Turning out

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Turning out

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    05-22-2010, 08:57 PM
Turning out

So today I lunged Ice today, and although we had a little misunderstanding at the beginning (he wanted to turn without being told, I told him no, his feet got stuck and he bounced around in the right direction, and then cantered off) He was generally very good. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to have to get back into the habit lunging him before doing anything with him, even grooming, he is just so much better. All I had to do was touch his knees/hocks and up his feet went. There was also a lot of instant licking and chewing, which meant I was good on my timing :)

Anyway, he has a very annoying habit of turning out when I want him to turn right. 100% of the time, he turns butt in to go right. To the left, its 100% face forward. If I want him to stop going left, about 85% of the time he will turn in and ho, but sometimes he just stops dead in place, so I know he knows how to turn to the right. I tried teaching him to turn in to the right using a lunge line to encourage his head, but he would still get himself wrapped up in it like an idiot. Can respect be one sided? He does bend better when lunging to the left, and he's stiffer to the right (If I can get his butt to stop angling towards me, he runs more like a square because he just won't tip his head in.

So what should I do, just wallop him on his butt every time he turns in? I've tried getting after him and making him canter out, but he just doesn't seem to get it, and a lot of times will crow hop (no ears pinned, just genuinely stuck) before completing his turn and taking off.
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    05-22-2010, 09:06 PM
It sounds like this is partially a physical issue. I'd have a chiropractor out to look at him. Other than that, it sounds like unconfidence to me. Horses usually turn their butts to you, when pressure is being applied, because they are trying to run away. Try backing off on how much pressure you are applying, be very soft with your cues and give him every chance in the world. Take your time, you are in the teaching phase with him.
    05-23-2010, 01:08 PM
If my cues get any lighter, he ignores them. I start by just raising the lunge whip and saying "reverse". If I'm asking from the left, he's pretty good about voice commands and stopping/turning on a dime once we really get going. However, to the right I almost always need to take at least one step in towards him or he runs right past me.
    05-23-2010, 06:27 PM
I lunged him today in the round pen, and got ONE turn in, so I stopped and called it a day.....the point of that session was to be able to pick out his feet without a problem, and then work on his grain aggression, so I wasn't even looking for it. The problem is I don't know what I did differently to get it!
    05-24-2010, 02:58 AM
So it sounds like you are asking him to turn towards you when you reverse him? If that's the case and you are mainly getting him turning towards the outside rail then it may be your pessition when you are asking for the turn. If you angle your body different ways when asking for the turn then they will turn differently. You can ask for a turn in or out and have it your choice.

Usually when I'm asking for a turn out (when they turn away from me) I angle my body towards their shoulder with my back facing their back end and my front facing their head. I then step in front of them if they don't turn. This puts a fair amount of pressure on them to turn sharply and they will (mostly) turn away from me. If this is the way you are asking then it may just be that he is responding to your body language and not understanding that you want something different.

I generally don't ask them to turn towards me, mainly because I am looking for the sharp and crisp turn on the haunches. I want them to rock back on their hind end and spin off.

If you ask for the turn with less pressure, by opening up towards the hind (but keeping at the shoulder) then they should take that and move towards you for a softer turn. I angle myself so that my front is facing the hind and my back is facing the head. If they don't turn when asked then I will usually step towards the head and put my whip out. If they still don't turn then cut them off on the other side of the round pen and get after them to turn by snapping the whip.

Hope that helps :) If it didn't make sense because of how I worded things let me know (it's 2am so it may not have come out well lol)
    05-24-2010, 11:08 AM
Thanks Silvera! As far as I can think, I generally "open the door" to his shoulder so he can turn in (I've only seen him to a fabulous spin once, but man was he good!) but then he almost always requires me to step in to him, which he then freaks out and tries to turn to the inside. Then he gets stuck, freaks out a little bit more, and sort of bunny hops around so he can turn, because he's freaked out about my pressure.

I wish I could remember what I did! He whoaed nicely and then had an immediate lick/chew, so he was paying attention and hopefully we can replicate the turning out again.
    05-24-2010, 07:22 PM
As you work at it more and more he should calm down about the pressure. It takes a while for some horses to understand with little pressure. If when he is freaking out because of your pressure you keep calm and maybe try stepping in front a little more instead of towards his head and shoulder he should relax once he know's he is ok to turn. Try to cut him off a bit instead of stepping into him, it may work out better for him that way.
    05-29-2010, 12:53 AM
Well we lunged again today, and this time I opted to gt THREE whole turn ins before calling it quits. I don't know what his change of heart was for, I honestly don't think I'm doing anything different--the only thing I did was our very first few times in the round pen, I worked on getting him to turn away from me with his front, rather than his whole body. That's the only thing that I can think of as being out of the ordinary.

He did try and give me a little bit of crap today, I went to pick up his back foot and he tried to walk off! So he got to trot around some more, and then he was a little more willing to stand and behave himself.
    05-29-2010, 11:53 AM
Nice!! I'm glad to hear things are working better. Keep up the good work!!

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