Misbehaving when lunging? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-19-2013, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Misbehaving when lunging?

My horse lunges alright when we just use the lead rope, but once I give him a little more liberty/distance with the lunge line he starts pawing and rearing and bucking. I've tried being assertive with the whip (not hitting him) and the lunge line (wiggling it/jerking it a little), but it just irritates him more and I end up getting nervous and not wanting to do anything else because I don't know how to respond at that point.

He doesn't seem spooked or anything like that, and I really think he's just being a brat. Unfortunately I've let him get away with it so I won't get hurt.
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-19-2013, 06:43 PM
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When he starts to be bad you need to give him a good bop with the whip. Think like this, your the lead mare. You said move please, by just turning your head. He says ok. So he moves. Next time you ask for more movement you pin your ears and he moves off. However when you get to the point where you does not care about your leadership is when he says "Who cares" You need to make him realize that you are still leader, no matter what gait pace or area he is at. When he starts to be bad, smack him with the whip. I know some people dont like to hit horses, but horses in the wild do it all the time. The leader mare asks nice at first but if she does not get what she is looking for from the horse she is asking. She will keep adding more pressure or kick the horse till she gets what she wants. That is what you need to show him. I ask nice at first then it get worse each time. Till you do what I asked the first time. Its like a little kid learning. He keeps screaming because he wants something. Normally the parents just let him scream, he does not get the item and normally gets some punishment. Weather its a time out or sent to sit in the parents room.

Last edited by Freemare; 06-19-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-19-2013, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm not afraid to pop him when he's under saddle, but I really fear that if I pop him when lunging that he'll charge me. That's the only thing that's held me back in this case.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-19-2013, 07:39 PM
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Your nerves/fears of his behavior and possible charging are most likely the biggest problems in my opinion.

Does he have turn out time or is being on the lunge his only chance to get his "silliness" out an exercise other then being ridden?

If it were me I would put him on a lunge and give him the small amount of length within which he behaves (like you mentioned in the OP if he's on just a lead) and slowly give him a little more space. If he bucks or misbehaves I would ask him to stop and go back to a walk or trot within the smaller space. If he's dangerous while closer to you do not be afraid to assert that you are in charge. It's a rare horse that charges a human that is showing discipline, at least in my experience.
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Last edited by Zeke; 06-19-2013 at 07:42 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-19-2013, 10:34 PM
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I used to be afraid of my horse charging me too... and he took advantage of it. I finally decided that enough was enough, and the next time he tried to charge me I ran right back at him at him hitting every part of him I could reach with the lunge whip. There was not a second charge attempt.
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-20-2013, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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He lives in a pasture, so it's not pent up energy. I guess he's just taking advantage of my nerves.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-20-2013, 02:23 AM
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yes, he is. Get someone to help you the first time you decide to change this dynamic. someone who can work with him first, get him to tantrum and snip it in the bud, while you watch. That way , you'll have behavior to model when it comes your turn.

It's scary to be on the ground with a hrose that might be threatening you, and once they know you are scared, it's doubly scary. So, get some help to square things up once or twice and you'll be on your way to doing it yourself, fearlessly!
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-20-2013, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tarpan View Post
I used to be afraid of my horse charging me too... and he took advantage of it. I finally decided that enough was enough, and the next time he tried to charge me I ran right back at him at him hitting every part of him I could reach with the lunge whip. There was not a second charge attempt.

HAHA i just love this
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-20-2013, 08:07 AM
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I'd hold off until you can find someone to help you. Every time you lunge him and he "wins" like this your only reaffirming you place as a follower. It will only be a matter of time until you see this behavior elsewhere.

If any horse is giving me the nasty face I get after them and make their butt RUN around the pen. Same thing if I thought for a second one would charge. If your going to call the buff you better not be bluffing incase he isn't bluffing.

If he does come charging you be ready to defend yourself! Hit him with the halter, chain lead, pitch fork, bucket, lunge whip... Whatever is handy. I would aim for the face!
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-20-2013, 12:11 PM
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My horse actually did this with me this morning because she was being a complete brat, and decided that it was time for her turnout and she didn't wanna work at all. She doesn't buck but when I asked her to move off she jumped and pinned her ears and kicked at me, only the air though. Jerked the chain that was around her nose a little, smacked her on the rump, yelled no, and backed her up at a run around the arena every time she did that. Let's say she got the fear of god put into her once or twice and she had her attitude adjusted and lunged just fine after that.

You just need to establish, and keep the establishment that you're the top dog and there are no questions about it. Don't just chase him around though, be fair, repremand him when he's being a jerk, and reward him when he's going along nicely.
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