" Refusing " to canter when lunging - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-29-2013, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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" Refusing " to canter when lunging

I've been working with my mare on lunching for a while. In the beginning of this summer I was finally able to get her to canter on the lunge line. I usually lunge her every other day or so, mostly walk trot with a little cantering. The past few days though, when I ask her to canter, she will go around a few circles ( at a canter) Ans then all the sudden stop and backup slowly a good ten feet while looking at me - licking and chewing. When I point and ask for her to start our circle again, she just backs up more and moves away from me.

I do not have a round pen, which is probably part of my issue- but she has never done this before until recently. And it's only when we canter to the right ( Clockwise) If we go to the left (counter clockwise) she's fine and will canter like it's not a problem.

Any ideas on why she is doing this?? It's becoming very frustrating and I am not sure how to correct it

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-29-2013, 08:16 PM
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I would guess pain issue.. if she's not showing any signs of aggression, is cooperating the other way, and hasn't had this problem until recently, she may be trying to tell you that going that direction is hurting her.
Vet/Chiro appointment would be your best bet as of now.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-29-2013, 08:18 PM
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Check for an abcess or any heat or swelling anywhere. If she seems fine and you are certain nothing is going on, start lunging her in a walk and trot with very small circles around you, once she is moving out nicely then give some line a little to make the circles a little bigger than it was and ask for a canter. Keep her in small circles until she is going nicely and then let the line out gradually. I always watch my horses hip and at any indication of slowing gait or stopping push forward and pull her back into small circles. When mine won't go nicely I do a lot of small circles, as it is harder work and then he realizes that larger circles are not as hard, if he makes the right "choices" then the work is easier, if he makes the wrong "choices" the work is harder. Even having someone experienced help you even once or twice would be very helpful too.

Last edited by Mochachino; 07-29-2013 at 08:23 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-29-2013, 08:22 PM
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It could be pain related or really pay attention to where your body is when you lunge her. Some horses, when you get infront of their shoulder, will stop or change directions. Or maybe you're using the whip is an unproductive way so she's testing you.

Check all avenues, and maybe find the help of an experienced horse person too.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-29-2013, 11:00 PM
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Yeah, be sure there is not pain issue. it sounds like an evasion, to me.

I would first check for obvious pain issues, though they would likely be evident when you rode her in that direction. Then, sort out this evasion . Disallow it, get her going forward at the canter, then cease lunging for a bit. horses get really tired of lunging. Wouldn't that bore you out of your skull?

If she stops and turns to face you, put a bit of a pull on the line in the direction you want to go, put some pressure on her , and if she backs up keep asking and keep putting some tugs in the direction you want her to think and go. If she really insists on backing, even after you keep tugging in the right direection, then put pressure on and back her vigorously. Make her choice to back up be a hard place to be. When she comes to a stop, ease up and ask again, Go right!
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-30-2013, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help! I will check her and make sure there is no swelling or absesses before I lunge her again. Thanks so much :)

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post #7 of 7 Old 07-30-2013, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
It could be pain related or really pay attention to where your body is when you lunge her. Some horses, when you get in front of their shoulder, will stop or change directions. Or maybe you're using the whip is an unproductive way so she's testing you.

Check all avenues, and maybe find the help of an experienced horse person too.
TOO TRUE.
We are learning to speak "horse" but your horse is already well versed, so your body says "slow down" and he does, even though that's not what you wanted.
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