse I lunge. If I were to move forward (before her shoulder) is when she would turn at look at me. But if I stayed around her girth area she would do fine. If I moved moved towards her hip she would speed up.
    10-27-2010, 12:51 AM
I lunge a little different than many folks do. If I want the horse to walk forward, along with pushing the horse forward from the girth area or the bum, I will physically walk myself in a circle (much, much smaller) that mirrors her circle, keeping care not to get in front of her drive line. That's the invisible line just behind her shoulder where pressure behind means go forward, but if I push too far forward of that line I will signal her to slow down or stop or even turn away from the pressure.
Anyway, I don't stand in the middle, I walk around a tiny cirlcle If I want the horse to speed up, I raise my own energy and walk faster. If I ask for a canter, I raise up my energy, stand taller and walk briskly, if I want her to slow, I slow myself down and exhale out some of my energy to invite her to also breathe and slow down. My energy mirrors the energy I want my horse to display. If I stop my feet, in essense I have just told the horse to stop and I will then want to reinforce that with a shake of the rope, of if she isn't listening, then I would step in front of her line of travel and STOP her.

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