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free_sprtd 12-27-2007 01:20 AM

Left side trouble
Im sure this is probably posted somewhere so sorry if it is...I couldnt find it. I was lounging thunder today and he does great on his right side (even got into a slow trot). But when it's time to switch he will not go anywhere. He either stands there or moves his back end away and ALWAYS stays facing me. So I just tried walking him on the left side circling the arena and we made it a couple feet and he stopped again. What am I doing wrong, or what can I do to ease him into being comfortable on that side? (i am told every horse has there bad side.)

horse_luver4e 12-27-2007 08:29 AM

I know my horse does the same thing only she won't go right she just ignores my cues and goes left.

I think if you get a carrot stick or a lounge whip like what clinton anderson has or pat parreli, and when you point to go left, flick it or pop him on the neck a few times to get him to go left. I have a lounge whip and my horse respects it.

Hope it works out! It just sounds like you need an exstention of your arm.

GallopAway 12-27-2007 09:17 AM

[size=9]Our gelding used to be HORRIBLE about lunging on his left side.

He'd twirl to face me and if I clicked to ask him to move and swish the whip he would actualy rear up and STRIKE out at me.

I just had to be firm with him, because I will NOT tolerate a behavior that agressive. A few good swats on the shoulder and he stopped. He's fine with lunging now.

Try to push him away with the whip, You don't have to HIT him, just a few light taps. Make sure to stand more towards his back end.[/color]

free_sprtd 12-27-2007 12:20 PM

that's EXACTLY how thunder is.....It doesnt matter how much I poke or prod or cue him to move or crack the lounge whip (not on him, in the direction I want him to go), he just puts up with it and is severely stubborn lol. I guess I just have to keep working on it.....I had to MAKE him walk in large circles to the left with me leading to make sure we got his left side worked a little. hmmmm............

thanks for the comments! anymore ideas?

GottaRide 12-27-2007 03:55 PM

Concentrate on moving his shoulders over so that he ends up pointed in the direction you want him to go. You don't need him to start lounging to the left, just get him pointed in that direction. You'll need to be aware of your location in reference to his body. Don't stand in front of him because you will be blocking him from moving. Get out to the side of him and focus on that shoulder. What tool are you using to help make your signal very clear to him? A lounge whip? A carrot stick? The end of your rope? You'll need something to get closer to him without actually moving your feet closer to him. Sometimes I twirl the rope on the side of his face to encourage him to move away. If that doesn't work, he's going to get swatting on the shoulder with my tool. And if he still doesn't move in the right direction, he will get swatted even harder until he makes the right choice. But focus on getting his head pointed in the right direction before asking him to move forward. His body has to follow his head!

free_sprtd 12-27-2007 04:07 PM

I am using a lounge whip. I do crack it in his direction and he just stands there. when I hit his butt with it, he just swivels his behind and continues to face me. Even when I try and just make sure I am standing off to the side slightly behind him (so I am not behind him) he continues to swivel. He will take whatever force I use and just stand there. Nothing seems to affect him. I just don't know. I am going to start from very very basic....maybe do some stretching on that side and take it step by step LITERALLY. Every few steps. Thanks:)

GottaRide 12-27-2007 05:25 PM


Originally Posted by free_sprtd
I am using a lounge whip. I do crack it in his direction and he just stands there. when I hit his butt with it, he just swivels his behind and continues to face me.

There's your aren't focusing on his shoulder.

He is doing exactly what you are telling him to do, even though you didn't realize it. Of course he is going to move his butt when you hit him in the butt! He's been taught to move away from pressure, that's what he is doing. Pressure is applied to one area of his body so he moves that area. Just re-focus your pressure to a different area of his body (his shoulder) and see if that part of his body moves away.

free_sprtd 12-27-2007 07:05 PM

ya, ill try....but I've tried poking his shoulder because that's always what I was told, but he literally leans into the pressure. Ill try focusing the attention towards the front part and see what happens. thanks!

Spirithorse 12-28-2007 10:55 AM

I agree with GottaRide! You need to focus on his SHOULDER. That's the part of the horse you want to go away, so you send your energy at that part of his body. He's only doing what he thinks you are asking him to do.....face you. He's not being bad.

He leans into pressure because he has opposition reflex. You need to teach him to yield to and from steady and rhythmic pressure. DO NOT poke him. That's annoying to a horse, and no animal wants to be poked. Ask him to move his shoulder by applying pressure VERY LIGHTLY at first and SLOWLY increasing the pressure. If he doesn't move, take the handle of a crop or something, even a lead rope, and start tapping him with it. Sometimes you will need to use a bit of rhythmic pressure to get the message to the horse's feet. When he moves, even the tiniest bit, STOP and rub him. Do that until you can get him to move away from steady pressure when you touch his HAIR. Yes, that's how light it should be!

GottaRide 12-28-2007 12:53 PM


Originally Posted by Spirithorse
Do that until you can get him to move away from steady pressure when you touch his HAIR. Yes, that's how light it should be!

Actually, it should be even LIGHTER than that....the horse should move away from pressure even if you never touch him. You should be able to touch the AIR surrounding the body to get him to move. :wink:

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