trouble lunging on the line...
 
 

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trouble lunging on the line...

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        01-11-2011, 04:33 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    trouble lunging on the line...

    I just moved my 3yo RMH to a barn for the winter so that I could continue to train him in their indoor arena. One problem..everyone wants to train their horses and he isn't exactly used to being sharing a space. He isn't aggressive or scared just curious and distracted. He doesn't want to listen to me. Instead he gives me attitude and hops and jumps if I give him an inch!

    I have round penned him in the past without a line because he gets WAY too crazy on the line, and off. So off is a little safer for me. He is small but really strong. Today I got him to go around me a few times. He doesn't use the whole arena he just goes around like we are in a round pen, but there are a LOT of bucks and kicks. After making him move his feet for about 10-15 mins he was calm enough to walk around with me.

    The problem is, now that I have to share a space, I really need to learn how to lunge him on a line and not get dragged EVERYWHERE! Any ideas?
         
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        01-11-2011, 05:35 PM
      #2
    Started
    Is he familiar with any groundwork besides lunging? Can he yield his shoulders and hindquarters, back up politely, sidepass, and give his nose to halter pressure? These maneuvers can get him thinking about giving and following pressure out on the lunge as well as giving you more control on the ground. If he's too rambunctious to expect him to lunge politely and respectfully, I would start with getting his attention with those sorts of exercises first, and moving on to lunging later.

    He may be pulling out because he needs more space to feel balanced and comfortable. Be sure that he has enough space to work without offbalancing or stressing his joints. I understand that you're at a bit of a space-premium, but this might be worth waiting for a little more arena space to get done. I personally use a 15-ish foot lungeline, and I also walk about a 10 foot circle rather than standing totally still. This gives my 14.1 hand horse enough room, so might be a useful guideline for you.

    One more thing that comes to mind - how are you asking him to move forward? Is there a clear difference between you driving him forward and you passively allowing him to work? Sometimes, if the horse feels like you're just driving driving driving, he'll get very fast and heavy on the line. As well as clarifying your body language, incorporate lots of transitions in both gait and direction into your lunging sessions - if he needs to pay attention to you and what you're telling his feet to do, he won't get that momentum up in his brain and feet that escalates into a tough job for you.

    Sorry that got a bit long... hopefully some of that was helpful to you. Good luck!
         
        01-11-2011, 06:05 PM
      #3
    Started
    I am in the same situation as you - the barn we are at right now is very busy and my horse is a 3 year old and doesn't exactly understand how to share space. To be honest, I've given up for now and have been working him only when no one else is in the arena.
         
        01-11-2011, 11:02 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scoutrider    
    Is he familiar with any groundwork besides lunging? Can he yield his shoulders and hindquarters, back up politely, sidepass, and give his nose to halter pressure? These maneuvers can get him thinking about giving and following pressure out on the lunge as well as giving you more control on the ground. If he's too rambunctious to expect him to lunge politely and respectfully, I would start with getting his attention with those sorts of exercises first, and moving on to lunging later.

    I have worked all summer on his groundwork. I am not a very good rider so I have been making sure the groundwork is solid WAY before getting into a saddle. He gives good release to pressure on halter, all quarters, but not side pass yet. He is still not too sure with his feet sometimes so I have pushed it.

    He may be pulling out because he needs more space to feel balanced and comfortable. Be sure that he has enough space to work without offbalancing or stressing his joints. I understand that you're at a bit of a space-premium, but this might be worth waiting for a little more arena space to get done. I personally use a 15-ish foot lungeline, and I also walk about a 10 foot circle rather than standing totally still. This gives my 14.1 hand horse enough room, so might be a useful guideline for you.

    I can try lengthening the rope, but he seems to get worse the farther away he is. Like a misbehaving child thinking I can't catch him. Sometimes his kicks and pulls are more attitude than balance...

    One more thing that comes to mind - how are you asking him to move forward? Is there a clear difference between you driving him forward and you passively allowing him to work? Sometimes, if the horse feels like you're just driving driving driving, he'll get very fast and heavy on the line. As well as clarifying your body language, incorporate lots of transitions in both gait and direction into your lunging sessions - if he needs to pay attention to you and what you're telling his feet to do, he won't get that momentum up in his brain and feet that escalates into a tough job for you.

    It took a long time for him to just realize that my body language meant GO! Lol When he is off line, he knows when I ask for him to move and when I stop he often keeps going just because. I will even bend down and stop facing him and he will keep going. I like the idea of just keeping his feet going, so even if he is kicking he is kicking as he goes the way I want him too...I guess I just need really good gloves and a hot pack for my shoulder at night! ;)

    Sorry that got a bit long... hopefully some of that was helpful to you. Good luck!
    Thank you for your advice. I appreciate all that I get!
         
        01-12-2011, 06:06 PM
      #5
    Weanling
    If you have time and the availability, let him get his bucks and playing out so he is able to focus, then start him on the lunge in a smaller circle so you can correct him and make sure he stays moving in the right direction and stays away from you. As he behaves on the small circle increase the size, if he misbehaves bring him back to a smaller circle and make him behave, get him used to voice commands or a cluck and kiss, so he knows now I need to trot, or canter. Do you use a lunge whip?
         
        01-12-2011, 07:36 PM
      #6
    Weanling
    Alcatraz, today he did really well. I had to share the arena with one other horse and the snow was falling off the roof so he was a little freaked out, but I just lunged him on the lead rope and he did great! I only gave him about 3 feet of rope and my arms length and he went around me BOTH WAYS! Instead of the whip I used my hand (he wasn't that far away), and when he got to close I got "big" and pushed him back off. He did really well!

    Hopefully he will give me two good days in a row..but then he wouldn't be three ;)
         

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