Lunging my 18 year old arabian..
Ok now i know i am having problems with my QH gelding nash and you are all gonna say this is me having problems but i swear its not my fault... i have had no problem in the past lunging this horse...
So my guy louie was on a very strict twice a day lunging exercise plan to keep him musceled up and in good shape, until he got kicked in the shoulder... he wasnt able to do much of anything until the stitches came out... so i didnt lunge him and it was like i think only two - three weeks that he wasnt lunging... well i started up his workouts again slow at first, just walking both ways, then we went to w/t both ways and after about a week i moved him back up to w/t/c both ways again... except now he doesnt focus... he is too preocupied trying to look pretty for his girlfriend that he doenst focus on me at all...
now with this horse before all i had to do was kiss or cluck at him and he knew which gait to do... walk on to start him, cluck to trot, kiss to canter, cluck to trot again, back to canter, back to trot down to walk and then back up and down once more... and doing fun stuff like cantering from a walk or trying to canter from whoa... well yesterday his head was in the clouds and he wasnt paying attention at all and tripped.. hes fine but it scared the crap out of me.
How do i get him to focus on me? there isnt an indoor arena so i cant take him in there to get him away from this mare, there is an outdoor area and the field... what do i do?
You need to learn how to lunge properly. It's an art, and it takes a while to learn how to do properly. You don't know how to ask with your body, so the horse on the end of the line gets confused.
Is that all he does is lunge? Horses can get sour to things they do all the time with no change. He may be bored. I just got done reading a book saying how easy it was to overdo a horse on lungeing. You need to do something to keep him interested or thinking, so his attention will be on you.
Try something new with him. Do you ride him?
lunging must be meaningful
Hi Mjn . . .(can't remember your avatar name)
You've been through the ringer with your horse and the posts on HF and all, some nicer than others. I think you are really brave to ask for opinions again. May I offer mine?
I did watch your video of lunging Nash and I have to agree that your body language and position do not support the verbal commands you are giving the horse and expecting him to follow. I, for one, do not think that verbal commands are so good to rely on. You will not be able to use them in daily riding very much (except "whoa!") and certainly not in showing. Since horses communicate 99% through body language, we should do the same with them. So, it means that you have to be exceedingly clear with your body language. All of his motions during that video indicated that he did not understand your body language, OR it was not MEANINGFUL enough for him to give you his attention.
This might be what is happening with the Arab gelding. He has a cute mare pulling his attention elsewhere, so in order for him to give you his attention (a precious, precious gift), you have to be really meaningful and interesting to him. Just standing in the middle and turning on one foot and calling some human sounds is NOT meaningful to a horse.
You have to do something, anything , that requires his attention.
You could kick up a bunch of dust, go banans right there in front of him, wave a flag, slap your thigh, anything that gets him to abandon the other stimulus and LOOK at you, with ears and eyes. THEN, you have to have a purpose in mind that is really clear to him. MOVE! I mean push him to move. OR, back up! or disengage you hind! or (if he is already moving ) Change directions! If he is blowing you off for that mare, it's because he sees no purpose for doing what you are doing. Would a horse ever push another horse around and around at the same pace? No, he would push the other until it moved off and then let it go, or he would step in front of it and cut it off from the source of food it controls.
Lunging on a line can become really meaningless for horses. If you must lunge on a line, you have to intersperse things of interest, like speed up, slow down, change directions, stop, canter from a walk, . j
So, If you decide that you must lunge on a line, before you get started really think about how to be important in your horses mind. Have a plan in mind for something to do and try to stay one step ahead of your horse (though you can change the plan at any time at a moments notice). Just don't let your forcus wander and don't let dead space open up. If you have to get big and a bit "messy" to get your Arabian's attention, so bet it. Who cares if he barges around with his head up for a bit. In fact, push him MORE rather than slowing him down.
It isn't that he "mind " you and go the correct gaits that you ask, but rather that he is paying attention to you and moving promptly when you ask.
I hope you will have the chance to free lunge in a round pen like situation and ride more frequently rather than lunge twice a day, which seems likely to burn out the horse.
Thank you for reading my very long post. I appreciate your patience.
^^ Very nice, well-put together post!
For visual aids to exactly what tinyliny is talking about, check out this video:Language of the Lunge | Horse Videos – Horse.com Video Library
I haven't seen any past videos or posts, but keep in mind he is YOUNG. It is completely 100% normal for your sweet as pie completely obedient yearling to turn into a hell on hooves 2 year old. Many horses go through the "terrible twos" stage much like children do - and it's not even necessarily being 2, some hit it at a year, some hit it at 3 and some never hit it at all.
That being said, ALWAYS assume it's YOUR fault. You get a lot more accomplished if you spend your time examining everything you're doing instead of assuming he's just a knucklehead. It really doesn't matter WHY he's doing what he's doing, he's a horse and something has happened to make him back slide a little. It could be him developing his personality as he gets older, it could be the way you're lunging him, but the bottom line is that YOU have to modify what YOU'RE doing to accommodate him because he is just a horse after all and he's quite content to just wing about and forget about you and your worries! It may not technically be your fault, but you still get to shoulder the blame when it comes to horses because grumbling about THEM being at fault will never get you anywhere! :lol:
Apparently I can't read because for some reason I read MONTHS not years. I don't know what's with me lately, my brain isn't functioning properly. :-|
lol oh wow.. im going to watch the video and see what i can learn from it to see if anything will help with him... lol
If he's not focusing on you on the lunge line, then do other stuff, like yielding the hind quarters, sending between you and a fence, maybe over a ground pole, yielding forequarters, backing, etc...these are all things that when done correctly, will get the horse to pay attention, because he has no choice but to MOVE his hips, shoulders, or whole body, etc. Lunging should not be done while the horse is out of focus, because that is how bad habits like bolting, not stopping, running through your aids, etc, start happening...get his attention THEN work on the line away from you. Sometimes it can help to bring the line in closer, too, for a few minutes, just to be able to stop and turn frequently, so he HAS to pay attention to his feet, and what you are asking of him.
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