Lunging suggestions
 
 

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Lunging suggestions

This is a discussion on Lunging suggestions within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • lunge a hot horse before riding
  • Why do we break horses in using lunging

 
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    04-23-2009, 09:51 AM
  #1
Weanling
Lunging suggestions

I got my TB about a month ago and set out a plan.

1. Ground work
2. Lunge
3. Side Reins on Lunge
4. Ride

After a week I already felt a connection with him so I took him out to lunge which the previous owner told me he knew how to.

He did great the direction he knows best from racing but the other way was a challenge. I started him slow and just walked him around in the opposite direction then walking him in a close circle by his shoulder.
He got it quick!

Next time I went out its like he is TERRIFIED to lunge. He turns his butt in and grunts and starts backing up with his head high.

I'm no lunging expert I stand at his shoulder and tell him move out and he swings his butt around.

My friend told me to try the lunging whip and tapping his shoulder out. He started freaking out again. He gets so tense and just stands and looks at me and his heart pounds.

I gave up and skipped lunging all together and just rode him the past two weeks and he does GREAT! Its like he wants to skip all that and just ride. But I really want him to get in the side reins to build up his neck. Could I do that while being mounted? I tried giving more pressure in the bit and he has a habit of backing out of things just like he does on the lunge. He'll stop and start side stepping and backing up.

So last weekend I tried the lunge again. This time MY WAY - I didnt do what people have been telling me..
I gave him all the lead he needs. I know this can be dangerous but he starts backing up when I'm close to him.

So I stood back and he looked at me and I waited. I just calming told him come on walk on and he did! I guess this is the answer for now. My friend told me I still need to show him the whip and the lunge line at his shoulders. But standing back and waiting for him then praising seems to work. Buttt when I asked for the trot he got scared again and turned his butt in. Its like his way of backin out..ugh so frustrating I don't know if I should just skip the lunging part and just ride since he is good to get on him and walk/trot. But what other ways can I build his skinny neck if we can't get side reins on him?
     
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    04-23-2009, 10:03 AM
  #2
Weanling
Have you tried ground driving him with the side reins on? You could see if that would work. Hope that helps.
     
    04-23-2009, 10:46 AM
  #3
Weanling
Side-reins will only make your horse more stuck. You don't need side-reins.
What you need to do as far as lunging goes, you need to back up a few steps. Do some desensitizing exercises. Teach him to tolerate the whip touching him at the standstill, walk and trot. Both directions. Teach him to tolerate the rope, standstill, walk and trot, both directions again. You need to take your time, forget about the side reins, forget about lunging.
Your horse needs to learn to quietly move away from indirect pressure (whip, body communication, etc), and also direct pressure(pushing on him, with the halter, etc).
To him, being sent away is too scary. He thinks he's done something to get himself in trouble. You have to break it down for him and teach him that you can send him without him being in trouble, like when you said you waited for him and quietly encouraged him forward.
Teach him to move his shoulders, hind quarters, belly, neck, cheeks when you gently push on them. Push him sideways. Back him up. All these things teach him different ways he can calmly move away from pressure. When horses do not know how to get away, they can sometimes do as your horse does. They get stuck.
Once you can do that successfully, teach him the same things with the use of your whip, or the tail end of your lead rope, gradually doing so while making the space between you bigger.
To fix the haunches coming at you, you push his shoulders away by walking into him, tapping him on the shoulder, and then the second his shoulders move out and away from you, then you walk towards his hind end to get his hind end to yeild, then you go back to the shoulders. If you walk in at his hind end and he doesnt move, bump him on the lead rope.
All these things will help him understand how to move away from pressure.
If you need further explanation, let me know. I have to go feed. Good luck, :)
     
