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Inspired cowgirl

Lunging -- Please help

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I need much help! I am not experienced lunging at all. I never had a horse that needed too and all my horses don't even know how so its no point. But I recently got a new one. He lunges. But very dangerously. When I send him off, he is calm and trotting nicely. But the slightest offer to go faster or if I am just readjusting my position/rope, he takes a chance to charge and buck. and thats going to the left....

He HATES the right! It will take alot to get him to go that way. He will keep trying to turn around and ignore my cues. He gets angry with pressure. I might get him to go but only a trot thats very nervous and basically crappy, and unbalanced.

He will try to decide when to stop and go the other way. Of course I correct him and keep him the same way, but then goes a bucking,rearing,charging frenzy. I am not scared of him, I am very confident. But wouldn't you worry about getting hit?

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I need much help! I am not experienced lunging at all. I never had a horse that needed too and all my horses don't even know how so its no point. But I recently got a new one. He lunges. But very dangerously. When I send him off, he is calm and trotting nicely. But the slightest offer to go faster or if I am just readjusting my position/rope, he takes a chance to charge and buck. and thats going to the left....

He HATES the right! It will take alot to get him to go that way. He will keep trying to turn around and ignore my cues. He gets angry with pressure. I might get him to go but only a trot thats very nervous and basically crappy, and unbalanced.

He will try to decide when to stop and go the other way. Of course I correct him and keep him the same way, but then goes a bucking,rearing,charging frenzy. I am not scared of him, I am very confident. But wouldn't you worry about getting hit?

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This, to me, sounds like a horse that needs to be free lunged in a round pen or small arena. But carefully and with your full attention!

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This, to me, sounds like a horse that needs to be free lunged in a round pen or small arena. But carefully and with your full attention!

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quote:

Originally posted by Itchysmom:

This, to me, sounds like a horse that needs to be free lunged in a round pen or small arena. But carefully and with your full attention!

I agree with Itchymom and what we mean by this is if you have access to a small round pen you need take him in there take off the lead rope and make him lope are the round pen only on cues. It will be very messy the first time. You want to stay of his way but make him keep loping around the round pen until he gets all the bucking out and is licking his lips which means he's tired and he gives. Then put the lead rope on him and make him trot around you in a very small circle and give a little more slack slowing each time if he start to get out of whack keep it at that small of a circle til he gets back into the groove again. Do this routine for a couple of weeks and he should be lunging good again. This they way we train our colts to lunge. I would reccomend that you have someone with you just in case things get out of hand but they ussually don't.

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quote:

Originally posted by Itchysmom:

This, to me, sounds like a horse that needs to be free lunged in a round pen or small arena. But carefully and with your full attention!

I agree with Itchymom and what we mean by this is if you have access to a small round pen you need take him in there take off the lead rope and make him lope are the round pen only on cues. It will be very messy the first time. You want to stay of his way but make him keep loping around the round pen until he gets all the bucking out and is licking his lips which means he's tired and he gives. Then put the lead rope on him and make him trot around you in a very small circle and give a little more slack slowing each time if he start to get out of whack keep it at that small of a circle til he gets back into the groove again. Do this routine for a couple of weeks and he should be lunging good again. This they way we train our colts to lunge. I would reccomend that you have someone with you just in case things get out of hand but they ussually don't.

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You are quite right to be concerned. The charging is a sign of disrespect, but note that he waits until your attention is elsewhere. That implies to me a sneakiness (or smartness) which would give me pause for thought. I would suggest you work on ground manners for a while before lunging again, and also practice your lunging/rope handling skills with a different horse.

Not wanting to go right is common - horses are 'handed' just as we humans are - it doesn't help that we reinforce it by always leading from the left side etc. I suspect that a lot of his problem is that he may be too weak to comfortably be balanced going right. More, but slower, lunging will help that, as will hill work under saddle.

Check that he is not in pain going right - it is possible that pain could cause him to fear being sent that way and that is why he charges you (unlikely) - check his hocks, sifles, shoulders and sacro-illiac, also keep him in Big circles, no weeny little torquers!

And last but not least, always check tack fit - a saddle on his shoulders or a too tight girth could cause a rebellion.

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You are quite right to be concerned. The charging is a sign of disrespect, but note that he waits until your attention is elsewhere. That implies to me a sneakiness (or smartness) which would give me pause for thought. I would suggest you work on ground manners for a while before lunging again, and also practice your lunging/rope handling skills with a different horse.

Not wanting to go right is common - horses are 'handed' just as we humans are - it doesn't help that we reinforce it by always leading from the left side etc. I suspect that a lot of his problem is that he may be too weak to comfortably be balanced going right. More, but slower, lunging will help that, as will hill work under saddle.

