Pulls when asked to canter on lunge

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Pulls when asked to canter on lunge

This is a discussion on Pulls when asked to canter on lunge within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    02-23-2008, 05:52 PM
Pulls when asked to canter on lunge

Alright, so Blu had the good idea of not hijacking the last thread... I have a problem similar to the other thread about the horse not cantering on the lunge, but:

The mare I'm working with was very iffy about working on the lunge line, and after a few weeks of work I now have her walking and trotting on command and she keeps a good circle going. However, when I increase pressure to ask her to canter (she's quite lazy unless she's spooking) she gets all freaked out, squares up to me and starts pulling. I've tried her in both a halter and bridle with the same result. I can sometimes ask her up nicely for a few strides, then let her drop back down, but the next time I ask, she pulls again. Any ideas about how to keep her moving in the circle and picking up the canter would be wonderful.
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    02-23-2008, 07:10 PM
Does she have any problems cantering under saddle? Is she fit/muscled?
    02-23-2008, 09:25 PM

The mare is not started under saddle, and I want to get her responding to verbal commands on the lunge line before I get on her. For youngsters, I like to get them cantering well on the lunge line first (with and without a saddle) so when it comes to the first canter under saddle, I can start in the "safe zone" of being on a lunge line with someone else controlling her so all she and I have to worry about is getting used to the feel of one another, then we move off on our own.
Yes, she is unfit, but she can do a few strides here and there without a problem and really right now that's all I want... 3-5 strides at a canter followed by me rewarding her with dropping back down to a trot. She is fit enough to do that.. and I'm not asking her to canter on a tiny circle either, I'm asking her up on a circle big enough for a green horse...
I'm very frusterated about this! Any advice?
    02-23-2008, 09:44 PM
Do you have her saddled while you lundge her? If yes, then check to make sure the saddle fits properly...if it doesn't it can bother her when she canters.
Any leg problems? That also can be a factor on why she won't canter.
Have you tried free-lundging? My horse always hated cantering on a lundge line...but he listened a whole lot better while free lunging.

Try having you hold the line and a lundge whip, where are having someone else outside of the circle with a lundge whip also. Ask for a canter, if she pulls back, have the person outside the circle hit her whip on the ground to get her going again.

Other than that I can't think of anything to solve the problem at the moment...I'll keep on thinking, and if I think of anything else I'll let you know
    02-23-2008, 09:51 PM
Thanks, Sonny. I've thought about having someone on the outside as well, but I'm usually the only one working there when I go.
She canters fine in the small pen I use as my round pen (it's too big and square to be useful as a round pen though), and she turns small canter circles there no problem so I'm not concerned about her being hurt. That was my first reaction, but she's sound all around and doesn't seem in pain, it's more fright than anything. Also, I haven't lunged her with a saddle at all... she's preggy, so I don't want anything banging on her sides.. I keep her workouts short because of that as well. Adding on to that, I don't like working her at liberty because she tends to just canter away from my pressure and gets all worked up really quickly, so I like the control of the lunge line.

Again, the only reason I want her to canter on the lunge is because I like to get green horses cantering well on the lunge line first (with and without a saddle) so when it comes to the first canter under saddle, I can start in the "safe zone" of being on a lunge line with someone else controlling her so all she and I have to worry about is getting used to the feel of one another, then we move off on our own.
    02-23-2008, 09:54 PM
Heavens I see why you want her to canter on a lundge line....when I first bought Sonny, even though he was fully trained and my BO just thought I should hop on and ride, I spent 1 whole week with just groundwork. Getting him to listen to me.

Try having two people, and see if that works...it just might. Be careful so the person doesn't crack the whip directly behind the horse...of she could bolt directly at you...and that wouldn't be good
    02-23-2008, 09:57 PM
I'll try that.. it'll be a week before I'll have someone else out there to help me though.. it's a good idea!

I'm at a loss... I've tried to pull from all my horse training knowledge, and I can't figure anything out! If I try and just keep driving her from my central spot, she just pulls back further. If I don't want to get her to come up to me and start fresh, I have to actually move to her side and drive her forwards again.. I just want to get her cantering nicely!! Gah!!
    02-23-2008, 10:10 PM
That's how some horses are. Sounds like she is testing you also. You got to make her do what you want to do when you want to do it. Don't let her get away with anything, that will help over time with vices and bahavioural (spelled wrong I think haha) issues
    02-23-2008, 10:14 PM
Oh, do I ever know that. I believe she's testing me.. I just don't know how to stop it, and it's quite frusterating!!
    02-23-2008, 10:19 PM
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
Oh, do I ever know that. I believe she's testing me.. I just don't know how to stop it, and it's quite frusterating!!
if you believe she's testing you, you've GOT to be forceful. Not to the point where you are hurting her...but in a "You are going to do this NOW whether you want to or not".
You did say she cantered alright free-lundging in a roundpen.......try putting her on a lundge line that. That way she CANNOT back up too far. If she still continues not to, give the lundge whip a good crack (or hit on the ground, whatever works) and possibly yell at her or walk towards her.
Remember that if she was in a herd and she was testing the lead horse, that horse would bring her back into her place ANY way he had to...you must take the place as the lead horse...you must bring her back into her place

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