my horse only lunges for one direction - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 04-28-2019, 08:24 PM
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Welcome to the forum! There are a ton of really good videos out there for learning how to do things but you have to be really careful because it's sometimes hard to know what's good advice and whats garbage. I probably wouldn't lunge your horse. It doesn't sound like you need it.

How does the horse behave around you? Is he respectful? Timid? Pushy? Stubborn?

In my experience Tennessee Walkers are big hearted souls. They really want to please you so you may be able to find a better way to get what you are looking for. I never lunge my walking horse. We can pull her out of the field and go anywhere on her. She's nervous around people - someone handled her very rough. I'm not sure I can say she was abused because I have no idea but she was definely treated rough so I try to do everything with a very gentle touch.

It might be easier for you to list out what you feel like are issues or problem areas and then maybe people can offer advice.

As for the lunging - I would guess your horse just doesnt' like to go one way, kind of like right handed vs lefet handed. It's just easier to go one way over the other.
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post #12 of 25 Old 04-28-2019, 08:33 PM
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Hi there UriAmiel, welcome to the horse forum.



The problem is that when you look at what a lot of the big name trainers are putting out as free snippets on youtube, if you are an inexperienced horse person it is easy to think that they are just running the horse in circles i.e. lunging a horse.


What everyone is trying to say here is that lunging a horse is very different to training a horse. When we are training our horses in circles what we are looking for is the moment the horse is ready for the "release". The horse exhibits certain body ques which tells me that the horse is ready to look to me for some guidance. Horses ability to read body language is absolutely extraordinary! If you are not confident enough to put forward clear signals to guide the horse to do the right thing then you are going to confuse and frustrate your horse.


Your horse will be reading you like a book and if you are a confused mess then you are not going to get any good results.



This is not intended as a dig at you. We have all been confused messes as we have learned to communicate with our beloved equine friends down the years and I can honestly say that I have made mistakes while learning that make me cringe when I think of the end result.


There are some bloody good trainers out there but you need to resign yourself to the fact that you are going to have to spend money to learn to be beneficial and not detrimental horse owner.


Think of it this way if someone has the key to you learning how to become a true partner and friend to a horse, isn't that worth a little money? Doesn't someone who will give you invaluable tools that will enrich your life on many levels actually deserve some gratitude and monetary reward from you? If you believe that you are entitled to free information and that those who supply it to you should not get any payment for their hard work does that mean that you should never be paid for anything you do either?
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post #13 of 25 Old 04-28-2019, 08:42 PM
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I think that fact that the horse stumbles , when going in circles, indicates that it might be really stiff, and thus it ends up being unbalanced. So, it stumbles.

this horse knows that if you ask it to go one direction (the one that is hard for him), that he will stumble. Horses really , strongly, dislike being made to move when they are unbalanced. That is why, perhaps, he refuses to go forward in one direction; because he is stiff that way, and ends up tripping, and this frightens him.




Would you be interested in making a video of your working with this horse, on the lunge to get feedback? It's not as good as a big time trainer, but, it IS free!!!
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post #14 of 25 Old 04-29-2019, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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Hey again all,

Thank you VERY MUCH(!!!) for your answers.

I will upload a video of me lunging (but it might take a while).

I think that the top 3 "problems" we (me and my dad) have with this amazing horse are:
1. It seems like he does not respect us or any other trainer. When we lead him sometimes he "walks on us" or steps on us.
2. Another phrase to that behavior but a bit different is that he also tries to bend his head and eat while leading or riding.
3. He is not stable, he trips while riding around every 5 minutes (while walking).

Some more information about him:
He is pretty big, he is thin (he came to us thin and we are trying to help him put on weight), he has a good heart and he is very kind to people.

I think I would like to work with him about his respect and balance.

I will take your advice - I would LIKE to pay for good instructions if you recommend on a web that includes good advice I will pay.
Yes, my "horse guy" helps me every once in while and give me some basic tips as well, but he is not with me every time I train my horse.

Again, Thank you very much!
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-29-2019, 09:37 AM
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This sounds like he just hasn't been taught to lead or respect space. There are some "Games" or "sessions" you can do with him to work on that. I will have to try to type it up when I have more time because wording matters in the explanation but basically when you are leading him, he needs to be a little bit behind you for now. Not forever but for now because he thinks he should be the leader and he should graze when he wants to. So when you walk him you'll actually want a longer hold on his lead so that he can be a foot or two behind you. As you walk you'll stop and turn quickly to face him. He should abruptly stop but he won't for now because he doesn't know he's supposed to. So when you stop and turn to him you'll make a "shh" sound or a whoa or whatever and you'll hold the end of the lead up or spin it. Not hit him just get his attention with it. It would be easier if you had a sand ring or somewhere that doesn't have grass in it. It could take a half hour the first time or it could take just a few minutes but you'll want to do it everytime you handle him for a little while. Hopefully someone that is better at explaining will come in behind me and add to this because you don't want to make him headshy or scared of you. You just want him paying attention to what you are doing. When you stop - he stops. When you go left he should follow. When you stop and just stand - he should stand a foot or two away unless you tell him it's ok to come closer.