Check that he is not in pain going right - it is possible that pain could cause him to fear being sent that way and that is why he charges you (unlikely) - check his hocks, sifles, shoulders and sacro-illiac, also keep him in Big circles, no weeny little torquers!

And last but not least, always check tack fit - a saddle on his shoulders or a too tight girth could cause a rebellion.

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...I dunno....I would be tempted to keep him on a lunge line so he can be corrected the INSTANT you see he is showing attitude.....whether it's a head toss, the slightest pinning of ears or one of those snakey neck things they do.

Free lunging for a butthead - to me - leaves you with way less control.

* * * *

I sure agree with Leo about the ground manners. I would be very very surprised if the "tude" is only showing up with lunging. I bet he also crowds yous space - walks over top of you - yanks his foot away from you when you're cleaning his feet - etc etc.

And if he isn't - he will be.....soon.

CR

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...I dunno....I would be tempted to keep him on a lunge line so he can be corrected the INSTANT you see he is showing attitude.....whether it's a head toss, the slightest pinning of ears or one of those snakey neck things they do.

Free lunging for a butthead - to me - leaves you with way less control.

* * * *

I sure agree with Leo about the ground manners. I would be very very surprised if the "tude" is only showing up with lunging. I bet he also crowds yous space - walks over top of you - yanks his foot away from you when you're cleaning his feet - etc etc.

And if he isn't - he will be.....soon.

CR

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Free lunging is actually better for a horse with those signs. It's the best way to get his respect. If you have a small arena or 60' round pen that's the best. A round pen to small will make it to dangerous for you.

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Free lunging is actually better for a horse with those signs. It's the best way to get his respect. If you have a small arena or 60' round pen that's the best. A round pen to small will make it to dangerous for you.

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I've had that problem with a mare. First, despite the fact that your horse is supposedly already trained to lunge, it doesn't mean he was trained well or he learned well. Horses are just like people. Some learn faster and more completely and then the ones that learn a little slower are often more easily frustrated and as a result act out.

Good on you that you have some confidence with this horse. It took two weeks of consistent hour long sessions with the mare I have to work out the signaling problems from me, the inability to catch the idea quickly from the mare and the resulting attempts to charge, kick, buck, rear, etc. I kept her on the lunge during those sessions b/c we don't have a round pen.

When she would start to refuse or act out, I would immediately push her to behave in the manner she was asked, i.e. circle to the right, trot, whatever. You will learn to recognize the signs of a refusal or impending tantrum as you work with this horse. It's often as subtle as a tiny change in the head level or a turn of the ear, but you'll see it if you watch what happens. As soon as that little signal appears is when you push the horse. It distracts the horse from its desire and establishes/reinforces the fact that you are the dominant herd animal with it.

This may be something you will have to reinforce by way of a refresher throughout your relationship with this horse, or maybe not.

I believe alot of it has to do with the way a horse has been started. The mare I have was improperly imprinted and then as she became larger, the breeder left her alone.

She didn't understand why she was suddenly ignored after being the princess, that her breeder is not comfortable with horses once they get past the weanling stage because she was injured by a yearling. Between that, the later knowledge that her breeder and therefore people in general can be intimidated, she'd become a problem by the time I got here to take her over.

So, she is one of those that needs a readjustment to her attitude every once in awhile. She also is a lefty, like her sire. She hates lunging to the right. You can see her pout when she's made to do it.

Just work your horse through it and watch for those little cues that he's about to throw a tantrum and stop it before it starts every time.

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I've had that problem with a mare. First, despite the fact that your horse is supposedly already trained to lunge, it doesn't mean he was trained well or he learned well. Horses are just like people. Some learn faster and more completely and then the ones that learn a little slower are often more easily frustrated and as a result act out.

Good on you that you have some confidence with this horse. It took two weeks of consistent hour long sessions with the mare I have to work out the signaling problems from me, the inability to catch the idea quickly from the mare and the resulting attempts to charge, kick, buck, rear, etc. I kept her on the lunge during those sessions b/c we don't have a round pen.

When she would start to refuse or act out, I would immediately push her to behave in the manner she was asked, i.e. circle to the right, trot, whatever. You will learn to recognize the signs of a refusal or impending tantrum as you work with this horse. It's often as subtle as a tiny change in the head level or a turn of the ear, but you'll see it if you watch what happens. As soon as that little signal appears is when you push the horse. It distracts the horse from its desire and establishes/reinforces the fact that you are the dominant herd animal with it.

This may be something you will have to reinforce by way of a refresher throughout your relationship with this horse, or maybe not.

I believe alot of it has to do with the way a horse has been started. The mare I have was improperly imprinted and then as she became larger, the breeder left her alone.

