Lunging question - Green horse now rearing
 
 

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Lunging question - Green horse now rearing

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  • How to stop a green horse from bolting on the lunge
  • How to lunge a green horse

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    04-28-2013, 11:59 AM
  #1
Foal
Lunging question - Green horse now rearing

Hello everyone,
As some of you know we recently brought home a 5yo paint gelding to keep our Mini company. He is very green, hasn't been taught much more than being a pasture buddy. Although the previous owner had told us, and showed us, that she would lead rope people around on his back, it didn't take long to realize he hadn't been taught much else.
I have been working him on ground manners and he is doing great, he respects my space now and stands perfectly for grooming/handling. I decided to try to lunge him a few weeks ago, surprise surprise, he had NO CLUE what I was asking him to do! I did eventually get him to go around to the left but he would be pulling so hard on the line he would pull me all around. I decided to try a chain over his nose, which worked immediately. It seems the pressure from it when he pulled stopped him from pulling me and I was able to stay in the same spot in the middle of the lunge circle. Once we got left down, just at a walk/trot with many successful "whoas", I decided to try to the right.
To the right he began racing, until I put the pressure on the nose chain. Then he decided he just wouldn't go. (I am using a stick with a flag on the end that he seems scared of) I was able to get him moving again, and it sent him into a fit which lead to him rearing, pulling, bolting, and then just plain stopping and looking at me snorting.
Now every time I lunge him, he is so-so to the left, and rears and throws a fit to the right. I am trying to end each time on a good note, but the last session I couldn't get him to go once to the right without him rearing. He would keep going forward after, but we never completed a circle without a rear.
What do I do? And what am I doing wrong?
Thanks in advance for advice
     
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    04-28-2013, 12:28 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Without a video, its hard to say what's wrong. Could you get someone more experienced or a trainer to help you in person?
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    04-28-2013, 12:35 PM
  #3
Banned
Rearing is a result of no forward movement - which could be caused by a plethora of reasons. I would get rid of the flag and find a nice long lunging whip so you have some reach to get behind him and push him forward. If he's terrified if the flag you're only going to have an anxious horse who's ability to learn anything is overshadowed by his fear of the flag.
     
    04-28-2013, 12:36 PM
  #4
Trained
Are you longeing him with the chain over his nose? If you are, stop, that causes rearing. Sounds like you need some hands on help with longeing.
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    04-28-2013, 12:44 PM
  #5
Foal
Thank you Muppet, I do have a short lunge whip but it was not working. Makes sense to try a long one, as I do believe the flag does make him more anxious. I tried it out and it worked to actually get him moving, but I will see if I can pick up a long lunge whip today and try that. I am just super concerned I am going to teach him rearing gets him out of working, and I know a horse that chooses that method can be extremely dangerous when you start saddle work.
USA, I agree, I will see if there are any trainers in my area. Again I don't want to teach him things that are harder to unlearn later. I will see if we can get a video of his behavior when we work him today, if so I will post it up tonight.
Thank you both for your help, I appreciate any advice you can offer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
Rearing is a result of no forward movement - which could be caused by a plethora of reasons. I would get rid of the flag and find a nice long lunging whip so you have some reach to get behind him and push him forward. If he's terrified if the flag you're only going to have an anxious horse who's ability to learn anything is overshadowed by his fear of the flag.
     
    04-28-2013, 12:47 PM
  #6
Foal
Waresbear, yes I started this yesterday again to see if it would stop his intense pulling. I couldn't stay stationary in the middle, he was pulling me all over the field. When I used the chain, the first time he pulled, he stopped immediately. But if it is causing the rearing, then I won't do it again. Any suggestions of how else to stop him from yanking me all over?
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
Are you longeing him with the chain over his nose? If you are, stop, that causes rearing. Sounds like you need some hands on help with longeing.
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    04-28-2013, 12:54 PM
  #7
Trained
When I first start teaching a horse to lunge I wait until I have a 2nd person to help me. I will stand in the middle and have them walk the horse out to where he needs to be on the circle, then I give the normal cue for what I want him to do. The 2nd person helps him by walking him, like he's on the lead for a little while. After we make a couple of circles that way, I have the person just let go and see if the horse will keep going on the circle. If the try to come in we just walk them back out. In one session I can usually get them to understand:
1. Basic whip cues
2. Go out to the circle
3. Stay out on the circle
4. Walk forward
5. Trot forward
6. Whoa

If I have an anxious horse or one who just seems to have a little more trouble getting it than others, I'll stop on a good note at any point in the training and come back to it later. The 2nd person kind of acts like a security blanket and reinforces my cues without having to snap the whip or making them anxious. I usually only need the 2nd person for a day, but if necessary we'll go back to 2 person lunging if the horse hits a wall.
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    04-28-2013, 01:03 PM
  #8
Foal
Pat,
Thank you for this, it sounds like great advice! I do have a second hand, we will try this today with him. Now for safety-sake, I do have a question about this. Obviously I will not use the flag as it does get him worked up, should I still use a plain whip? Or will just the hand cue work? (I am using Julie Goodnight's lunge methods, point in the direction you want him to go with one hand and use the whip in the other hand to move him that way) Like I posted earlier, I have a short lunge whip but can make a trip to go get a long one. I am just concerned for the person next to him if he acts up from sight of the whip Again, thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
When I first start teaching a horse to lunge I wait until I have a 2nd person to help me. I will stand in the middle and have them walk the horse out to where he needs to be on the circle, then I give the normal cue for what I want him to do. The 2nd person helps him by walking him, like he's on the lead for a little while. After we make a couple of circles that way, I have the person just let go and see if the horse will keep going on the circle. If the try to come in we just walk them back out. In one session I can usually get them to understand:
1. Basic whip cues
2. Go out to the circle
3. Stay out on the circle
4. Walk forward
5. Trot forward
6. Whoa

