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This is a discussion on Whips within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    04-15-2013, 12:07 PM

Whenever I was teaching my horse to lunge out of the round pen, I had run into some snags along the way. Every time I would tell him to "go", he would just disengage his hindquarters. I was looking for advice on how to fix this, when I posted my question onto a website (not this one). I told them about his issue, and how I was using my whip to tap him on the rear, which used to be his cue to go, along with me actually saying the word "go".
This woman absolutely freaked out on me. Telling me that I was abusing my horse, and that was why he was being so disrespectful. She told me that "the whip is to NEVER make contact with the horse under ANY circumstances. Lunging is a form of art, and should be treated that way."
Uhm, really?
First of all, I have never, ever whipped my horse with that whip. I have slapped him on the shoulder when he needed to be disciplined. But he has never been scared of me or shied away from me. He knows when he does something wrong, and deserves to be disciplined. Just as he knows when he does something right, and deserves to be rewarded.
Secondly, it was a TAP. It was gentle form of pressure to get him to go. When swinging the rope behind him & beside him didn't work, I just gently tapped the whip on his butt to get him moving.
Thirdly, lunging is an art to some people, such as when they have problem horses and join up with them through lunging. But for my horse, lunging is a way to get him to listen, pay attention, stay focused, exercise, stretch and get his "bugs" out. Sorry, but for us lunging is not an art. It's just a form of exercise that keeps my horse in shape.
By the way, my horse can now lunge freely in the round pen, as well as out of the round pen with just a lead rope. He's not scared of me or the whip.
Sorry for the rant. I just needed to get it off of my chest. I've been meaning to post this on here for a while, but I just haven't found the time between horses, work and school.
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    04-15-2013, 04:11 PM
The driveline is behind the withers. Point your hip in that area to keep him from disengaging. You may have the whip too far back and he's doing what he thinks you want. As long as he's moving how you want, put the tip of the whip on the ground to release the pressure. It may take the two of you a few tries to get the hang of it but don't get after him. Remember, you are the teacher and if something isn't working try something a little different. As long as you don't terrify or hurt him you're not doing anything wrong.
    04-15-2013, 04:35 PM
Just like riding, you can lounge or you can LOUNGE. I mean, you can make your horse go round and round, get his ya-yas out, and maybe you get him mor focussed on you, but maybe he is counter bent, leaning in or out, mind way outside the pen.

Or, maybe he's bent correctly, rating his speed to the feel of your body, your hand on the line, transitioning up and down in just the way you'd want him to work on under saddle. THAT is LOUNGING, and it is an art.
    04-15-2013, 06:46 PM
Honestly if you have to tap the horse with the whip the entire time you're lunging, you're doing it wrong. The horse should move out either with a verbal cue, a body cue, or a motion cue.

No tapping isn't abusive but it can be unecessary. It's like yelling at someone to do something when you haven't given them a chance to comply by asking in a nicer quieter tone. This is when they begin to ignore your cues because nothing gets them the release they're looking for.
    04-15-2013, 06:53 PM
Some people think the smallest contact to a horse is abuse. I have had to train many many weanligs to the round pen and sometimes there is no absolute way to get them to go other then makig contact with a whip.
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    04-16-2013, 12:03 AM
A year ago, all I had to do was point and say "go" when we lunged, and Lakota would listen. But he was turned out to pasture for a year, and I when I started to re-train, I had to apply more pressure when I asked him to do anything. But like I said, he understands what I'm asking him now, and all I have to do is point and say "go" again. He was just being lazy/stubborn when I was trying to lunge him in the beginning. What some people don't understand is that I've owned my horse for almost 4 years, and I've trained him everything he knows. I know exactly how much pressure he needs when I'm training him.
Also, I didn't have to tap him with the whip the entire time we were lunging. It was just to get his feet moving in the beginning.
    04-16-2013, 12:09 AM
Goodness. She was a bit silly to say you were abusing your horse, IMO.

I have never used a lunging whip, personally. I blame it on being uncoordinated. But, really, I can just step toward a horse's shoulder or hip and maybe have to raise an arm and they do it.

Probably a good thing, since I suspect I'd trip over a whip.
    04-16-2013, 12:17 AM
You can make a horse go forward by tapping him on his hip, but only if the horse knows that you want forward movement. I mean, he'll move from the tapping, because he wants to get away from it. He wants it to stop. Most likely, a horse will swing his hip away from you, so you end up with him facing you, not going forward. But, if you use the lead line to get him thinking about going forward, the same tapping can cause forward motion, especially if you never stop tapping until you get some small forward motion. You keep tapping even if he moves his hip away from you. It can be made to work,

But, there's a whole lot easier ways to lounge.
    04-16-2013, 12:19 AM
Like I said, all I have to do is point and say "go" and he lunges with ease now, just like he did a year ago.
    04-16-2013, 12:22 AM
Originally Posted by Jennakaaate    
Also, I didn't have to tap him with the whip the entire time we were lunging. It was just to get his feet moving in the beginning.
I didn't say you were? I was just making a generalized statement. I didn't say "OP you're doing it wrong" you just took it that way..

crazy lady, explanation, lunging, problem horses, rant

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