She didn't understand why she was suddenly ignored after being the princess, that her breeder is not comfortable with horses once they get past the weanling stage because she was injured by a yearling. Between that, the later knowledge that her breeder and therefore people in general can be intimidated, she'd become a problem by the time I got here to take her over.

So, she is one of those that needs a readjustment to her attitude every once in awhile. She also is a lefty, like her sire. She hates lunging to the right. You can see her pout when she's made to do it.

Just work your horse through it and watch for those little cues that he's about to throw a tantrum and stop it before it starts every time.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cactus Rose:

...I dunno....I would be tempted to keep him on a lunge line so he can be corrected the INSTANT you see he is showing attitude.....whether it's a head toss, the slightest pinning of ears or one of those snakey neck things they do.

Free lunging for a butthead - to me - leaves you with way less control.

* * * *

I sure agree with Leo about the ground manners. I would be very very surprised if the "tude" is only showing up with lunging. I bet he also crowds yous space - walks over top of you - yanks his foot away from you when you're cleaning his feet - etc etc.

And if he isn't - he will be.....soon.

CR

I didn't understand your "butthead" comment. Please rephrase that. I just wanted to let you know, he is not disrespectful on the ground with anything else but lunging. He is also a great riding horse. He is being rode by a 12-year old that is not an expert (but who is?) and he does fine.

--To everyone else that helped---

I am going to continue to free lunge. I will pay more attention to him, I took it for granted that he was a nice lunger. I think its just his training with that subject. Thank you for helping me see that! I has no problems with his health/soundness.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cactus Rose:

...I dunno....I would be tempted to keep him on a lunge line so he can be corrected the INSTANT you see he is showing attitude.....whether it's a head toss, the slightest pinning of ears or one of those snakey neck things they do.

Free lunging for a butthead - to me - leaves you with way less control.

* * * *

I sure agree with Leo about the ground manners. I would be very very surprised if the "tude" is only showing up with lunging. I bet he also crowds yous space - walks over top of you - yanks his foot away from you when you're cleaning his feet - etc etc.

And if he isn't - he will be.....soon.

CR

I didn't understand your "butthead" comment. Please rephrase that. I just wanted to let you know, he is not disrespectful on the ground with anything else but lunging. He is also a great riding horse. He is being rode by a 12-year old that is not an expert (but who is?) and he does fine.

--To everyone else that helped---

I am going to continue to free lunge. I will pay more attention to him, I took it for granted that he was a nice lunger. I think its just his training with that subject. Thank you for helping me see that! I has no problems with his health/soundness.

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I think what I would do is make him walk about 4' away from me-in a sort of 'mini lunge'-but stay near his head. I would trot him like this, going in a large circle, so he can get the idea of what you want. He might just be confused-especially to the right. Also, start leading him alot from the right, walk him both ways around the arena, and when your going that way-walk on that side-again, I'd use some sort of stick or whip to keep him away from me, then slowly allowing him to do a mini lunge-again, watching so his hind end doesn't come back at you!

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I think what I would do is make him walk about 4' away from me-in a sort of 'mini lunge'-but stay near his head. I would trot him like this, going in a large circle, so he can get the idea of what you want. He might just be confused-especially to the right. Also, start leading him alot from the right, walk him both ways around the arena, and when your going that way-walk on that side-again, I'd use some sort of stick or whip to keep him away from me, then slowly allowing him to do a mini lunge-again, watching so his hind end doesn't come back at you!

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quote:

I think what I would do is make him walk about 4' away from me-in a sort of 'mini lunge'-but stay near his head.

[Duh] Gah! I forgot about that part! Yes, at least it worked with orienting Mondae and trying to teach her to keep her butt to herself. I used a long lead rope and a lunge whip to work through the directional stuff. (Disclaimer: Never have I actually "whipped" her, though I'd like to have.) I would tap her on the side away from the direction I wanted her to go so that she would naturally move away from that annoying tap,tap.

Then there was my Einstein mare. It took Izzy 10 minutes to figure out the whole deal with lunging!

Like I've said before and in other threads. Some horses are just smarter and better students than others. It's just frustrating when you work with both ends of the spectrum at the same time.

Hang in there, consistency and patience will get you everywhere with this horse.

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quote:

I think what I would do is make him walk about 4' away from me-in a sort of 'mini lunge'-but stay near his head.

[Duh] Gah! I forgot about that part! Yes, at least it worked with orienting Mondae and trying to teach her to keep her butt to herself. I used a long lead rope and a lunge whip to work through the directional stuff. (Disclaimer: Never have I actually "whipped" her, though I'd like to have.) I would tap her on the side away from the direction I wanted her to go so that she would naturally move away from that annoying tap,tap.

Then there was my Einstein mare. It took Izzy 10 minutes to figure out the whole deal with lunging!

