My baby doesnt... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-20-2008, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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My baby doesnt...

He doesn't know how to lunge. When i try too he just stands there and tries to follow me. I don't know what to do to get him to move in a circle without me being there.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-20-2008, 05:19 PM
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what exactly do you do to try and get him to move?
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-20-2008, 05:55 PM
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I have the same problem! I have a 3 yo who was shown in hand, broken to saddle but never lunged!!! So frustrating. Anyway, things I have been doing to teach her was my mum would be the lunger in the middle, and I would have another lead and go around the outside with her and slowly move further out from her and get a little behind her but just give her a little tug if she goes in to mum. So this week I went out on my own and I think she got it a little, I was in the middle with a lunge whip and I was about 3 metres away from her and made her walk on the track of the circle, She didn't come into me once, she just walked on the track. It has been a slow process but hopefully I can get her working comfortably on the lunge so that I can build some muscle on her!
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-20-2008, 06:33 PM
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Pinto Pony's suggestion is good. You can also teach him to yield forequarters and hindquarters. That seemed to help mine figure it out. When he tries to come in, I can point and shake the whip at his shoulder and he'll move out. Been useful since I rarely have a helper around.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-21-2008, 01:14 PM
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I assume you don't have a round pen....

Then PP is right on, Teach him to turn away from you on cue and continue. Long-lining is a great thing to use in place of lunging. Actually my lunge line is now a dog leash and I only longline or free lunge in the round pen.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-21-2008, 06:18 PM
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I've rarely had a helper when training, so haven't tried PP's suggestion. There's no problem with it, so long as you've got a helper that is in tune with you regarding your cues & timing of reinforcement.

Lunging for me is about teaching the horse to respond to your direction - enhancing communication & leadership - at a distance. Therefore, I treat it progressively from yielding at close quarters.

I first teach the horse to yield to physical pressure, from my fingertips or a stick/whip used as extension of my arm. They learn to go forward, back, sideways, yield HQ or FH, depending on where I direct the pressure to their body or the halter.

Then I teach them to yield to implied pressure - bodylanguage, a waving rope or stick, etc. Standing a couple of steps away, I start with bodylanguage(I always start with bodylanguage for everything, because this is what I want them ultimately responding to). If/when they don't respond to my focussed look, I point at the body part I want yielded & use rhythmic pressure with hand, stick, rope, to 'pulse' the energy at the horse. I get gradually closer until I'm actually tapping on the horse. Usually they move at that stage, if not before.

As with anything you're teaching, the *instant* they respond, negatively reinforce this by dropping all pressure(including body energy). I also like to use positive reinforcement(rewards) to enhance the learning & speed of training, not to mention their willing attitude. With repetition they will learn to respond to your early cues and avoid your 'bigger' ones.

Once you've taught a horse to yield to implied pressure, then it's just a matter of gradually increasing the distance and doing less moving yourself during the process, until it becomes 'lunging'.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-21-2008, 08:27 PM
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What loosie said. Exactly what I meant in my abbreviated post :)
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-22-2008, 04:54 AM
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I haven't had a helper either, and I've started only two horses on longing but both do wonderfully!

I start by teaching them that a light tap from the end of a longe whip or crop on their rear means move forward. So I walk straight, and when I start walking I tap them. Then I give tons of praise while I'm still walking. After about 5 paces I stop and repeat the process until they have the taps down. If your horse responds to clucking, incorporate that too with the tap. I use a dog clicker and it works great for this.

Next, I give a decent amount of slack on the lead, making sure the solid part of the whip can still reach their body easily, standing perpendicular to their body. I tap and click, and when they move I keep the solid bit of the whip pressed into either their shoulder or flank. When they move forward on the circle, tons of praise. I keep doing it until we've finished two or three circles, stopping every few paces to give tons of love. Then, I expand the circle and number of paces accordingly to stop and give praise, until the need to give physical praise is weaned out.

I then keep them at a walk on the longe for anywhere from two days to a week, to make sure they have it down. After that, if they know their verbal commands, work those in there and get a bit faster.

I taught a 3 month old filly to walk on a longe line with this method. Her halter training inspired it. Since then I've taught it to a 13 year old and 6 year old, and they are better than the ones I didn't teach myself. I just use a lot of patience, and a ton of love. And NO TREATS!

Best of luck!

Hugs and Blessed be
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