Lunging/training issues

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Lunging/training issues

This is a discussion on Lunging/training issues within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Lunging horse highly strung
  • Why do some horse trainers not believe in lunging

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  • 1 Post By gottatrot

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    02-06-2013, 11:30 PM
Question Lunging/training issues

Hello me lovelies! I'm just looking for some suggestions on lunging, my horse is a hot-headed thoroughbred mare. She is exceedingly high strung and spastic. Not to mention some attitude problems. Basically whenever I ask her to canter on the lungeline she has major bucking fits, then she balks and spins around to run at me. Generally I attempt to push her back and move her onwards to keep her moving but it has become a recurring event. I do believe the more I lunge the better she gets but she still blows up on me every time without fail. Anyways, obviously if I can't get her to respect me from the ground then there's little hope once I'm actually on her. If I even think about cantering undersaddle it becomes a bucking, jumping, headtossing fit. I do think the key is just consistent working. Any friendly advice? I work with her often and am persistent and I do everything in my power to keep her from pushing me around. Also I should add telling me to hire a proffessional is not exactly the advice I'm seeking. I'm almost certain that her attitude is not caused by pain/discomfort. So those of you with training advice and experience please share any tips and tricks you might have up your sleeve. Thanks for your time!
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    02-06-2013, 11:41 PM
Welcome to the forum, We love pics here!! Please feel free to share you're pony pics

As for your question. There are SO many places to start with this. Yes TBs are hotter than average horses, but there are many factors that add to heat.
What is her daily schedule?
How much turn out and other exercise has she got?
How much time cooped up in a stall?
What is she getting as far as feed (please be real specific- weights and brands)
What supplements?
How long have you had her - how old is she?
What was her previous life - did she race?

My next BIG thought is pain - bucking under saddle usually to me SCREAMS pain issue. Have you had her thoroughly checked by a vet, dentist, chiropractor? Saddle fitter? Is pain 100% ruled out?

I'm happy to help more just think there are too many possible explanations to really dig into one route.
    02-07-2013, 03:23 AM
There are a few possibilities for why your horse is behaving this way. It is up to you to figure out why.

One possibility is that your horse is dominant and is testing to see if she can get you to move away from her by her body language. If this is the case, you need to stand firm and not let her bluff you, insisting she finishes what you ask.

Another possibility is that she does not have good balance and muscle tone yet and is uncomfortable cantering, especially on a small circle. This would mean she needs a lot more slower work until she is stronger before moving to the canter.

Another reason she could act this way is that you are too "loud" with your body language and/or lunge whip or rope and it is making her frightened enough to over react and "freak out." In this case, backing way off on the cues and starting out slowly may help.

If she is spinning in to face you because she is green, she just needs more time to understand exactly what you are asking. Many green horses that have not been lunged take some time learning that you mean for them to go around and round. If they are hot bloods, they can get too excited the first few times and especially not understand the concept of continuing on a circle instead of rushing off in a line.

My first guess would be a balance issue or excitement since she does this under saddle too. If it were about dominating you with body language, that wouldn't affect the canter under saddle.
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    02-07-2013, 08:49 AM
She was bred to run whether or not she got to the track. These horses like to go somewhere, not in mindless circles. I think you need to rethink how you lunge. Why not ask for just the walk, just a few circles each way until she begins to relax. When she does, stop lunging her. Give her a break for a few minutes by turning your back to her. Then ask again for the walk. The sessions will be brief. Only when she can relax at the walk do you ask for the trot. Just make a click sound and keep the whip low. Even if you get only a few trot steps that's ok s long as she remains relaxed, then ask again. You need to think in a teaching mode, not a demanding mode. She is rebelling because you put too much pressure on her.
    02-07-2013, 10:37 AM
Thanks for the input, I think the most likely thing is she is uncomfortable and doesn't have the muscle to canter in a small lunging circle. She is definitely not the most "sure-footed" horse so I kind of think that's the main issue. When she does balk and turn at me like she wants to charge, I don't let her and it's becoming less frequent. I appreciate all of your advice!

balking, bucking, canter problems, lunging

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