Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hatton Vale, QLD, Australia
oo sounds nasty :)
First I would say the usual and try some bonding/respects exercises with him. It sounds to me like he has little respect for you. Either that or he has had a bad experience with lunging in the past maybe. Id lean more towards a disrespect issue or he doesnt understand what you are asking him to do so he is getting frustrated and cranky with you.
How close are you getting when you get behind him?? You should pretty much always stay in the middle of the corral and have him work around you. If he isnt doing what you are asking, you are ina better position if you stay in the middle, or are you using the double lunge rope lunging thingy lol sorry, I have never used nor understand this process so im not even sure what it is called.
I don't know if you use a lunge whip or not but I use one in these cases to create "your zone". A whip held at arms length, apart from in the most extreme circumstances, should be enough to stop him in his tracks. If you hold the whip at arms length, he shouldnt want to come past it. I use my whip for many things in the corral. Everything that is except for actually using it on them. Accompany holding the whip out with a short, sharp 'sshhh' sound that indicates they have done something wrong and every time he does something right, make sure he knows it :)
On the respect subject, do you have a good relationship with him other than in the lunge situation? Does he respect you and know his place in your relationship or does he tend to get his way in most things? Establishing a relationship like this on the ground when you are not asking him to do anything is very important. When he is acting like this in the lunge ring, stop what you are doing and apply the pull and release technique using his halter/bridle. By this I mean, pull downwards on your lead rope/reins and say 'head down'. As soon as he gives and comes down, release. Keep doing this until he has his head down meaning his is relaxed and at the best point to listen to you. If he tries to carry on, return to the pull and release technique until he is completely relaxed. This may take a day or a week but its an important tool in helping your horse to relax.
To continue the bonding, when you are doing this, spend a lot of time rubbing/patting his favourite spots. Usually the eyes, ears etc spending time working on rubbing/playing with his neck at the top of the hairline is a good respect thing as well as this simulates natural interaction by 'higher' members of a herd.
Only once you have him relaxed, respectful and content, can you get him to do anything without any carry on. Persistance, patience and know how will see you through. Might I suggest maybe looking into some parelli, anderson, bell or other known natural horseman who offer an amazing range of techniques and training for dealing with these kinds of issues.
This has all helped for me and hopefully it will for you too :)
Good luck and stay safe :)
"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"