If I have an anxious horse or one who just seems to have a little more trouble getting it than others, I'll stop on a good note at any point in the training and come back to it later. The 2nd person kind of acts like a security blanket and reinforces my cues without having to snap the whip or making them anxious. I usually only need the 2nd person for a day, but if necessary we'll go back to 2 person lunging if the horse hits a wall.
     
    04-28-2013, 01:22 PM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoGoJoeGranny    
Pat,
Thank you for this, it sounds like great advice! I do have a second hand, we will try this today with him. Now for safety-sake, I do have a question about this. Obviously I will not use the flag as it does get him worked up, should I still use a plain whip? Or will just the hand cue work? (I am using Julie Goodnight's lunge methods, point in the direction you want him to go with one hand and use the whip in the other hand to move him that way) Like I posted earlier, I have a short lunge whip but can make a trip to go get a long one. I am just concerned for the person next to him if he acts up from sight of the whip Again, thank you!
I use a long lunge whip, but a short one will work while you have the 2nd person. Actually, once the horse is trained, your finger will work. Take the bag off the whip, and for now, just point in the direction you're going and I cluck once for a walk, twice for a trot. I start with the walk and get them consistent with cluck, walk and whoa before I move up to trot. So, I'd stand in the middle, cluck once and say, "Walk" to get the horse walking and have the person at the head start walking out to the circle. If the horse didn't follow, they can grab the halter and once you cluck, then they cluck and walk. If they will walk out by circling and expanding the circle the horse seems to get it pretty quickly. Have them walk beside the horse for a couple of circles, then whoa. Again, if the horse doesn't whoa, they can either hold the halter or the end of the lunge line and reinforce the command. Do that to the left 2 or 3 times, then whoa and have the head person turn the horse to the right when you say, "Reverse", and walk off that way. No chains, no flags, no fuss or anxiety, the horse will pick up on it. Keep doing that until the horse is really consistent and that can take several days if the horse is a bit resistant. Once he's consistent, you can add the trot and repeat.

When you're just walking beside him on the ground, you can reinforce a lot of the cues just by repeating them while he's on the lead. So, when you start to lead him from the stall, stop at the door and say, "Whoa". Then cluck and say, "Walk" and step out and walk a few steps and then say, "Whoa" and do that a few times between the stall and the wash rack or the tie rail, wherever you are going. Then do something he likes, like hand grazing for a few minutes, then do it all again. Just make it a habit to always, cluck and verbalize the command so that it just becomes a habit for him. Basic, basic, basic until he gets it.
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    04-28-2013, 01:26 PM
  #10
Started
Having done a huge amount of ground work with my mustangs and trained both of them to longe properly, hopefully I can help.

Equipment:
-- I would advise using a rope halter because it will give you a little more power without potentially getting twisted, bunched up, or improperly positioned as a chain frequently can.
-- You haven't mentioned, but I hope you are just starting off with a standard length lead rope (10-12') and not a long longe line. To start off, you want to keep them on a fairly small circle.
-- Gloves! When doing groundwork with a green horse who may overreact, it is important to have gloves which will allow you to hold on tight when neccessary without fear of getting rope burn.
-- A whip or crop (my favorite to start off is a dressage whip) is also helpful for clarity of signals. Your stick with the flag will work too but if these things freak him out, first you ought to desensitize him to it and show him it won't hurt him. This video shows what your horse should be allowing you to do before you use the whip for a lot of work:
Things to understand:
-- My sense is that you are doing too much all at once. To start you won't be "longeing" so much as asking him to walk calmly around in a circle and yield his shoulders to change direction.
-- Part of his being squirrelly to the right may be that he's just not used to having a person working with him from that side. Most people lead from the left, but you should make sure that he is also okay with being led from the right.

Here is a video showing the sorts of things you'll want to be doing before you are "formally" longeing:
Here are some things to note about the video:
-- The handler is looowww energy and chill. She only increases energy when it is necessary to encourage the horse to keep moving or to change direction. Even if your horse is throwing a fit on the end of the line, it is important to keep a firm hold and remain very calm until he figures out that there's really nothing to be creating such a fuss about.
-- Note that as soon as the horse does as she asks (changing direction or speeding up) she becomes passive and allows him to continue on his own.
-- When she changes direction, she swaps which hand is holding the lead rope, backs up to tip the horse's nose towards her, then motions with her opposite hand to encourage him to yield that shoulder and change directions.
-- She introduces a little trot and some backing up later in the video, but I wouldn't start any of this until you have him calmly walking both directions and changing direction.

Once you have him quietly walking and changing direction, you can introduce a bit of trot on the small circle (as in the video). Once all of that is going well, you can start using a longer line and encourage him to move farther out on a larger circle. When he is transitioning between walk/trot and changing direction nicely on the larger circle, you can start to ask for a little canter.

Hopefully that sort of helps.
     

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