Switch from round pen work to lungeing...help??? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-12-2009, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western US
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Question Switch from round pen work to lungeing...help???

Hey all,
During the time I was unable to have my horse with me due to injuries (non- horse related), he was sent to a woman a few years ago and re-started from his training form the race track.
He is now in my possesion and doing okay other then the occasional foot issues we are working on I had to first establish some respect! I needed to do this in the Round Pen because that is what he already new and a safe place to get him to understand about "I am the leader and you can follow in"
While our rearing issue has now been addressed, I have had a few try's with lungeing..
I Have not worked with a horse and lunge line in a long time and usually horses from the track were brought to me right from the track. My horse has been in a 40 x 40 for the last 5 years with minimal handleing except when I visited my parent farm where he was.
He was sent to the woman who did ride him for a few months...something I would have done if I physically was able to do. I do not know what she did with him and my dad has lost contact with her so I can not aske.

So here is my question...I love the round pen, bbut I need to get him into some lunge excersises that are basic and simple. He has a great go button but in order to get him to slow or halt is a huge issue.
Now I have had to keep him on a short line due to the fact that the left side of my body is still a bit down physically.
I have recently asked for help from one of the trainers with the lunge issues...
I think I have forgotten some of myhorse sense.

I will be purchaseing some side reins and a circingle and bit etc.
My horse and me need help. Ther is no doubt about that.
Now in the round pen when I ask for him to stop it is a non verbal comand to ask him to stop moving and come into the center and face me...quietly.

While i can get him to stop in this way on a long rope, I need to know the basic way to ask for him to whoa??? He and I both are confused and I need a basic bit of instruction on this one...
I can get him to walk, and trot and canter but his stop button is all confused from the cintinuous round pen excercises...and while not in my possesion I think my dad would round pen him and just make him totally move out...
This is not what I want him to do...
So do you all agree with getting the circingle and side reins etc and having someone guide me through some excersises we can start to master at the walk and then later introduce transitions from walk tro canter and Whoa's in between there...
I have ridden him before without a saddle, but I know he has forgotten anything he learned with this gal he went to for 3 months..
I am sort of starting from the ground zero because he had a respect issue when he arrived to me and some foot problems that we are working on...But the basic stuff...walk trot who, and canter whoa are not in any way going to hurt him..In fact I would just be happy to work on walk whoa and establish this.
the trainer at the barn is making a list of items to purchase so we can get started, but I thought I would ask you all first about what you have done to get the walk and whoa or halt down first...I know I get frustrated sometimes and he feeds off of my poor energies..
Whew...sorry for the long post...I have tried and tried to get him to whoa but he will just stop and turn into me and com in...I need some guidence on how to get him to differentiate from the lunge line and the round pen...
So help and suggestions are needed???
It has been so long since I have worked with a horse where I had to get down to the core basics...years and years that I know I have forgotten some thigs or need some direction to spark my memory...
Thanks Hlaf Pass
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-12-2009, 05:10 PM
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Wait you want to transition him from the round pen to the lunge line or vise versa?
White Foot is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 07-13-2009, 12:38 AM
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Location: Jacksonville, NC
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I would suggest ground driving him (long lining). This is how I taught my ex racer to respond to the bit and to learn whoa. If you need ground driving help feel free to pm or ask on here! :)
rosie9r is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 07-13-2009, 02:17 AM
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If your horse works well in the round pen then transition there - work your horse as you would normally but when you give the body signals for a change in pace use the voice commands as well - your horse will soon learn to accept both.
I find with my own that it doesn't really matter what commands you use - it is the tone of voice that the horse hears ( they can't speak English ) - if I tell my horse to slow down - ' Ingrid slow or you're gonna be dog food in the morning - she will slow if my tone of command is correct.

The horses in Hungary are taught that a ' kiss ' means go faster and a whistle means go slower , they also use ' ' ho ' to stop.
Nutty Saddler is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 07-13-2009, 07:32 AM
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Location: Florida
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When lunging, I use my whip hand as my leg aid and my line hand as my rein aid. At the same time, I will use the verbal "whoa" command. Start from the walk, give the vocal command and start drawing the line into you, just start reeling him in. Usually, the first few times he will spiral almost completely into you before stopping, but it will only take a few sessions before he stops when you start pulling in on the line. I would start this without a surcingle and side reins. Give him a little room to figure out the aid without being restricted. You can do this from the walk, trot or canter. I usually do this for less than a week before the horse will stop on the outside of the circle when I give the line a pull.

I use this on horses that I start as well and it does transfer to the saddle. I personally don't use side reins, but will use long reins on a circle or a much lighter type of elastic band that was patented by my trainer. I have had more luck with these as it puts the horse in the right position through balance, allowing them to take the position on their own, but doesn't force them into it. Good luck.
FlitterBug is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 07-13-2009, 10:46 AM
Green Broke
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Does he work well in the round pen at slowing or stopping? If so, use those SAME cues on the lunge. Use your body position and voice cues to get him to understand what you want.

If he doesn't stop or slow well in the round pen, then you need to go back to the round pen and teach him how there, making sure to use well timed voice cues so he learns those too. I like to use whoa for stop and "easy" for slow down. They sound very different, so your horse doesn't confuse the two.

Also work him in just his halter on "whoa". Walk and trot him in hand, from either side of him, and teach him whoa means WHOA NOW. Work him until you have him stopping in hand on your voice and body only, no tug from the lead.

