Stopping on one side with lunging frustrations - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-24-2012, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Stopping on one side with lunging frustrations

My horses had about a week off doing nothing then at the beginning of this week I started to do groundwork, mostly lunging everyday until now.

My horse Sam just a couple of days ago started stopping whilst I was lunging him. He hasn't done this before and its only on one side. I had him at the point where he would walk and trot perfectly in both directions and I was just working on getting him to canter which he kept refusing to break into.

As of yesterday I have gotten him to canter a full circle on one side and he is doing a few strides on the other side which I feel is a big step forward. I also feel we have taken two steps back with the stopping. He is just about perfect on one side but on the other whenever he gets to a certain point in the circle he wants to turn the other way.

When doing this he does two things. One is turning around by turning into the circle then taking off being difficult to stop. The other one is stopping and turning out of the circle so the rope ends up wrapping around his neck. He either ends up facing his butt to me to or simply facing the opposite way to what I want him. So I have to fix him up and start again. I don't know why he has just started this, I always have to push him to go past this point.

I don't know what started this behaviour or how to stop it. If I try to stop him from doing it one way he will try the other way and we pretty much end up in a little dance. It is really getting on my nerves, I thought I was doing something wrong but I don't know have any trouble when I work with my other horse so I don't know. Any tips or ideas would be great thanks.

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-24-2012, 02:17 AM
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for the turning out, you gotta catch him the minute he starts to think about doing that and give him a good snap on the lead line and say no!, then drive him forward again.

For turning inward, throw a bit of line (like a wave down the lieadline) at his head and catch him before he gets his body swung around.
catch him before he does this and use the line or whip and your voice to cut him off before he can make a turn of his body.
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-24-2012, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks thats kind of what I have been doing now I have more of an idea.

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-24-2012, 09:57 AM
Green Broke
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My mare did the exact same thing. So I started over with the lead line that way she was only about 6ft away so I could correct her faster and easier. Once she went both directions I let out the line to 10ft then when that was perfect we went to the lunge line. I haven't had a problem since.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-24-2012, 12:34 PM
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If it was me and my horse turns his butt into the circle towards me I crack him hard and firm on the upper side of the rump and yank on the lunge line at an angle to pull his head towards me. I make sure my horse's head is turned towards me slightly at all time while lunging. If I can hit his rump with my lunge whip then I will, he is too close. When you know he is at his spot that he turns step towards his rump and crack the whip and yell to him. If he jumps forward at a much faster rate let him at first to drive home the point he isn't to stop at his spot. Make it uncomfortable for him to stop there and easier to just keep going.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-24-2012, 03:45 PM
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Unless a horse comes at you aggressively it is unnecessary to hit him. The idea is to build trust and not punish him for mistakes. My horses know they can screw up and that there will be no repercussion. I find they then try harder to follow my request. I use the term request because I don't demand.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-24-2012, 11:52 PM
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Looping the line through a surcingle ring helps to prevent turning to the outside. Make sure you are always facing his "center" - not ahead of or behind him.
My mare is a bugger to lunge - she has a pretty good "resistance" technique which is to stop and calmly walk to me - whip a crack'n! We are working on it. ;)

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-24-2012, 11:59 PM
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Your horse knows he is doing wrong, so don't feel bad or take it easy on him! If he won't canter get after him and MAKE him canter!! If he is stopping, get after him again!! You do not have to hurt or scare them, just let him know that what he is doin. Is not ok and you demand respect!! I have just trained a horse to lunge that has never lunged before and she tried stopping and changing directions, but as soon as they know you will not allow it they will stop almost immediately!
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-25-2012, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks everyone for the tips I will work with him more this week. I hadnt thought of using a surcingle i might have a go at that so i can get a bit more leverage his is a strong little twirp. />
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Last edited by apachewhitesox; 03-25-2012 at 02:50 AM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-25-2012, 06:54 AM
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Lunging is a very touchie feelie thing. Much depends on why you are working the animal off the ground rather than in the saddle. I have reached the stage with my mare where she follows my body position relative to her and the position of my hands. She will now circle at the walk and she will whoa and stand for a couple of minutes. Then we usually move on to walking in hand on a loose rein - starting, stopping, turning etc.
The lead rein/linge line is presently connected to the ring on a mild snaffle fitted to a bridle and any pressure on the line must be minimal. The idea is to communicate not restrict.

Originally we started out lungeing with the pessoas, the surcingle, the bridle and a long whip, each piece of which I steadily discarded. All I use nowadays is the lead line and the bridle - but we are going to start using a cavesson fitted with nose rings soon rather than the bit. Effectively then I shall have little breaking power other than to be able to turn her head, use my voice and give a slight tug of resistance on the nose rings to stop her should she ever freak out. The Olympic sized arena has no fencing although it is raised off the ground. So I shall have to be sure she is in the mood to 'play' with me.

In any session once she has warmed up by circling and been given a little physical work out at trot, extended trot and maybe even canter, I start to lead her on a short loose line when I am relying on her to follow my direction of walk and the slightest of cues from pressure given through the lead line.

But then comes the big question - what am I ultimately aiming to get from her?
In my case it is getting her to follow me 'off lead' ie walk, stop, stand, walk turn. We play games together - I try to vary the sequence a little every session. Maybe one day I'll try backing her up - off the lead line.

To me the important thing with lunging is that she can see me and I can communicate with her thru down thru the line, by the tone of voice, by the relative position of my body and by my hands.

Of late there have been a couple of sessions when I now realise she was in pain thru ulcers (another story). On those days she wasn't listening to me, so what I could achieve was restricted, so I asked her for less.

When setting up the session, I ask myself what are we going to do today? Then I modify my plans according to her mood once I have her working.

Any aggression, irritability, anger or impatience on my part - for whatever reason- is absolutely counter productive.

All I have available to 'direct' her is 'voice' and the subtle pressure on the line but it has taken some time to get to this stage.
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