3-year old learning to lunge.
I have an almost 3 year old Gelding I will be breaking in the spring. I started sort of lunging him when I got him as a yearling, but I am now running into problems on the line.
I have a TB he was pastured with from the time I got him, they were in a small dirt lot most of the time and I got into the habit of free lunging both of them. Fox (my 3 year old) began following my TB through the gaits, he learned that the 'cluck' means trot and 'kiss' means canter. I moved them to a barn that had a round pen, I used that for a few months without the line, first with them together and then on his own and he did well, only threw a buck a few times and I drove him through it and he got really good about not bucking when he was working.
When I was finally able to move them to my own property I lost the use of the round pen so I recently have started bringing him out on the line, I've only got him out twice on it, the first time went well, he trotted slowly and pulled outward a few times but we ended with one full, complete circle with no fulling outward.
The second time is when I ran into problems, I lunged him and he went well at first till he tried eating the grass and I flipped the whip and he bucked, I just thought that I freaking him out a bit so I pulled him back in and asked him to trot on, holding the whip out behind him and my shoulders at his rump to keep him forward. eventually I had to stop because he would not trot on without the whip which seemed to make him buck.
Any suggestions? I plan on getting a video later today and post it so people can see whats going on... it's very possible its all me, but I cant pinpoint it.
I actually had this problem with my 2 year old filly when I bought her. I'm not sure if someone mistreated her with the whip, or if she didn't have a clue what it was, but she was an all-out rodeo star the first couple times I lunged her. I personally just kept at it, desensitized her to the whip by rubbing her with it and allowing her to approach it and sniff it and within a few sessions, she was lunging quite nicely.
Here's a video of what I dealt with the first time I ever tried lunging her:
It took maybe two or three sessions of whip desensitization and working her softly before she got over it. Now she's a dream to lunge and round pen!
Haha, I also found a video of her less then a month later - she's in the round pen, but I'm using a lunge line and as you can see, she's not pulling tight, and she's not afraid even when I flick the whip to make her move past the other horses:
That's what Hunter was doing and then he would try and come AT me. We have just kept working with him and he is getting better and now we actually have him ground driving.
I'm with Macabre, just keep at it and keep driving, driving, driving. Some whip-desensitization is always a good idea, I even do it was my older mare who lunges just fine, just to make sure the whip is only a cue, not a horse-eating monster.
You may also try, if you're able, getting another person out to help you who can walk with your horse while you lunge in the middle, so he gets the idea, and then gradually let the person walking with him come closer to the center. It may also help to have that second person have a whip to help you drive him forward and away from you if he gets to be a little hot.
PS. Loved the commentary on your video, Macabre!
I was out there earlier and decided to pull him into the pasture with the line and try it, it's too windy to do anything, he just wants to stop with his butt towards the wind and looked at me like "mom can we stop? its snowing"
I got him to walk in a circle with the whip out behind him with no problems so I'm just thinking that he was fiesty yesterday. When we get a decent day I'll hopefully have someone home that can grab a video of us.
another thought is that he isn't used to being worked outside of the pasture? The round pen at the old place was in their pasture. so i'll keep working at it and keep posting.
Haha, she's definately come a long way from the half-wild disrespectful 2 year old I carted home in spring! :lol:
Being a 3 year old, that's a definite possibility. Horses like the guidance of the fence, and it's very possible he was just feeling snorty and felt "free" on the lunge line and decided to have some fun.
I know how that goes, Fox was a total brat as a yearling, more like a total jerk actually, he did not have the training his owner said he did. He didn't lead well or respect your space haha
I have a lot of time into my boy =]
I actually found a few video's of them at the old place. not very good but you can tell he kinda knows what hes doing, he got a lot better after I took my TB out.
I would suggest really talking to him. I broke my mare when she was 3 1/2 to ride but started lounging her back last febuary. I ound that smooth gently resuring talking helped her alot, I also set up some poles around me in a circle like figure to help giude her, I then changed the poles to cones when she figure out that was a circle. Anytime she lowerd her head and relaxed I praised her. Its a really good exersise. Good luck!
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