    04-23-2009, 11:01 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by koomy56    
Side-reins will only make your horse more stuck. You don't need side-reins.
What you need to do as far as lunging goes, you need to back up a few steps. Do some desensitizing exercises. Teach him to tolerate the whip touching him at the standstill, walk and trot. Both directions. Teach him to tolerate the rope, standstill, walk and trot, both directions again. You need to take your time, forget about the side reins, forget about lunging.
Your horse needs to learn to quietly move away from indirect pressure (whip, body communication, etc), and also direct pressure(pushing on him, with the halter, etc).
To him, being sent away is too scary. He thinks he's done something to get himself in trouble. You have to break it down for him and teach him that you can send him without him being in trouble, like when you said you waited for him and quietly encouraged him forward.
Teach him to move his shoulders, hind quarters, belly, neck, cheeks when you gently push on them. Push him sideways. Back him up. All these things teach him different ways he can calmly move away from pressure. When horses do not know how to get away, they can sometimes do as your horse does. They get stuck.
Once you can do that successfully, teach him the same things with the use of your whip, or the tail end of your lead rope, gradually doing so while making the space between you bigger.
To fix the haunches coming at you, you push his shoulders away by walking into him, tapping him on the shoulder, and then the second his shoulders move out and away from you, then you walk towards his hind end to get his hind end to yeild, then you go back to the shoulders. If you walk in at his hind end and he doesnt move, bump him on the lead rope.
All these things will help him understand how to move away from pressure.
If you need further explanation, let me know. I have to go feed. Good luck, :)
Thanks for the info. We were doing all of these things and he was doing great. The butt thing is annoying. Its either back up or swing his butt and I can't really do anything about it. As soon as I stand at his shoulder and push his shoulder out he swings his butt around. First time he did this I had my fiance walk on the opposite side near his hide end and he was fine.

I just think he is scared. People who own the barn told me they always break horses and never once lunged. Do I have to lunge him? Could I build his muscle by riding only?
     
    04-23-2009, 11:52 AM
  #5
Trained
I think all horses should be able to lunge. If something were to happen and you can't ride, you want to be able to exercise him in a controlled manner. It's also a good way to look at your horse's movement, you will be able to tell if he's stiff, lame, etc. Horses don't always move the same on their own as they do with a rider. I also suggest ground-driving as opposed to side reins. You want to teach your horse that he wants to hold his head a certain way and carry himself a certain way, not force him to do it. And while you're lunging, I'm assuming he's facing you when he swings his butt out? You don't want to keep the whip at his shoulder, but rather behind him to encourage the "forward" motion. Koomy was probably more helpful, but I figured I would still throw my two cents in. Good luck!
     
    04-23-2009, 12:12 PM
  #6
Yearling
When is it that he starts acting up? At walk? Trot? Lope?...
If he doesn't start acting up until trot or a faster stride, then take a step back in lessons. Let him walk around and around over and over until he gets comfy and relaxed with it. It's better to do this for days, IMO, then to end off on a bad note and allow him to sway you from lounging him. Get him to trust you at walk, and he will be more likely to coopperate later on at faster paces. Good luck! I had an off the track TB as well. I did use side reins on him and I did a lot of turning exercises because he was stiff. He didn't do too bad lounging, though. He was scared of whips, so I would only show him the whip if he wasn't listening. Otherwise it would stay on the ground. I think ground driving is a good suggetion, too. Try to remember, if somethnig isn't going quite right, the best thing to do, is to step back a lesson, and do it over and over until it becomes habbitual for the horse... then try moving forward =) It takes time, but that just gives you more time to bond and build trust.
     
    04-23-2009, 06:48 PM
  #7
Weanling
"I just think he is scared. People who own the barn told me they always break horses and never once lunged. Do I have to lunge him? Could I build his muscle by riding only?"

The answer is yes. You can build up his muscles just as well by riding as you can by lunging. IMO, of your horse doesn't want to lunge and is fine to be ridden, then skip the lunging and ride him! My old cutting horse came from a cattle farm in Wyoming, and he had no idea what lunging was. He was still just as well muscled as any horse that's been training with side reins.
     
    04-23-2009, 07:30 PM
  #8
Yearling
Just ride the horse.....................Lunging is WAY overused.

It has it's place but isn't a "got to do".
     
    04-23-2009, 07:46 PM
  #9
Yearling
I have to agree with the two above... (as long as you have adequate time to ride). For me, lunging (been spelling it wrong) is a personal preference, but not a necessity. I always lunged before rides because I had a hot horse. It also helped teach him my voice commands and he was much more receptive of my voice commands after lounging when I got on him. Like I said earlier, though, my horse wasn't too bad at lunging. Maybe If I had your horse, I would consider going about things differently.
     
    04-23-2009, 09:22 PM
  #10
Weanling
That is why I am lunging. I want Hero to listen to my commands. I have a fiance to help me lunging while I am on him...I think I will stick with that.
He gets too nervous when I am close to him tapping his shoulders. He listens much better when I am up in the saddle. I'll just have to drag my fiance out to lunge me on him lol.
     

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