It really doesn't sound like he's a jerk - just doesn't know any better.

As for the tripping - is he caught up on his farrier appointments? Are his hooves long?

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post #16 of 25 Old 04-29-2019, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmpony84 View Post
This sounds like he just hasn't been taught to lead or respect space. There are some "Games" or "sessions" you can do with him to work on that. I will have to try to type it up when I have more time because wording matters in the explanation but basically when you are leading him, he needs to be a little bit behind you for now. Not forever but for now because he thinks he should be the leader and he should graze when he wants to. So when you walk him you'll actually want a longer hold on his lead so that he can be a foot or two behind you. As you walk you'll stop and turn quickly to face him. He should abruptly stop but he won't for now because he doesn't know he's supposed to. So when you stop and turn to him you'll make a "shh" sound or a whoa or whatever and you'll hold the end of the lead up or spin it. Not hit him just get his attention with it. It would be easier if you had a sand ring or somewhere that doesn't have grass in it. It could take a half hour the first time or it could take just a few minutes but you'll want to do it everytime you handle him for a little while. Hopefully someone that is better at explaining will come in behind me and add to this because you don't want to make him headshy or scared of you. You just want him paying attention to what you are doing. When you stop - he stops. When you go left he should follow. When you stop and just stand - he should stand a foot or two away unless you tell him it's ok to come closer.

It really doesn't sound like he's a jerk - just doesn't know any better.

As for the tripping - is he caught up on his farrier appointments? Are his hooves long?

Hey,
Thank you
Sorry but I could not understand how to lead him, if you could please explain again or refer me to a video that would really help!

Yes, his caught up and his hooves are not long at all.
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post #17 of 25 Old 04-29-2019, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UriAmiel View Post
I will take your advice - I would LIKE to pay for good instructions if you recommend on a web that includes good advice I will pay.

The BEST source of training for YOU is in-person training. Not watching videos online. The downfall of watching videos online is they will not relate to you and your horse specifically - only to what is being shown in the video.



Can you find a horsemanship or ground-work clinic near you? Start asking around.


Or go take official paid lessons with your "horse guy".


Quote:
Originally Posted by UriAmiel View Post


I think that the top 3 "problems" we (me and my dad) have with this amazing horse are:
1. It seems like he does not respect us or any other trainer. When we lead him sometimes he "walks on us" or steps on us.

Horses will do what we allow them to do. So, what do you do to correct him when he "walks on you"? If you do nothing to correct him, then he assumes it is okay and the behavior continues.

If you only correct the behavior some of the time, that is not consistent (nor fair) to the horse and he will continue the behavior because you sometimes still allow him to do it.



So if he has problems with his ground manners, it makes sense why you have difficulty lunging him, since he has problems with his ground manners.



Quote:
Originally Posted by UriAmiel View Post


2. Another phrase to that behavior but a bit different is that he also tries to bend his head and eat while leading or riding.

While leading, this reflects on his poor ground manners. He currently believes he can do what he wants, so if he feels like eating grass, he will. He's currently in charge. You need to change that so the handler is in charge.



Poor ground manners often transmit to problems under saddle, for the same reasons.



Quote:
Originally Posted by UriAmiel View Post


3. He is not stable, he trips while riding around every 5 minutes (while walking).
What exactly and specifically did your vet check?
Did you use an all-animal vet, or did you use a specialized equine vet?


If you have concerns that this horse is not-quite-right, then go with your gut. Frequently tripping can either be front feet pain (if he's tripping with his front feet) or can be hind end pain such as stifles (if he's tripping on the back feet). You will need to have him examined by an experienced equine lameness specialist.
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-29-2019, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
The BEST source of training for YOU is in-person training. Not watching videos online. The downfall of watching videos online is they will not relate to you and your horse specifically - only to what is being shown in the video.



Can you find a horsemanship or ground-work clinic near you? Start asking around.


Or go take official paid lessons with your "horse guy".





Horses will do what we allow them to do. So, what do you do to correct him when he "walks on you"? If you do nothing to correct him, then he assumes it is okay and the behavior continues.

If you only correct the behavior some of the time, that is not consistent (nor fair) to the horse and he will continue the behavior because you sometimes still allow him to do it.



