Horse tunes out

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Horse tunes out

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    11-28-2013, 09:29 AM
Horse tunes out

Hi! I've recently been doing some basic type ground work with my 11yr QH gelding. I'm newish to horses and riding, and I've let him get away with lots and he's a bit disrespectful, but I now know the difference, and we're working on it. When were doing really anything together, he tends to tune out. If I have him free lunging in the ring, after about 15 minutes average, he tunes out. He seems to not care, zero energy in what he's doing. Even when I try to keep my energy and his up, he just tunes out. He will still do what's asked, but in a no energy, are we done yet type attitude. With his past owners, I believe they've used "old school" even a bit rough training with him, not sure if that comes into play?
So any suggestions with a horse like him? Should I keep my sessions short? The issue I have now thinking back, is most times I've rode him, he's been tuned out. Like on the trails, he really pays no attention to what I'm doing, but only the horse in front. Thanks :)
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    11-28-2013, 10:00 AM
Green Broke
When lunging, how often do you have him stop or change directions? Or are you just having him go in mindless circles?

Give him challenges. Give him a job. Give him a purpose. When lunging, change directions often. Don't have him go more than 2 or 3 circles before changing direction. Change directions every 1/2 circle so he does a figure 8. Lay poles on the ground.

When riding, don't let him plod along. Have him weave through trees or poles and have him circle one every so often. Make him go up and down inclines like a ditch. Try to get him to back up and down the ditch. Challenges will make it more interesting for him.

If you keep changing what you ask of him, he will have to stay focused on you.
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    11-28-2013, 10:27 AM
^yes to all of that. I'd say even change tracks every 1-2 laps around. Make him stop, face you, back up, turn, back up again, work on side passing without touching him, haunch and forehand turns, get him focused on you! And get his feet shuffling- no slow moe joe plodding around you as you are asking him to perform these things; the change of direction should be like a powered rollback- spin on a dime. Pick a spot and tell him you are going to turn right here. If you are serious enough about your request he will be serious in his performance of it.

When I run marathons after the first mile or so I literally tune everything out and just go. It's very effective but would be very boring for a horse that doesn't understand why they are being asked to just go. It's also really hard to come out of that state of mind once you are in it- so have your goal be to not let him slip into it from the get go! Good luck and have fun with it!
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    11-30-2013, 03:33 PM
Super Moderator
I don't blame him. Being made to run around in circles gets boring after a while.
    12-04-2013, 02:02 PM
Green Broke
If horse rides why are you lunging him at all?

That is to get the freshness out...and most horses do not need it if trained.

Would you want to have to go step by step to use a computer every time you went to get on it....turn on the power the lights....turn on the lights....log in....hit the monitor....

How many times before YOU would just go through the motions.

Horse is telling you it does not like this, and does not need it. As for disrespect, lunging doesn't fix that. Proper handling of horse does.

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