Once those are down, then go back to the lunge. Remember to use those same voice cues and body language to get your point across. The lunge line should only be a tether to you, not your main tool to cue with.
luvs2ride1979 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 07-13-2009, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everone...
I have done this exact thing but he still after 20 times of trying come into me and tunrs in and stops....lol I am certain he senses my frutration....
I also use the line as my rein aid and the whip as my leg aid but I gues it is just going to take time....I have not tried this to much in the RP so today if he is up to it I will try my 25 foot lunge line and the other nylon halter i have and see if this helps..
It has been a long while since I have had a horse in my own possesion and I no longer have a saddle or even a bridle or a hard hat...lol
I have ridden wester most recently for fun but not even that on a regular basis due to all my no horse injuries...
Thanks everyone...
Going from round Pen to lunge line..
HalfPass is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 07-14-2009, 08:28 AM
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Okay, all you round pen and longeing peeps who let the horse turn in towards you....DON'T DO IT!

A horse 'facing you' is a position of dominance, NOT submission. The horse should wait for you on the circle and you should 'go to' the horse.

If you watch carefully, the people who actually know how to round pen ALWAYS turn slightly away from the horse, inviting the horse to come to them with their body. If they don't turn, the horse doesn't come.

It's the same thing when teaching a horse to lead or longe...shoulder and hip position is VERY important. Close either and the horse turns to you, open them and the horse stays where they are, unless you open way wide then you invite for a change of direction to you, or close way shut then the change of direction is away from you.

For the OP...stop allowing the horse to come to you by 'anticipating' his thought process to turn. The VERY INSTANT the horse thinks about turning in, you must ask him to go forward anyway, anyhow and prevent the turn.

At this stage a surcingle and side reins and bridle are a no-no. Put him in a longeing cavesson and work him in that until he's educated.

Don't focus so much on the whoa. It'll come. Put him in the cavesson, ask him to walk and let him walk all day long if he wants. Don't let him turn in and when he gets tired of walking...in that moment...when he wants to stop, you're going to ask him to whoa and you're going to be VERY clear with your aids. You're going to step towards his shoulder....not towards him....but parallel to him...to block that shoulder and your going to give him a half halt, or two, or three with the longeline and your going to use the proper voice aid as he comes to the halt. Do NOT say, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa while he's still walking. Wait until he's going to whoa, and then say 'whoa'.

Do not longe him in just a circle. Do straight lines, half circles, full circles. Put out some ground poles to walk him over etc....

If your problem is that he gets going around like a fruit loop, then longe him in an enclosed area and run him into the wall. He WILL stop, just be prepared for him to turn away, or turn toward you as he looks for an escape route while he reacquires his brain. Hold him to the wall with your body. Push too hard and he'll turn away. Open too much and he'll try and run between you and the wall.

Rinse and repeat in the opposite direction. If you do a good job being consistent and being ahead of his actions, it won't take but a couple of sessions and he'll have it.
Mercedes is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 07-14-2009, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Well thanks so much everyone...
I think the Caveson is a good Idea...I have a catch 22 right now...Sometime my horse will experience intermittent limping...he can and will work out of it.
He never had this problem until he was turned out on an acre pasture abuot8 weeks before coming here...He then arrived to my shock and horror with really long feet...needles to say I was a bit PO'ed...thats another story...
So I discussed the fact that some days he works out of this limping and sorness...He has been ultrasounded and X-rayed...there is a possible problem but not a diagnosis...vet sais get the respect and just do things and see how he deals with it...
So....Everything was great until He lost one of his new shoes and it was put back on by a differnt shoer...now it takes longer for him to work out of the intermittent limp pattern...
So while I am dealing with this I also had to gain some respect which did involve making his feet move...sorry it was really necessarry due to a rearing issue that he never had had at his old home....
So when he is workable I work with him....I have discussed all this with the barns trainer, and I have now come to the conclusion that I have not lunged a horse the correct way for so long that I must be confusing him and exasperating things...
I need to have the trainer acess things and I need to watch him.
Yesterday I tried to give him a bit of work. Walk trot on a lunge line-no caveson but he was off so I hand walked instead. The trainers 2 yr old is my horses new neighbor and I think they have been "horsin around" for lack of a better term and he is more sore then normal....
I had him turned out today and will re-acess his gait tomorrow...If no difference I will have to talk with my shoer and vet and see what we might want to do...
I am sad and bummed...
Right now I have halted everything! Hand walking is our business, but at least I have managed to gain contol of his hid quarters and stop the rearing...He is settled into his new home better and I think the next shoeing will be a more corrective shoe and i will just hope this will help him....
But I am the new girl at this barn and I have not had a horse in my personal possession for at least 13 years...I did ride a few horses for money when I first moved here but not at this place...private owners homes...
Mercedes, thanks for your instuctions If persay....he has some days when he is consistently moving well I will use the caveson and see if I can do what you have stated, or I will wait until the barns trainer can help me with some lessons on the ground....
At least CA's Round pen methods helped me to regain Tiny's respect and he now knows I am the leader and we bond every time I go out there.
So ... I will wait for now and see if I can take a lesson.... I need to get my own self back in the saddle on some other horses before I get on Tiny...I probly wont be the first person to ride him when his foot is better anyway.
I had a neck spinal fusion almost a year ago and a knee surgery last march so Tiny and I both have issues to work on together, and I have decided to not push this with him....or it will make it worse...That I do know...
I need to be given good direction and also see it done. When Tiny is ready we will pick up where we left off...but for now we will jus continue to hand walk and do some other things to keep his TB mind occupied...
Half Pass
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