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Won't respond lunging counter clockwise
I've been having issues getting my horse to listen when I lunge her. The thing is, it's only a problem when lunging counter clockwise .When ever I have her going that way, she easily goes from a walk to a trot when I ask her to but she will not slow from a trot to a walk until she feels like it- despite me giving her the command to slow down. She's a very good girl and knows how to lunge but this is her only issue right now. I've figured out that going to the left isn't her 'good' side and for whatever reason responds better going clockwise.
How can I get her to listen and pay attention going counter clockwise?
If the only cues you use are verbal cues, you're probably going to have a harder time controlling the horse. Remember when you're lunging a horse, you're basically doing join-up on a lunge line. So if the horse is telling you "okay, I trust you, can I come in now?" and you're constantly pushing the horse forward, eventually the horse will give up and just stop listening because you're not listening to the horse.
Horses don't speak, so they tend to listen more to body language more than verbal cues. If all you have to work with in order to slow a horse down is "whoa" you're going to be in big trouble if that doesn't work. When I lunge, I have three cues to work with that I've taught the horse: "whoa" and I pick up on the line to take slack out of it, and I give the hindquarter yield. That's three chances for the horse to slow down. Eventually as the horse gets better at lunging, I can start weeding out until I get down to just "whoa," but I make sure that the horse always responds to all three.
It's also a good idea to constantly reverse directions, and take rests every minute or so. This lets the horse know that you are listening and mixing things up a bit, so the horse learns to always pay attention and be ready for a cue, instead of just going around and around in a boring circle for five minutes.
I will try that next time I lunge her-thanks for the help! :)
I think it should be thought of as riding from the ground. You are asking the horse to go forward, you are giving the horse a direction, and you are keeping in mind the timing.
The horse should not tune you out, ever. If that happens, you need to redirect their focus. Ask once verbally, ask twice with a little jiggle on the lunge line with a verbal cue and move your body infront of the "at hip" position, third time shorten that lungeline and turn her in with your verbal cue. When she starts to slow, then release your pressure and slowly feed the lungeline back out.
If you want her to stop and she won't, then do the same until she is standing at halt, then immediately release pressure.
SAME concept as riding, only with different things being your hands, seat, leg. Your leg is your "lunge whip" your seat is your body language, and your hands are still your hands.
Eventually it will only need to be body language combined with verbal and maybe some whip to add more energy.
Now keep in mind the horse may be stretching out and feeling better, then they're likely not to want to wind down and stop. So make sure you read the horse and not just go through the motions of w/t/c. Add transitions, move your circle around the arena so you cover more space, lunge through and around obstacles. Make it interesting.
If you want the horse to ALWAYS turn to face you on whoa, then you can follow LaffeeTaffee's suggestion, however, for some disciplines, and when long-lining, it is BEYOND annoying to the point of being dangerous, for the horse to leave the path of the circle. I prefer to not let them. I want them to stop in the circle, then do the next movement when I direct it.
Do you use a whip? If not, get one. Horses are generally one-sided, and need pushing one way.
Lunging a horse is exactly the same body language and cues that you would give if you were doing join-up with a horse. You are driving the horse in a circle and keeping them going when they slow down. If you have a respectful horse and you lunge them for long periods of time, you will notice them lowering their head and licking and chewing, exactly the same as if you were doing join-up. So if you completely ignore this and keep them going, eventually they will stop doing it. It is something to keep in mind when you lunge, it is NOT the same as riding because you are guiding the horse in different directions and the horse's attention is in front of him, not beside him while he runs in a mindless circle for ten to twenty minutes (unless you just rode your horse the same direction in a round pen). It is about as mindless as running on a treadmill for an hour without knowing why you're doing it. Lunging has not been around for very long either, if people wanted to exercise their horse, they would ride them or take them on walks. Lunging is a good way to help a horse release built-up energy or to gain respect on the ground. Yet recently, people have also discovered how convenient it is that you can stand in one spot and have a horse run in a circle around you at any gait, so why not use it for exercise?
Lunging a horse has been around for many many years. It is not a recent invention. I have no idea where you come up with the things you do. And where did you get idea that people took them on walks to exercise them in olden days?
And it is NOT the same as "join up". It is done for suppling, energy release, getting kinks out, to get horse in the beginning stages of being trained, prior to training to cart, or to saddle.
And not done for long periods of time either. Done long enough to get done what is needed. No need to overdo this.
As for OP.
It could be that horse is tight on right side when going to left, chiro or massage would help possibly with that.
If you run your hands over his body, very lightly, you may be able to "feel" an area where body is tighter, which could be area causing trouble. Think how your shoulder muscles feel when you sleep wrong, that is what you will be feeling for.
Could also be, if this horse is being ridden, that the saddle is leaving sore spots too, due to issues with saddle? Can't remember if under saddle yet, will go see, but something to consider.
Is he doing this at all gaits, or just one?
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