stumped on lunging.
 
 

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stumped on lunging.

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        09-19-2009, 10:12 PM
      #1
    Yearling
    stumped on lunging.

    So I've tried lunging Duchess 3 times now and its not really getting any useful results.
    We first tried lunging her once out side of the round pen since she's honestly a bit too big to canter safely in the pen. We can't get behind her. Its not that she's being obstinate, we think its more of how she was trained. She does the same thing when I try to wash her tail. She'll just turn and face you.
    I even had my instructor hold her so that I could get behind her and try it that way but she'll just walk a step or two and then turn to face me and follow me around like she's on a lead line.

    We tried lunging her 2 times in the round pen and the issue in there is that she wont back away from me. She'll walk and trot only 3 foot away and it makes me uncomfortable since she'll randomly throw her head in the air when I crack the whip. I don't like being in such a close proximity to her while she's trotting. I've tried waving her away, I've tried keeping the whip at her shoulder, waving the whip near her head and tapping her side with the whip but she just doesn't seem to get it.

    Any ideas?
         
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        09-19-2009, 10:33 PM
      #2
    Foal
    I wouldn't wave the whip by her head because if it hits her by accident it could scare her. Also have you tried instead of cracking the whip, just tuching her on the rump with it to move her on. Also she may not walk by the fence in the round pen because she isn't used to it. Most fences I've seen in round pens, including the one we built, are much taller than a normal fence and that could scare a horse new to the round pen.

    Maybe you could first just let her loose in the round pen to get used to being in there. Maybe feed her in a flat rubber feeding pan during her normal feeding times and let her walk around in there and get used to being in there. Then you could lead her around at a walk and trot at the edge of the pen so that she understands that it is ok to walk and trot there. Keep the lead short so you have control of her head and if she starts swinging her head stop her and stand still holding the lead untill she stops (does that make sense?) working on that while you have a short lead may help you down the line when you lengthen the lead/lunge line. Then you could slowly move further and further away from her, incouraging her to stay where she is.



    Hope that helps. Good luck!!
         
        09-19-2009, 10:41 PM
      #3
    Yearling
    I'm not really sure if its the fence. She's trotted around using the whole area for a while but ends up close to me after a very short while. Its like she doesn't understand that she's not expected to be beside me the whole time.

    Yeah I only tried waving by her head once and it had no effect so I didn't bother to try again. =/
         
        09-19-2009, 10:49 PM
      #4
    Foal
    I just re-read what you wrote and you said you've tried tapping her on the side, so I bet you've tried tapping on the rump to move her along.


    Also on getting behind her. Have you tried having her against a fence or wall and having her either tied or held and just running your hand across her back and down the back of her rump and down her legs while you stand next to her and not behind her? How does she respond to that? If there is a certain point where she starts to turn around then maybe have her next to a wall or fence, and have someone hold her there while you stand next to her at her 'turning point' and just stand there rubbing her, slowly moving further back incouraging her to stand. Does she let you pick up her back feet? Or can you take her tail while standing next to her and pull it to the side or does she clench up? I think she is just really unsure of what your going to do behind her, I'd just slowly work my way back there and if you get to a point where she stands ok while your nearing her rump, then cross behind her while rubbing your arm against her rump so she can feel where you are. And just make the cross be hind her quick but quietly with no surprises. And talk to her the whole time.

    I tried to edit this into my post above but I took too long I guess. :)
         
        09-19-2009, 10:59 PM
      #5
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lucara    
    I'm not really sure if its the fence. She's trotted around using the whole area for a while but ends up close to me after a very short while. Its like she doesn't understand that she's not expected to be beside me the whole time.

    Yeah I only tried waving by her head once and it had no effect so I didn't bother to try again. =/
    for some horses lunging is very confusing and it may just take her a while to get used to responding to your commands while being a little further away from you than she'd like.

    I've got one horse that I just can't lunge for anything, she just doesn't have the mindset to be in a round pen or on the lunge line. So we do all of the ground work together next to each other.

