Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Arkansas & Texas
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."
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.