Like I've said before and in other threads. Some horses are just smarter and better students than others. It's just frustrating when you work with both ends of the spectrum at the same time.

Hang in there, consistency and patience will get you everywhere with this horse.

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Hey Inspired [smiley Wavey]

A butthead - to me - is a bucking, rearing, charging dangerous horse. And from these words in your post, I understood that was how he was behaving for you when he was lunged in a certain direction or perhaps when he didn't really feel like working.

And you queried about whether one should worry about getting hit (run over?).

I guess I hate seeing a horse take an inch (particularly when I'm unfamiliar with them - you mentioned this was a new horse for you)....cause you never know when they are going to start taking a mile.

Sounds like you've gotter figured out anyway.....stay safe !

CR

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Hey Inspired [smiley Wavey]

A butthead - to me - is a bucking, rearing, charging dangerous horse. And from these words in your post, I understood that was how he was behaving for you when he was lunged in a certain direction or perhaps when he didn't really feel like working.

And you queried about whether one should worry about getting hit (run over?).

I guess I hate seeing a horse take an inch (particularly when I'm unfamiliar with them - you mentioned this was a new horse for you)....cause you never know when they are going to start taking a mile.

Sounds like you've gotter figured out anyway.....stay safe !

CR

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"Lunging for respect"

Clinton Anderson

It works for horses who are good in every other aspect, but has ANY respect issue, in or out of the saddle.

Give that a shot, it works if its done right.

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"Lunging for respect"

Clinton Anderson

It works for horses who are good in every other aspect, but has ANY respect issue, in or out of the saddle.

Give that a shot, it works if its done right.

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I hate to see an issue get "sided" but I'm with Catus Rose and MM and Missmybud. I want this horse in my hand and close while standing at the shoulder with my rope arm up on guard against his head and my training stick or the other end of my long lead line in my other. I would simply move those hind quarters around and keep changing sides until I had the horse respecting my space and moving quickly away from pressure. If any of you have seen Chris Cox get aquainted with a new horse this is what I am trying to describe. (He doesn't use a stick though) Once the horse is moving is hind quarters away well and giving me both his eyes, I would then focus on driving away the neck and shoulder to turn him and offering the horse an extended rope arm pointing in a clear direction to go. (Open a door is the common metaphor) Use as little pressure as neccesary but get the horse moving forward for a few steps and stop and reward them a few moments and then repeat and build on this until they can go completely around you. Then work on the other direction. Stay in position and be mindful of the hind legs. If they even think about cow kicking at you pull their head in to you and drive the butt away. Go back to disengaging the hind quarters for a while and come back to it.

If you use too much pressure on a horse that doesn't have the basic idea of how to move away from you, they get confused and often react silly as described by the OP.

I would love to see you watch the DVD someone else mentioned from Clinton Anderson reguarding lunging for respect or another good example of ground work. I honestly believe that ground work should be a part of every horses routine. It's just more tools in our bags of techniques to communicate with our horses. They should respect us on the ground just as much as we hope they respect us while riding.

You have much to think about but please be careful. Helmets and vests are good tools and should be considered essential when training with "buttheads". [Wink]

[ 06-12-2007, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: historyrider ]

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I hate to see an issue get "sided" but I'm with Catus Rose and MM and Missmybud. I want this horse in my hand and close while standing at the shoulder with my rope arm up on guard against his head and my training stick or the other end of my long lead line in my other. I would simply move those hind quarters around and keep changing sides until I had the horse respecting my space and moving quickly away from pressure. If any of you have seen Chris Cox get aquainted with a new horse this is what I am trying to describe. (He doesn't use a stick though) Once the horse is moving is hind quarters away well and giving me both his eyes, I would then focus on driving away the neck and shoulder to turn him and offering the horse an extended rope arm pointing in a clear direction to go. (Open a door is the common metaphor) Use as little pressure as neccesary but get the horse moving forward for a few steps and stop and reward them a few moments and then repeat and build on this until they can go completely around you. Then work on the other direction. Stay in position and be mindful of the hind legs. If they even think about cow kicking at you pull their head in to you and drive the butt away. Go back to disengaging the hind quarters for a while and come back to it.

If you use too much pressure on a horse that doesn't have the basic idea of how to move away from you, they get confused and often react silly as described by the OP.

I would love to see you watch the DVD someone else mentioned from Clinton Anderson reguarding lunging for respect or another good example of ground work. I honestly believe that ground work should be a part of every horses routine. It's just more tools in our bags of techniques to communicate with our horses. They should respect us on the ground just as much as we hope they respect us while riding.

You have much to think about but please be careful. Helmets and vests are good tools and should be considered essential when training with "buttheads". [Wink]

[ 06-12-2007, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: historyrider ]

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