    With our haflingers (3) we started them out in the round pen together, So they all felt safe in there. Then we moved two out and just work with one as the lunging and training got more demanding. Now they do well, but they still try to cut the ring in half at times. Depends on the day and what kind of mood everyone is in.
         
        09-19-2009, 11:06 PM
      #6
    Yearling
    Shes great with picking up all her feet. She even ground ties for it. I can brush out her tail and groom her all over without her even attempting to move. Its only when we try lunging or bathing that she's stuck to me and wont allow behind her.

    We're very confused since the previous owners said they used to lunge her before riding. I can understand being rusty but she honestly just doesn't seem to understand what is being asked of her in or out of the round pen when it comes to lunging.
         
        09-19-2009, 11:50 PM
      #7
    Foal
    I was having a lot of trouble when I first started lunging the horse I work with now, she did the same things your horse is doing to you. She would always follow me around like she was on a lead line and I couldn't get her to move away from me. I read an article about your body language when lunging (it was on a trainer's website that was posted on this forum somewhere and I just found the lunging article while looking through his site, sorry I can't remember what the url is) and I basically learned that the horse was just responding to what she thought I was asking her to do based on my body language.

    You say you are uncomfortable with your horse being so close to you when lunging, and that might be exactly why she stays so close to you. You might be either unconsciously stepping slightly backward to keep your distance or you just aren't showing her that you really want her to move away. I tried waving my horse out and it didn't work either. Not until I read this article did I realize I was using my innate human selfpreservation instinct and moving away from her once she started moving. Every time I lunge I have to "overcome" that instinct and I make myself step forward into her shoulder to push her out, even when she is moving. Even when they are far away from you (at the end of the lunge line) they sense your body language, so I step toward her if I want her to move out more.

    I am not the best person to take advice from because I am relatively new to this, but I felt like I learned a lot from that article about body language and human instinct. If I can remember the name of the website I will post it for you. Good luck with everything!
         
        09-20-2009, 09:27 AM
      #8
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmclamb    
    ...I basically learned that the horse was just responding to what she thought I was asking her to do based on my body language.
    Was she ever taught to lunge? It could well be, as pmclamb mentioned, that she just doesn't know what you want her to do.
    We lunge our mares very infrequently (really just as a 'tuneup' reminder), and if one turns in on me, I just take them back out to the edge and continue like nothing happened.

    ..and when you do get her to respond the way you want, even for a half minute, make sure she knows (by praise or whatever).
         
        09-20-2009, 10:53 AM
      #9
    Rod
    Foal
    Lucara,

    Let's get this right. You are trying to lunge your horse. You have her on the line, step towards her hip and she faces up. You step to her hip again and she faces up again, etc. etc. Sounds like to me she lunges very well, but who is lunging who? I've been there, done that.

    Sounds to me you have given up 3 times, score 3 points for the horse, zero for you! Go lunge her with the attitude that failure is not an option. Have assertive body language. If needed, do more than 'tap' her with the whip. Swing the whip in the air near her. If she does not move away make contact with her. Don't hit her out of frustration. Make it very matter of fact. You warned her to move by swinging the whip near her. She just happened to get in the way. Establish yourself as the leader. Earn her respect.

    Rod
         
        09-20-2009, 05:18 PM
      #10
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rod    
    Lucara,

    Let's get this right. You are trying to lunge your horse. You have her on the line, step towards her hip and she faces up. You step to her hip again and she faces up again, etc. etc. Sounds like to me she lunges very well, but who is lunging who? I've been there, done that.

    Sounds to me you have given up 3 times, score 3 points for the horse, zero for you! Go lunge her with the attitude that failure is not an option. Have assertive body language. If needed, do more than 'tap' her with the whip. Swing the whip in the air near her. If she does not move away make contact with her. Don't hit her out of frustration. Make it very matter of fact. You warned her to move by swinging the whip near her. She just happened to get in the way. Establish yourself as the leader. Earn her respect.

    Rod

    I was going to say the same thing. I'm glad I didn't have too. Thanks Rod

    You only fail when you quit trying
         

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