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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was lunging Reno last night in the outdoor arena. We usually use the indoor but I decided to keep him outside and just brought the line with me when I went to retrieve him from the pasture with halter.


I try to mix it up so we aren't just doing circles. I don't ride him yet by myself so when I do my daily visits I like to keep it fresh with ground work. The outdoor doesn't have any cones, barrels, or poles or anything in it currently. I was lunging him but moving around arena, not just circles.


Then I get this idea that I should unhook the line and send him out and see if he will circle. He got the going out part right, but just kept walking! Right to the side of arena and to the grass. haha


So I tried a second time. Same thing.


So then I decided to rehook the line but with my short lead instead. Send him out, get him walking, and let go to see if he would stay circling. I knew it wasn't the smartest idea to let go of lead in case he got tangled up but he was only walking. That didn't become an issue at all. But he again just kept walking to the side and stopped to eat grass. ha


I think I could get him to lunge the perimeter with some work without a line. But that doesn't seem challenging enough, I'm going to work on him circling just me without the line attached. No idea how to even start training that but we are going to do it!
 

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There is nothing wrong with what you did - you just need to extend on it. When he stops paying attention to you, put some pressure on - it doesn't matter whether he moves or not. Take the pressure off as soon as he pays attention to you. Once you got his attention, get him to follow you where you want to let him graze, then let him graze for a while until you decide it's time to move on to a new spot. Get him to follow you again, and for following you and abandoning his previous grazing spot, he gets to eat at another one.

I sometimes do that with my horse when he's eating his hay in this pasture: I bug him until he abandons his hay and follows me. It's a good deal because I lead him right to his grain bucket with a tasty snack waiting.
 

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Why don't you look into how to do "freedom" work with him? This is groundwork without attachments. There are plenty of resources available to get you started. I would suggest purchasing some books on the subject. Many people who have little experience -- as well as some with more experience -- put videos on youtube but it is sometimes hard for beginners to know the difference. Those who go to the trouble of writing books generally have more experience and have given the subject a lot of thought -- both in how to do it and how to present their findings to others.
 

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Did you have a longe whip? If you want to be able to keep him moving, you need some back-up! I'm not saying to hurt your horse, but having something that helps get the message across is, uh, helpful, especially for free longeing where they can really call your bluff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is nothing wrong with what you did - you just need to extend on it. When he stops paying attention to you, put some pressure on - it doesn't matter whether he moves or not. Take the pressure off as soon as he pays attention to you. Once you got his attention, get him to follow you where you want to let him graze, then let him graze for a while until you decide it's time to move on to a new spot. Get him to follow you again, and for following you and abandoning his previous grazing spot, he gets to eat at another one.

I sometimes do that with my horse when he's eating his hay in this pasture: I bug him until he abandons his hay and follows me. It's a good deal because I lead him right to his grain bucket with a tasty snack waiting.
He will generally follow me without a lead rope. He stops and turns with me. His position compared to me is pretty good too without having told him where to walk, to the right and slightly behind. I like to close up the indoor when no one else is there and let him lose and just walk around. I'd need a whip or some other encouragement to get him to trot while I jogged. He wont with my verbal commands or body language. He just falls behind me further and further walking along. lol


But I'd like him to actually leave my side and lunge. Starting out with the perimeter of arena probably but goal of smaller circles around me as if on a lunge line. I sent him out the same way I would with a lunge line on him, and he understood that, he walked out but when there was no tension of a rope he just kept walking until he reached the side of outdoor arena which was grass... I probably need to use the perimeter of the arena to start 'free' lunging him. So instead of just stopping and watching him walk off (since I was wanting him to circle me) when he didnt feel any tension from a line, I should apply pressure for him to 'circle' the perimeter and not let him stop at the grass unless a reward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Why don't you look into how to do "freedom" work with him? This is groundwork without attachments. There are plenty of resources available to get you started. I would suggest purchasing some books on the subject. Many people who have little experience -- as well as some with more experience -- put videos on youtube but it is sometimes hard for beginners to know the difference. Those who go to the trouble of writing books generally have more experience and have given the subject a lot of thought -- both in how to do it and how to present their findings to others.
We do this on a very basic level and I do think it is something we will pursue! He doesn't seem to mind it at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did you have a longe whip? If you want to be able to keep him moving, you need some back-up! I'm not saying to hurt your horse, but having something that helps get the message across is, uh, helpful, especially for free longeing where they can really call your bluff.
Yes and he tends to test me so I usually have it. I use a barn one and don't have my own. I hadn't grabbed it to take out to the outdoor arena that day. But he definitely needs it some days even on a line!
 
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