I have a three year old arabian mare. I am teachin to lunge, very basic walk and trot, voice commands ect. She will not lunge to the left.
Do you mean she won't walk to the left, trot to the left, canter to the left...face the left side?
If she can face and walk to the left, it may be that it feels funny trotting to the left, or she feels more comfortable (physically and emotionally) with you on her left eye view than her right. Definitely watch her in pasture and see how she interacts with the horses... does she run with the herd going to the left or does she slow?
I don't have a round pen yet and when I try to turn her and go the other direction she backs up like crazy making it impossible to get her to go to the left. It's annoying!
Well you can tell she's not happy with how you're asking her to go.. either you're being too lenient, not giving her enough space to go (not just physical space.. but horses have their own personal bubbles too!) or she just flat out doesn't think you're being convincing enough. If she's trying THAT hard to get out of it.. definitely get her checked up. And then have an experienced horseman/woman evaluate her when you work with her. Maybe they see something you don't.
You can't force a 1200 lb animal to do any thing so I realize this is a mind game! She has very little training and only have lunged her three times. I did not want to keep lunging with only going one direction.
Help I'm stumped. Any Ideas are appreciated.
Well... from what you tell me it seems leaning more to the causing pain/fear side than her just toying with you. Horses don't play games.. they either like something and trust their leader into doing things they don't like.. or they feel you are an unfit leader and/or that thing is scary and there is no way you're doing it.
That's my experience at least.
I've never used a round pen unless I was at someone else's place. I don't care for them. Too easy for a bucking horse to kick the sides, I've seen some try to climb over & I don't like getting my legs smashed while riding in one.
I don't want to know what goes on at your barn :P Haha, ouch... legs smashed into the sides??? Horses crawling over it and kicking at it? Sounds like they don't want to be in there!
Remember.. young horses and horses not trained before have no idea about what you are asking of them.. it can seem frightening and startling and just plain rude to them at first. A horse starts lunging well when you have shown it that lunging is nothing to be scared of, they WILL cooperate (make it enjoyable.. positive reinforcement and then negative when they are acting out dangerously) but don't put constant pressure on a horse.. that doesn't teach anything.
As for round pens.. personally I love them because it gets me close enough to the horse but them having ample space so they or I aren't feeling crowded. I don't use it only for training.. I use it to ride, I groom my horse in it... let him graze, but I usually use it for teaching something new. It's larger than a stall but not as big as our arena. When I find my horse comfortable enough to bring what he has learned OUT of the pen, he handles himself well and we both feel comfortable and safe.
They aren't necessary, but they aren't useless either. Just another tool for the toolbox
But they are really good for lunging.. especially starting out. Too much space with a confused horse can cause them to run with tunnel vision, scared.. trying to get away. It's good to make things easier for the horse.. get them used to the pen.. or whatever you use to work with your horse. Teach them to walk and trot and halt while you lead them on a lead rope.. then try free lunging (without a lungeline/any equipment) and then when your horse has mastered it.. a lunge line. The reason I say lungeline last is because it can get very tangled around a horse if not used properly... and you can get a nasty rope burn if the horse doesn't understand what it does.. or acts out.