Balance issues when Lunging
Background: I have a hackney pony, 13.3hands tall named Stormy and getting to be a chunker! I just graduated college, work full time, just got married, bought my first house, and haven't had a lot of time to work him.
Anyways, When I get a chance I like to lunge him, he is getting barn sour and I'm working him at the barn to maybe get him to not like it and I don't think it's working. When lunging him though, I have him in a 15ft circle with the lunge line and if I go any faster than a slow trot he slips and falls in the circle. He seems to be leaning into the circle way too much and he slips on the dirt, even in the driest position. I tried making a bigger circle but his lunging skills are rusty and then he is more likely to stop, spin in the other direction and all the issues start. I want to work him in close then push him out farther but right now anything past 15ft and he loses focus. Am I making the circle too small? Or is he having an issue on his end? Just wanting to mill it over with everyone cuz I'm apprehensive on working him because I don't want him hurt.
I agree that the circle is way to small, if you need him to be close because of issues walk a large circle yourself as he is going around so he is on a 60 feet circle.
He is less likely to resist if he doesn't find it such hard work and, it keeps you fit.
As loosie said, he doesn't seem to see you as his buddy right now. Instead of lunging him, work on your relationship. give him treats when you great him, talk to him while you groom him, do some positive reinforcement groundwork, maybe teach a few tricks like giving a hug or "shaking hands". After a few sessions of that, then you can start asking him to work for you.
Bringing him back to work will take time. Do some trotting both ways in increasing increments for the first couple weeks, then throw in a couple canter rounds both ways for a couple weeks, then half and half the trot and canter. After about six weeks, you should have half and hour of walk trot canter workout, along with whatever under saddle you've started.
As for the circle, for the beginning of bringing him back, a 30ft diameter is fine. After the first week, try sending him further out at the trot, say. 40ft circle. By the time he starts to canter you want at least 50ft. If he still seems to lean, (after a week of cantering on the line) tug the lead rope in towards you, so that he lifts his nose and turns it towards you. This will help round out his body, and shift his weight so he's carrying himself instead of relying on momentum. Don't allow him to stop or come towards you, push him through it or push him away when he tries.
My annie had this problem when she came to me as she was very full of herself and convinced that people and cantering were for dogs.
Good luck :)
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