lunging questions

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lunging questions

This is a discussion on lunging questions within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        02-08-2007, 02:26 PM
    lunging questions

    I haven't been lunging for too long, so have some questions about it...

    Can you hook your lunge line right to the bit...or should you always use a caveson?

    How do you teach your horse the difference between asking for a trot or asking for a canter? She understands that I want her to quicken her pace from a walk, but sometimes she'll break right into a fast trot or a canter when I really just want her to trot.
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        02-09-2007, 09:03 AM
    When I lunge I clip the lunge rein on one side of the bit, put the lunge rein up over the headpiece and then thread through the bit on the other side, then lunge from this side, obviously when you change the rein you have to change the side it is clipped to. Never had a problem doing it like this.
    I find that most horses quickly learn whether you want them to trot or canter by the way you use your voice. I say "ter- rot" very short and sharp for trot and a longer "caaaaannn -ter" in a higher voice for canter. Lots of praise when they get it right and quickly correct them when they get it wrong. If the trot is too fast I say "steady" quite drawn out and softly.
    This works for me, hope it helps
        02-09-2007, 10:22 AM
    Thanks, I heard that before about the bit, threading it through and thought that was the way to do it. But recently I saw someone just clip it to the bit and lunge and I thought "she's not supposed to do that" I asked her why and she looked at me like "mind your own business, I've been doing this longer than you" ---by a year... anyway, the thread-through is what I always thought to do, so thank you.

    I need to add that my girl is a standardbred....that means she paces and I want to teach her to do an even trot without pacing. We ride western, but rein working on teaching her neck reining.
        02-10-2007, 12:23 PM
    I would not hook the lunge on the bit, especially for a horse still learning to lounge correctly. It puts too much unneeded pressure in his mouth and can discourage forwardness and contact. A simple halter is fine.
        02-12-2007, 09:02 AM
    I wouldnt recommend lunging off the bit either, it is best to use a well fitting halter or a cavesson as Kristy has suggested.
    When teaching a horse to lunge they need to learn simple voice commands which can also be applied to riding. Short commands like 'Move On' and 'Wooo' are the easiest to start off with. If you are having trouble with the horse going too fast put some trotting poles down and when she's going to fast just say in a calm voice 'Easy" and so on.
    I found with mine that I don't even use a lunge whip, it tends to make them go to fast even when pointed away (these are TBs off the track). I just use the excess of the lunge line gently tossing it toward there rump to keep them going in the desired gait etc. All the best
        02-12-2007, 07:54 PM
    Yes Razeal, I also stopped using the whip so much, as being a racing stb, she was whip trained and that meant to go faster. It also seems to make her really nervous.
    I lunged yesterday before a ride and she did ok. She reared at one point, but only a half rear and when I gave her more slack, she went on better.
        02-12-2007, 08:33 PM
    I use a clucking sound as the trot cue and a kiss for a canter. Use whatever works for you but be consistent.
        02-13-2007, 10:27 AM
    Horses understand tone of voice, not necessarily the words you use. When asking for a transition, ask in higher pitched voice. Separate the words by emphasizing on syllables. For example, pronounce canter as two words, can-ter. This distinguishes between trot (one word). When transitioning down, go to a lowered voice and drag out the word. When asking for a halt, ask in lowered drawn out voice and discontinue eye contact. If the horse is truly paying attention and acting under submission, the horse will eventually come to a halt after losing eye contact. When asking to speed up but merely stay in the same gait, I kiss or cluck - no voice commands, this is confusing. If the horse is ignoring all my request and simply keeps rushing forward, I cut them off with the whip, make them stop and then allow them to proceed. If they ignore me, I cut them off again. They soon pay attention. If they are exceptionally energetic and ignoring my commands, I send them forward forward forward. Soon they will appreciate my request to transition down rather then run through them. Practice these commands, it takes time. Remember consistency. If you ask for a canter and they break to a trot without you asking, command cantering again and allow them to trot on your terms.
        02-13-2007, 10:29 AM
    Also, cutting your horse off with the whip if they rush may be beneficial by soon understanding the whip sometimes does not mean faster. And if you have a round pen, I would suggest free lunging.
        02-13-2007, 10:32 AM
    Thank you kristy, that all makes sense and helps a lot. I don't have a round pen yet... Am saving money for one, but have a nice end on my paddock that is squared, but a good size for lunging and can do it there for now. And since she doesn't pull on me, have lunged her a lot right in the field. She's good for me and stops when I say to stop...for the most part.

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