So if he has problems with his ground manners, it makes sense why you have difficulty lunging him, since he has problems with his ground manners.






While leading, this reflects on his poor ground manners. He currently believes he can do what he wants, so if he feels like eating grass, he will. He's currently in charge. You need to change that so the handler is in charge.



Poor ground manners often transmit to problems under saddle, for the same reasons.





What exactly and specifically did your vet check?
Did you use an all-animal vet, or did you use a specialized equine vet?


If you have concerns that this horse is not-quite-right, then go with your gut. Frequently tripping can either be front feet pain (if he's tripping with his front feet) or can be hind end pain such as stifles (if he's tripping on the back feet). You will need to have him examined by an experienced equine lameness specialist.

Hey, thanks for the answer.

My horse guy usually sees me around once a week, so it might be a problem. I would think about where I can find someone else to improve my skills.
In the meanwhile, is there a site you recommend using to learn the basics?

When he steps on me, I did nothing so far because I was afraid I will do something wrong.

How can I teach him that he can not do whatever he wants and that I lead him (and not opposite)?

I do not have concerns about this horse - he is amazing(!), but there are some things I would like to improve.
He was checked by the horse's vet and my horse guy, he usually trips with his front feet.

How can I improve his balance?

Thank you
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post #19 of 25 Old 04-29-2019, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UriAmiel View Post
He was checked by the horse's vet and my horse guy, he usually trips with his front feet.

How can I improve his balance?

Again, can you be specific about what the vet already checked and what kind of vet you used?
Did the vet do flexion tests?
X-ray the front feet?


Can you post pictures of your horse's feet?


Does he do it more with one foot versus the other?



Usually, if a horse is consistently tripping their front feet, it is because their feet are not trimmed properly or because something hurts. Usually, if horses have pain in their heels, they will try to avoid that pain by landing toe-first (rather than heel-first or flat-footed). And this is then what causes them to trip frequently.
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post #20 of 25 Old 04-29-2019, 09:17 PM
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[quote=UriAmiel;1970713295]1. It seems like he does not respect us or any other trainer. When we lead him sometimes he "walks on us" or steps on us.

Well it seems that 'respect' means different things to different people. Some think of it purely as 'obedience' or 'manners'. I think of it as a '2 way street'. You must show respect for the horse, before you can begin to *earn* his respect. And for that it takes understanding & consideration of him as a horse. What's different & what's similar about the way they think to us... So reading up on equine behaviour/psych & bodylanguage is important - for that you should be able to search online for free, but others will no doubt have some good book etc recommendations too.

If he doesn't 'respect the space' of a *good* trainer, it may be purely that he's never been taught. Just like a little kid with 'bad manners', can't blame them if no one's ever taught them better. So I don't automatically think of that sort of thing as a 'respect' issue.

Or maybe, due to previous handling, coming to a new place & owners... whatever, he is worried about stuff. And when horses get worried, they tend to just react, not think - not very productive to training in that frame of mind. So I don't automatically think of that sort of thing as a 'respect' issue either. Except in that if you have earned the respect of the horse, he should feel safe with you, so less inclined to panic, more inclined to listen to you in 'scary' situations.

Quote:
2. Another phrase to that behavior but a bit different is that he also tries to bend his head and eat while leading or riding.
For this & walking on you, you'll find other threads here on 'pushy horses' or such with more info, but essentially, horses learn from immediate consequences to do what works & quit doing what doesn't work. So to teach him to keep his head up when asked to 'work' or to stay at a 'respectful' distance from you, you need to reinforce/reward that(it works for him). Focus on what you *want* him to do and reward it.

And when need be, make it difficult/uncomfortable for him to do the wrong thing, with *instant* punishment - make sure it doesn't work for him to do it. It could be an arm wave or elbow jab if he gets too close(you're not hitting out at him, he just got *himself* in the way), could be a jerk on the bit, or a smack to the rump to get him moving forward, when he starts to put his head down. If your timing is good, the punishment quits & the horse is reinforced the instant he stops whatever, and you're consistent with your rules, you're as gentle as possible BUT as firm as necessary to be effective, then the horse will learn and I believe it's fair punishment.

But I do believe it's so important that primary focus is on teaching what you DO want, & rewarding it. Then punishment is little needed anyway.

Quote:
3. He is not stable, he trips while riding around every 5 minutes (while walking). ... he is thin (he came to us thin and we are trying to help him put on weight)
As said, that first is a physical problem. I'd actually hold off riding him until he's in good condition & whatever the prob is corrected. Without information, it could be as simple as he needs a good hoof trim, or it could be some body issue, or it could be your saddle fit. Who knows.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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