Trouble with lunging... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble with lunging...

I have always had troubles with lunging my horse. I have had him for 5 years and I have never succesfully lunged him myself. My trainer has done it before but it's been probably 2 years. I don't have a trainer now because I kind of got out of riding for a while. I just him back from a neighbor who didn't do anything with him even though she told me she would. She had him for about 5 months. Anyways, every time I try to lunge him he acts like i'm "disengaging his hindquarters" and turns his head towards me which is something i've done for years, so he knows how to do that. I got him to walk correctly to the right, but it took a little while and every once in a while he would stop and come towards me. I just couldn't get him to walk to the left. I have watched some youtube videos but I just don't know what i'm doing wrong. I don't know how to keep him from moving his back legs while his front legs stand still. I don't have a round pen or a lunge whip/dressage whip. I wasn't able to get the whip today, but i'm nervous about getting one because i've never had one or used one before. The only thing I had on him was his halter and a 15 ft lunge line. Any answers are appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 09:42 PM
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I use a 12-foot rope (you could try it with just an ordinary lead). You just have to think of which part of his body you want to move & add pressure there. For Ex; if you want him to move his front end away, swing the rope towards his neck & then at his shoulder until he moves (even if you have to make contact with his neck or shoulder). When he does that, go towards his back end.
If he turns towards you again, go back to step one & move his front end away.
You also have to be clear about where you're sending him. if you want him to go to the left, raise you left arm up & out (away from you) and start swingin the rope until he moves off.
Stop swinging the rope when he does what you want, but if he turns back again/stops go after him again.
I wouldn't let him do more than 2 laps in each direction for the first little while. Keep making him change directions as it will make him use his head & pay attention to you. Then you can increase the laps once he figures it out. Even if he does 2/3 laps great, change direction before he decides to stop ;) It has to be your decision.
He will learn, but it may take a while and alot of patience on your part.
A whip is handy too (even if it's just a long stick or a broom handle). You dont have to whack him with it, just use it as a means of encouragement. ;)

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I think i'm going to buy a whip because I think that would help a lot because he doesn't really respond to me swinging the rope at him. Thanks for the help. :)
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 10:04 PM
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Btw, if that's him in your Avatar, hes very pretty ;)

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 10:07 PM
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I'd suggest a carrot stick knock-off, & start him with a 12-14' rope wth stick resting on his back, to be lifted off when needed. He'll then get the hang of circling you. Horses understandably hate being longed round & round mindlessly (wouldn't you?), & it's quite hard on their tendons & such (their anatomy favors straighter going), so please keep it to a minimum.
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 10:13 PM
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Sometimes I have found that to send him you take the 12 ft rope at about the half way or a little more, raise your arm, with the rope and point, while using your other hand to swing the end of the rope. This way you can actually turn his head a little, until he gets the idea, and I swing the rope a little farther back to get him to move. Make sure you have the rope loosely in your hand, so that he can move out and away from you into his circle easily. I would recommend more of a carrot stick than a lunge whip, I just think it works better, but frankly-in the beginning, I hfind it easiest with just the rope. I get all tangled up in fumbling with ropes, strings aand all-it gets ugly! lol

I do think shortening up just to get him started and direct him more will help.

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post #7 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 10:15 PM
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Yes, longe whips can be a pain if the horse doesn't know what to do. They're too long. Even a 12-foot rope can be a bit of a mess at first but they're better.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 10:16 PM
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I meant longe lines! lol

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Here are the measurements of the whip I was looking at earlier: 54" Lunge whip, 56" drop, 10" popper. I've never had one before so I wasn't sure what size. What would be a good size?
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-20-2010, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Also, I only had about 6ft of rope between me and Tiger so I had him up pretty close to me.
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