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Abby 11-29-2007 11:37 AM

Walking On the Lunge Line?
Whenever I lunge my horse, I ask him to walk and the first thing he does is trot! I've also worked him in a round pen, the same thing happens. The round pen is unusable now because not only do we not have one where I am at, but its too yucky out to use it. I've tried to ask him to walk, but he doesn't respond. I try to slow him, and tell him easy but all he does it trot very slow, if keep trying to ease him into a walk, he will stop, turn and face me, and then stare, waiting for me to call him in. I get frusterated with this! If I ask him to walk after that, he just bolts into a fast trot again. I am clearly giving the command. Every other horse I've lunged will always walk on the lunge line for me. If I am leading him, he responds to the walk and trot commands very well but not on the lunge line His ground manners are wonderful except this.

I'm not sure if he has never been trained to walk on the lunge or if he is just confused. Please help, thanks in advance!

Sara 11-29-2007 01:31 PM

You might try starting on a smaller circle where you have a bit more control (and he has less room to trot) then slowly spiraling him out. If he picks up the trot, bring him closer and start again. Another option would be to have someone with a lead rope help you if he refuses to slow, just be sure they are timing their aids with your voice aids. You might try ditching the whip in case he is overly sensitive to it (possibly you've already tried this). If he's willing to walk just on voice commands, you'd go back to desensitizing him to the whip.

jazzyrider 11-29-2007 11:28 PM

also, be sure to stand so that you are 'in front' of him. like when you ask them to speed up you move so that you are behind their head, do the opposite to slow them down.

while he is doing this slow trot, keep saying a long, slow drawn out 'wa-a-a-a-alk-ing' and put out your arm as if asking him to stop but not as harshly as you would if you wanted him to stop. if he looks like he is going to stop, keep gently urging him on with your voice though but not excitedly enough that he thinks you want him to trot again.

i dont know if this makes sense as im not so good at explaining what i am thinking :) hope it helps though

Abby 11-30-2007 01:33 PM

I tried what Sara said and it worked to an extent. He got the point where he was doing a very bouncing springy walk, which was close to what I wanted so I praised him and patted him, repeating the word walk. He did then finally walk but I wasn't sure if he was tired and didn't feel like trotting anymore or if he was getting what I was asking. He was sweaty and breathing heavy so I think he might have been tired so he was being lazy and walked. After I walked him around the ring a few times I lunged him again and his trot was very nice and settled and he was responding to all the aids great. He would slow down on walk and everything. I cooled him out, and put him away to feed and did some barn chores for the next few hours, and when I came back for an afternoon session he seemed to have completely forgotten how to walk on the lunge line! He was back at his speedy trot again. So I did what I had done earlier only he responded very poorly or he didn't respond at all.

I am thinking I either have to keep working with him until he gets it or try a new method perhaps. He's starting to sort of get the idea but not thoroughly.

I'm going to try what Jazzy says tomorrow when I go out, since its way to icy to drive out today, and hope for some nice results.

Thanks you two.

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