Transitions while lunging - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-26-2012, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Transitions while lunging

So I decided I was going to remind me mare how to collect by lunging her with side reins a bit.
We were doing well. Nice stopping and upward transitions.
I really like vocal commands. So when I ask her to stop is a very loud and deep "HO" when I want her to trot it's clicking and cantering is trotting.

I decided I would try a vocal command for a downward transition.
It's kinda soft and sounds like I'm saying "whoooooooooooooo" and i jiggle the lunge line a little.
She seemed like she was getting it.

I was just wondering if anyone else did things like that and if they did, what do you do?
ALso if I'm doing something wrong, please say so!

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post #2 of 6 Old 06-26-2012, 08:23 PM
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I lunge a million horses and they all (for the most part) speak my language.

I send them out, trotting is a cluck and snap the whip up/down.
Cantering I swish the line forward and swoop with the whip and a bit of clucking if they don't pick it up right away.
If they get a wrong lead or cross canter I say "hup" and tap the line, then when they break down I pick the canter right back up.
Canter to trot transition I say "hup, trot".
Whooooaaaa walk for a walk
and whoa. for a halt.

They all work off my body language pretty well. My favorite to lunge is a chestnut mare and I barely ask for what I want and she does it immediately.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-26-2012, 08:56 PM
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My instructor would let me lunge a stud she used to own, and he was a joy to work with. He went off of body language alone to pick up and slow down. It is awesome getting to that point with a horse.

Good luck with your mare. The vocal cue is a helpful one, and can be used in the saddle as well. Once she understands the cue, you can back off of using it, until you are using a stronger physical cue, and then eventually a very subtle cue.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.

Last edited by Joidigm; 06-26-2012 at 09:02 PM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-27-2012, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah. She never canted until I started making kissy noises.
It definitely helps a lot. Thanks you guys!

I live to ride and I ride to live
Horses are just angels without wings
11/01/09 <3 my horse left hoof prints on my heart
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-27-2012, 03:53 PM
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I don't lunge on a line very much, but I was taught that for upward transitions, use a rising tone to your voice, and for downward, a falling tone.

And, give a preperatory, "Annnd . . Trot!" just taking a deep breath before speaking a command can give the horse a warning that something is coming.

I hold the lunge line in exactly the same manner as holding a rein. so, if I am about to ask for a downward transistion , I will close my hand and firm up my forearm, just as I would for a preperatory half halt. For upward transitions, I kind of sink my body downward a bit , then lift it and open my chest to project more energy, and for down, sink again. IT's minute, but it helps me to keep myself "riding" my horse always, never just checked out and standing in the middle.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-27-2012, 04:04 PM
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I do the exact same verbal things as Tinyliny and I only lunge to teach something specific. I think keep your words and tone simple so they pcik it up easily. Same goes for body language. I point in the direction I want them to go and say the command. If they need a little more pressure, I use a flag or lariat (depending on the horse) and just raise it at their hindquarters and cluck to trot or kiss to canter. If they need a little more pressure, I swish the flag or slap the coiled lariat against my leg. For the toughest ones, where I am using the lariat, the final pressure is to toss the lariat at their butt. Those horses learn quickly that I can reach them from a distance and it doesn't take them long to get the picture. As soon as the horse is doing what it is supposed to be doing, all pressure is off.

For downward transitions I use my verbal cues along with relaxing and slowing down my body. To draw them into me to either whoa or turn directions, I use my hand to say 'come here' and back up. Then they watch to see if I want them to whoa or go the other way.
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