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cantering on the lunge
I have been lunging my new quarter horse mare. She is an ex-polo horse and an ex-barrel racer. She is very sensitive, but does fine lunging at the walk and trot. However, no matter how lightly/ softly I ask for the canter on the lunge, she bolts/ rears/ bucks/ backs and won't canter. Any suggestions?? Thanks!
Why are you lunging her? Have you tried riding her at the canter yet?
Sometimes (a lot of times) bad habits are caused by a horse's discomfort or pain. Polo and barrel racing are both sports that require the horse to move at fast speeds and make quick turns. It would not be surprising if her back was a little stiff from that or maybe her stifles. She might be telling you she's in pain. You might want to consider acupuncture, chiropractic, or sports massage for her.
I agree. The extra pressure on her hocks might be too much for her, and it hurts.
Have you tried free lungeing her? That might work out better for you.
yes guys, sorry for the confusion. She does fine when i am riding her at the canter. She is a little speedy but i'm not worried about that. And also we do have an equine chiropractor that come to the barn every once in a while. Maybe i'll have her give her a look. thanks guys!
Has she been cantered under saddle yet?
If she is fine when you canter her undersaddle, why lunge? I don't lunge my horse (I'm sure he could use it sometimes as he can be quite the idiot hot head :)...) when I first got him off the trainer at the time told me to lunge him before riding and it wasn't long before he was bucking, bolting and eventually it extended to when I was riding. It took me a long time (and denial) to figure out how much pain I was causing him by forcing him to canter in a small circle. Lunging is very hard on a horse's joints. Check out Jean Luc Cornille and his Science of Motion website, he's pretty fascinating and shows how to lunge a horse without risking the integrity of the joints. Good luck with everything!
Came back and reread, my bad OP.. I'm very tired lately.
If she's fine under saddle then I wouldn't worry about her on the lungeline unless you are trying to exercise her via not riding or you're at a show.
Does she show this one way more than the other? Does she happily canter tight circles under saddle? It could still be a pain thing that flares when doing something stressful on the joints like cantering on the lunge.
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