Need advice with lunging pony

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Need advice with lunging pony

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  • Pony lunging

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  • 1 Post By Red Cedar Farm

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    12-28-2012, 02:06 PM
Need advice with lunging pony

Ok, so I haven't posted much on here, but from what I asked before about getting our welsh pony Star to back up out of my space, I got some wonderfully helpful responses. So I'm hoping we can get a little more help with another bump we've come accross.

We've gotten pretty good at our basic ground work. She moves her hip nicely, moves her shoulders, backs up now, come twoards me, and lunges very well on her left side. The whole time we've been working, her right side has been her "problem" side. When she lunges to the right, she pulls at the halter untill she's turning the other way. She pulls to the outside (toward the fence).

We'd gone over some more halter breaking, incase that may have been the problem, but she performed almost perfectly. She flexes well, leads with almost no effort, and backs up with very little halter pressure.

I'm not letting her just pull, (as in I don't lean my weight against hers) I give the lead rope she's pulling on a tug towards me, and that hasn't helped at all. We've tried a stop when she pulls, then go again, and start loose....

What can I be doing to help this? Like I said, she's good with her left side. I think her last owner (if they did any work, because she was a rescue) focused more on the left side.
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    12-28-2012, 03:12 PM
If you can get into a round pen or an enclosed area so she can't pull to the outside that would help. If she hasn't been worked to the right it is going to be difficult at first because a lot of times they don't have the balance or muscle at first. Start slow, get her to walk out to the right and stop her after 2-3 steps. Start again and get a few steps then stop. Always ask her to stop before she pulls and attempts to go the other way. If you get a few steps the first day ask for a few more the next. Take it slow and always end on a good note. It will take time for her to become comfortable with you on her right side so be patient. Work with her bad side twice as much as her good side.
    12-28-2012, 03:38 PM
Thank you, we have been in a round pen that is enclosed. It kind of makes me wonder if her "bad" side was traumatized in some way?

I may be pushing her too fast... And now that I think of it, I always had her stop AFTER she began her pulling.... You're right, I need to catch the act before it happens and escalates to that..... I know this.... I just have blank minded dum moments.....
    12-28-2012, 04:27 PM
Originally Posted by unicorngirl9    
Thank you, we have been in a round pen that is enclosed. It kind of makes me wonder if her "bad" side was traumatized in some way?

I may be pushing her too fast... And now that I think of it, I always had her stop AFTER she began her pulling.... You're right, I need to catch the act before it happens and escalates to that..... I know this.... I just have blank minded dum moments.....
Horses are normally "bad" on their non dominate side, and that's usually the right side. I doubt she's been traumatized.

That being said, if she's having that much trouble (and inadvertently been reinforced to do so), you need to go back to square one with her.

Instead of insisting she's going to lunge right...and before you do any more lunging at all...start her all over again from a stand still. First work her left side and get her to flex to you, yield her hind quarters AND her forequarters, and get her to back up. This is her dominant and better side, so start there.
Once she's doing this perfectly on cue, THEN move to her right side and repeat. This is going to take some time and patience most likely, but do not move on to anything else until she has these basic steps mastered on both sides. Start with one movement such as yielding her forequarters and do not move on to the next thing until she does this every time you ask. Then move on to her hindquarters, etc...

If she's having particular difficulty on her right side, go back and have her go through the movements once on her left side, PRAISE her, and go back to the right side. Praise every single movement she does correctly and remove all pressure at the slightest (honest) try she gives you. Then repeat, up the pressure if you have to, then release it when she gives in to you.

Once she does these maneuvers at the stand still perfectly, THEN you can go back to longing her. It's all about baby steps, feel and timing, and releasing pressure at the precise moment she tries for you. Make the wrong decision hard and the right decision easy.
Herdof2 likes this.
    12-28-2012, 04:34 PM
Lunging was always a mystery to me and unnecessary for many years bc I owned/worked already broken animals. Start with using the lunge whip at the neck. Then, drive at the girthline to keep your pony going. It will take some time to teach what you want, and you want is for your pony to circle as many times as you wish without stopping. Too many books and videos show the trainer with the whip pointed at the tail, and that only works on horses with many, many hours put in already.

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