Still won't longe - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Still won't longe

I wrote before about my horse (Fess) who hasn't been ridden in about 3 years.

We got to the new farm on Saturday. Sunday I went up to longe him. Someone had recommended I look at some Chris Irwin videos on the Stateline tack website. I did, and tried to do what he recommended.

Well I got him to move away from me twice onto the circle. After that, Fess just turned in towards me, and wouldn't move. Sometimes he would back up. He let me approach him from both sides, but as soon as I tried to send him away he just spins and faces me again.

I am tempted to just get on his back, he is calm and relaxed as he always was, but I would like to do a little longe work first just to establish leadership.

Anyone have anymore tips on how to get him to understand what I want him to do?

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post #2 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 08:16 AM
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Facing you is his way of respecting you. But you need to encourage him to go. Also facing you is his way of joining up. Continue what you are doing but if you have to, send him away with a lunge whip. You don't have to hit him but warn him. As soon as he moves away don't warn him anymore with the whip.

Do this both ways. When you are done lunging him drop the whip and encourage him to face you and come towards you.

If he doesn't face you or try to join up, send him back out again. Keep doing that until he wants to join up. I hope this makes sense. Let me know how it goes.
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Last edited by mbender; 01-31-2011 at 08:19 AM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 11:44 AM
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To me it sounds as though he is confused as to what you want...Can you possibly get a video of your attempts to lunge? I don't want to give pointers until I know exactly what you need, because I could be way off base, doing it on a guess.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 12:03 PM
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Caleb does that exact thing, and far from respectful, I find it highly disrespectful. It is a clear and obvious horse language "I'm not listening to you, you're not my boss". What I do is move with him at his side until he moves off. It's extremely difficult on the right, but on the left its a lot easier. I find that if i get into the right position he moves off right away. Also, as an extra aide I use a leadrope folded in half and the second I notice he is thinking about turning in I wave it at his face or shoulder, and crack the whip behind him. If he turns towards me I flick the leadrope at his chest, then move to the side and crack the whip behind him. Sometimes it takes a little time for him to move off, he will just yield his quarters continually, I think its a very bad behavior and I try to never let him get away with it.
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 12:11 PM
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I found that if you have someone lead the horse on the circle with you in the middle they get the concept of what your asking them. my old horse had no clue what a circle was when i first got her. and then i would move farther away and still holding the lead line kind of in a cross tie way of lunging. I"m probally making no sence but ack like the horse is in cross ties with someone lunging him in the middle and evenchally take him off the lead but still walk with him them just stop and encourage the horse to keep moving. hopefully that makes sence.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 12:28 PM
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A horse that turns toward you is not being respectful or disrespectful. He simply does not know what you are asking. So the horse does what he needs to and that is to face you.

Typically, lunging issues like this one are due to wrong positioning by the handler. The thing I have done is to use a fence line and to loosen up the lunge line and get further behind the horse to move him forward. Usually this can be accomplished just by trailing the whip behindthe horse a bit.

As the horse moves forward at a walk along the fence line you step in closer behing the horse and keep them moving straight long the fence line.

When both of you get good at this, you can start the circle. Keep is small at first. The object is for you to stay even with the horse's hip as he moves forward. If you want more speed you need to play out line and step further back (opposite the point of buttock) and if you need slwer you gradually shorten the ling and step forward so you are opposite the shoulder.

Lunging is largely a dance with you balancing the horse in a triangle between your lunge line hand and your whip hand. lunging is very much an artform and is similar to driving a horse.

However, before you get to that, you need to show the horse what his job is.

Never work at this for more than 5-10 minutes to start and always end on a good note.. even if that is only one or two steps away from you along the fence line.

Horses respond well to your suggestions... and showing them what you want IME. If you get them thinking it is their idea it is much easier.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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I can't tell if he is just refusing to do what I am asking, or if he doesn't know. He did move off nicely twice, but after that nothing. He always wants to be close to me (not crowding, just close), and will follow me around. I use a whip as an extension of my arm to try and get him to go, but nothing.

The farm owner's daughter is a friend of mine, and she said she would help me, but I was just wondering if anyone had any other tips in the meantime.

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post #8 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 12:59 PM
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^^ That is how I was originally taught to longe. Using the triangle worked well.

The "newer" (for lack of a better word") methods, which are more like the NH people use are similar, but not quite the same. However, the position of the person is still absolutely the key to getting the horse to "get it". It almost sounds to me like the horse has had some "parelli" type longing training. My new guy did this every 1/4 circle when I first got him, since his original person had used Parelli and he never did complete circles! Kept turning and facing me.

I am not sure what length line you are using, but until you both get the hang of it, it may be better to use something like a 12' line. It might be easier to manage if you are like me and keep tripping over sticks, whips, rope.....

Using the wall to help you, and "driving" the horse from behind between you and the wall/fence can also be helpful, and is actually used in many of the NH videos for other things, not as part of longing.

Mom is right-you need to try and post a video. That would be the best way for us to see what you are doing and how your horse is reacting.

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post #9 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 01:16 PM
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Disrespect language in a horse is turning away from you when you approach. My words for respect facing you may have gone misunderstood. You have his attention but yes, maybe he is confused. But if you started him out and he lunged twice but stopped and faced you, maybe that was something he was taught.

Clinton Anderson teaches this when he wants a horse to face him. Moving a horse forward, backward, left and right helps you to gain control of his movements.

You must use clear language to him as to what you want him to do. Drive him from behind his shoulder to get him to move away, and stay behind that line to keep him going.

If you get to close to his rear, he will either 1. Go faster 2. Turn away from you or 3. Turn and face you.

When you do lunge him, pay attention to this as he may be trained to face you. He will be confused if you don't know he is or not. I'm trying to make sense but probably not coming out right. Again, test him and see if going to his rear means he faces you. I'm very curious to know.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-31-2011, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I don't really have anyone to take a video.

I have had this horse for about 6 years. He was rescued from a kill auction by a horse dealer, who I then bought him from, so I doubt he has had any parelli training.

We are in a round pen right now. I have tried with a longe line, and get the same result.

If I try to approach him, he just keeps turning and backing up to face me. I used the techniques in the Chris Irwin videos to get him to allow me to come to his side, and that worked. But he still won't move off. He will do a fast walk with only his back feet like he is going to go, but then just spins and faces me. I'm positive it is something I am doing wrong, but can't figure it out.

He has never been great at longing, but in the past I have rarely had to do it, because he was ridden regularly, and was really good under saddle.

Thanks everyone, I guess I will have to wait until my friend can help me.
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