turning in when lunging... did i do ok? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-27-2012, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Location: New Mexico
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turning in when lunging... did i do ok?

Hi all,
So Hondo has been on a riding/ working break for a couple months. I have been working 6 days/ week n my husband started a night shift n is running out the do r by the time I get home from picking up my son. Well n e way point is I haven't had time or energy to be honest. He is 19 yrs old and well trained. I've had him since march.
So I took him out to lunge him a bit today n he did well. I had him walk both directions then trot then picked up to a canter- though a bit faster than I wanted- for a few circles in both directions. I backed and stopped him for a bit, planning to walk him a bit more and let him cool down- not that he was sweaty or breathing hard but I thought a cool down would be good. But when I motioned to send him out he kept turning to face.me in a way he does when I yield his hind or play "hide the butt". I tapped him on the shoulder with a whip- the long stick with a short rope kind- to try to get him to move out, but he just turned to face me again. so instead of smack him again, I decided to yield and back him hard. Then I asked him to move out in a circle again n he didn't move. So I went back to yielding hind n backing again. Once again I asked him to move out and this time he did so I had him do only two circles at a fast walk. Stopped him and brought him in for the day. He was acting calm and led respectfully back to his enclosure.

So, my question is did I do ok. Is there something else I should have done differently? I don't really have any other issues with Hondo. I think he was just being lazy because he has put on some weight and hasn't been asked to do much in a while.
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-27-2012, 10:28 PM
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Maybe you have spent too much focus on yielding his hind quarter, and not enough on his forequarters. Him facing you couled be either confusion on his part; him thinking he is doing what he has always been taught to do. Or, him trying to say, "aren't we done now?". But, you want him to move his forequarters away from you, so work with him on that from time to time. If he won't move when pressure is put on his shoulder, make your focus his inside nostril. you dont' have to actually hit him, just kind of push toward it with your hands. If that doewsn't do it, then yes, you can tap him right on his jaw and he'll move his head outward, and then his shoulders will follow.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-28-2012, 01:57 AM
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Possibly lunging after no work, particularly at the canter for a 19yo was a bit too hard on him & he was hurting so reluctant.

Not knowing how he's been trained or what your skill level is etc, I can only tell you how I would have handled it as a training problem. First & foremost, I use 'lunging' to teach/reinforce my horse for responding at a distance to what they learned up close. Therefore, I'd confirm the horse reliably yields to direct & indirect pressure up close first.

Then when you're up to asking at a distance, if you signal, say, at his neck for him to turn away from you & he doesn't, increase the pressure(such as turn the signal into tapping/smacking) & make it unpleasant for him. Keep the pressure on until you get a response & the instant he starts to turn away, quit the pressure altogether(negative reinforcement). Don't quit before you get the response & do something else(like backing up), or you are just teaching him that if he ignores it, it'll go away.
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