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I recently got a 5 year old mare rescued from a feedlot (so I have no idea of her previous training). I start all my horses with ground work before moving onto saddle training but she refuses to lunge. I dont have a roundpen at the moment and have to work on a lunge line. When I try to send her out she absolutly will not go out, she turns in and faces me. If i try to make her turn away from me to lunge she does whatever it takes to face me down. I have gottn her to lunge for a few seconds at a time, but halfway through the circle she turns in. the whip doesnt phase her, the whip with a plastic bag on it doesnt phase her either. no matter what i try she just turns in and WILL NOT face away from me. Any suggestions?
 

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I recently got a 5 year old mare rescued from a feedlot (so I have no idea of her previous training). I start all my horses with ground work before moving onto saddle training but she refuses to lunge. I dont have a roundpen at the moment and have to work on a lunge line. When I try to send her out she absolutly will not go out, she turns in and faces me. If i try to make her turn away from me to lunge she does whatever it takes to face me down. I have gottn her to lunge for a few seconds at a time, but halfway through the circle she turns in. the whip doesnt phase her, the whip with a plastic bag on it doesnt phase her either. no matter what i try she just turns in and WILL NOT face away from me. Any suggestions?

Drive her shoulders out, then drive her up from behind
You can drive those shoulders out, just use enough pressure until she complies
 

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This seems to be a common problem. I was asked to help with a young horse that would not lunge according to his owner.

This horse also would take off pulling the line from the owners so I put a bridle on and attached the line to the bit, line through the bit over head attaching to the bit ring on the far side.

He had previously been lunged.
I asked him to move away and he stood facing me. I gave him the command to walk on and he stood looking at me.
I started to rotate the lunge whip next to him, so it was going parallel to his side as he was facing me head on.
This was ignored, he couldn't have given two hoots! I then flicked the whip along his side, not actually hitting him with it. The reaction was a hard tail swish and ears back and coming towards me, that gave me a good reason to lay the whip along his side so he did feel it. He didn't like this at all, so he thought he would frighten me more. This was fine by me because it gave me good reason to teach him that the whip should be respected and he received a really hard lash, this sent him away and he lifted a leg to kick out at me - he couldn't reach me, so, got two more hard lashes across his back legs.m

He then lunged absolutely fine, after a couple of circuits he showed his annoyance by stamping his front feet down hard as he trotted around just to let me know he didn't approve.

Once out on the circle don't try to get them walking but to trot and trot forward freely, the finer side of transitions can come once they know they have to keep on the circle.
 

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face me down. I have gottn her to lunge for a few seconds at a time, but halfway through the circle she turns in. the whip doesnt phase her,
If she won't quit facing you, she's not up to being 'lunged' yet IMO. You've got to reinforce what she can give you, by taking the pressure off, so you've got something to build on. Let her know what's Right by what works for her. Once you teach her to yield away on cue, then you can ask for forward. I personally teach up close stuff first, ensuring the horse is good at yielding in all ways, before just increasing the distance, until it's 'lunging'.

If she doesn't understand what you want, or has inadvertently been taught this is what works(Fox's eg pony knew what worked for him, but quickly found it didn't work with Fox!) and you get her to go out on a circle at all, reward that! Don't wait for a full circle first time, when she's not even solid with move forward on cue yet.

As for 'the whip doesn't phase her', IMO see Fox's post again. Perhaps it's all been meaningless bluff in the past, someone jiggling a whip at her but afraid to use it, or perhaps she has been 'desensitised' to it purposefully by someone who didn't know what they were doing(bag on a stick makes me think somebody over-Friendly-Gamed her!). Whatever, you've got to make it strong enough, and clear enough with an easy 'out' for her to be motivated to yield to it. That may mean that you need to seriously crack her with it once or twice, but whatever you use, if you want to teach a horse to yield to pressure, the aim is to be as gentle as possible BUT also prepared to be as firm as necessary to be effective. Otherwise you're just nagging & teaching the horse to ignore you.
 

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Agree with what has been said
First decide if she even understands how to lunge, and base your approach on that. It is very common for a horse not taught to lunge to try and face you, but there are methods to teach them the desired response and concept.
If you have a horse that has learned facing the handler, even coming in, signals end of a work session, so the horse does that un -asked, then you get after them enough so they respect that lunge whip.
Broke horses, I lunge off of the inside ring of a snaffle, and horses not ready for this, but ones that try to pull away, I lunge off of a halter and stud shank run under the chin
 

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I echo my fellow responders. She needs to go back to basics. Yes, even more basic than lunging. If she isn't phased by the whip, then she isn't trained to respond to one. Like others have said, she could be desensitized to it through improper training or experiences. Take her back to yielding the hindquarters, yielding to pressure, responding to direction. You can't expect her to just go out and lunge if she is not sensitive to pressures and direction. Getting her responsive to yielding to pressure, giving the hq's, the forequarters, flexing to a feel, etc. are all great ways to get her going. She needs to understand these principles first, then elaborate on them and get her doing tiny semi-circles off pressure. Then full circles. Then rollbacks on the line. I am personally not a fan of basic round-and-round lunge techniques. Short semi-circles, changes of direction, etc are in order. And, always drive at the shoulder for initial lunge requests. I find you get a better response than trying to send them out. Raise your leading hand, tap at the shoulder, and follow through at that point to get them out. :)

Even though I am not a fan of any of the big-name celebrity-esque trainers out there, Clinton Anderson does have some very basic and effective step-by-step instructions for working on lungeing I will recommend to people that are having trouble with their horses. It is broken down in to clear steps.
 
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