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Ah, 3 year olds...
I've recently decided to work with a 3 year old Belgian/Morgan gelding that has been sitting in my RI's pasture since he was weaned (nobody had time for him). He's been trained to lead and cross tie, but will only stand in the cross ties for so long, than he starts to rear and throw a fit. When someone leaves the cross ties, he tries to follow. I picked up his feet today, handled his ears, and got him used to a saddle pad and a girth, but other than that he's clueless as to what you want him to do.
I tried to lunge him today, and we mastered lunging at the walk, but even when I lead him he won't trot. What else can I do to train him? And how do I get him to trot? He's probably going to end up being a western horse if that helps any.
Here's a picture if it helps. This was taken in early spring long before I decided to work with him. Which explains his dirtiness.
When you lunge, turn so your shoulder is slightly behind him (no actually behinad, but turned towards his butt) butt too push him on. Make a triangle with the lunge whip, Withe three sides being the horse as the base, your lunge line arm, and then the lunge whip following right behind his butt. You can crack it if need be, but most horses will move faster when you get behind them with your body and the whip
sorry, I hope you can understand what I mean
Here's a picture to illustrate, not perfect but gives the idea. See how she is behind the horse? Imagine a whip in her right hand as the third part of the triangle (horse, whip, lunge line)
It really just takes some time. I'm working with a 3 year old rescue who knew nothing as well. I started by teaching the basics up close, yield front and hind as so forth. Next put him on a 12 foot line so he was still semi close. Once he had the walk down for a few days we started on the trot. He either didn't get it or didn't wanna, he would disengage his hind end, stop a look at me. Sooooo, we started again, out at the walk and then he got a pop on the hind end and a cluck until he got it. At first he would do maybe half a circle at at a time the disengage again. Now he's doing 6 or 7 laps, trotting over ground poles and tarps. In all it took about a week. This guy was pretty messed up mentally so I really take my time with him.
While leading if he doesn't keep up it's the same, he gets a pop from the lead rope end which is in my left hand or the lounge whip.
Ah, the joy of 3 year olds. I love two year olds (they are just trying to figure stuff out), tolerate 3 year olds (still new to everything, but beginning to test), hate 4 year olds (they like to throw everything at ya), and get back to liking them as a 5 year old. But I must be insane as I'm looking at buying a 3 year old here shortly. :D
Anyways, best of luck to you. The main advice I would give you is to make sure you are firm and consistent with these youngsters. they really need consistency, where you always ask for things the same way and respond to their mistakes the same way. But they can be so much fun, and so rewarding to work with. If this one is at your RI place, don't be afraid to ask for help.
As far as the lunging goes, just take baby steps. Work on mastering the walk, stop, and reverse first. Work on trotting this one by your side. Stay right next to him, and when you ask for the trot, give a verbal cue, move forward, and tap him with the lunge whip or lead line on the behind. But if he goes forward, make sure you stay with him. It will take a while, but he'll get the idea there, and hopefully associating it with a verbal cue will help transition it over to the lunge line.
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