How do you teach a horse to lunge

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capall beag

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I have tried to lunge my stallion in the roundpen and he doesn't get it at all! He just stands there and lookss at me or follows me. I have cracked the whip on the ground behind him but he just looks even more confused. He won't move away from me.

I have not had this problem before?

Any help would be appreciated!
 

lilhorseladie

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I have one with this problem too. I do know that it is easier to teach them in a free lunge in a round pen. I have trained several, but this mare just wants to follow me around! I no longer have a round pen and I have had my son hook a lead to the opposite side and lead them out to get them started. That works a little. Anyone else????
 

justaboutgeese

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There are a host of ideas on getting this done. Check the search function of the forum and see what other people have done. Good luck.
 

countryrose

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Try a bag tied on to a whip or rocks in a pop bottle. Sometimes they arent afraid of the whip but something new will get them moving.
 

Voodoo

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If the bag on a whip, or rocks in a milk jug doesn't work you may have to be a little more harsh. While I know that he doesn't understand what you want you may have to be more forceful in showing him. If all he does is face up to you and want to follow you around that's great, but he can still learn to lunge. What I would do is turn him into the round pen and then start clicking and slapping the ground behind him with the whip. While doing this walk in a circle around him say walk up his left side with the whip in your right hand and either holding your left hand straight out or even another whip in your left hand straight out to sort of guide him away from you. If he still won't go it usually works to wrap the long part of the whip around their back legs. Not really hard just a slap that will cause the tail part to wrap around their legs, most of the time they will move right out and around the corral after that. Then just be sure to keep "pushing" him with your voice the whip and your eye and body motions. When you want him to stop and face you quit "pushing" on him stop all body motion and tell him "whoa". He will soon figure out when to face you and when to move out. I hope that helps and wasn't too confusing.
 

choklitbean

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I've had two that did that. I used a lunge line and walked beside them in the circle. After a round or two I put the butt end of the whip gently against their side (just behind the forleg, low where a heel would touch if you were riding a big horse) and applied just enough pressure to get them to move off a step or two. Every time they were comfortable with the distance I would touch them with the whip and ask them to move off a little more. Once they were comfortable moving around me between four to six feet I would simply take a small step back and praise them for holding the distance. Pretty soon they moved out by themselves.

It sounds like a drawn out process but it only took two or three lessons until they were moving freely at the end of the line.
 
T

Triggy&Blue&Daisy Too

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The easiest and most effective way I've taught horses of any age to lunge is to start small, meaning shorten that lunge line and walk towards his hip. You can urge him with a dressage whip at this length to tap him above the hock always keep walking towards his hip to drive him away from you. When he's moving around both directions then start expanding your circle and use the lunge whip.
 

capall beag

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OH THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

I knew you guys would have great ideas!!!!

That is a big help, now I will have to try it!!!!!!!!

He looks so confused and just stares at me, hopefully he will catch on!!!!

I never thought I would have this problem BUT I wish my stallion had a bit more spark in him! He is so placid and calm!!!

I can't imagine the girls taking him seriously next year but we will see


Really appreciate you taking the time to help me out
 

Cathy_H

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If we have one like that I take a hold of the halter & walk/trot along side of the horse while Lee is doing the actual lunging. Sometimes we start with a smaller circle & work up to bigger circles.
 

rabbitsfizz

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Fiona, I don't use a whip anymore at all! I use a lead rope. I had to run a weanling round today as I had washed her and suddenly the Sun went in so I wanted to get her body temp up- I just smacked the rope at her and, after a couple of false starts away she went. Like a lunge whip you cannot really hurt a horse with a rope- not an ordinary cotton lead rope, but when it connects with their backside they think they are being beaten !! I stopped her a couple of times and reassured her the rope would not bite but I had no trouble starting her off again- if she baulked I just snaked the rope round her legs and away she went . As has been said you need to be more aggressive in your approach.
 

Jill

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Reading the responses, I am maybe in the mean minority!?! I would pop him on the butt with the whip if he didn't move on with the snapping it behind him. It hasn't taken me many "pops on the butt" to get my baby ones to understand. There was awhile when I was lunging Skipper with another horse. I'd put him in first and go to get the other horse and laugh my butt off watching Skipper lunge himself trotting around the circle for a long time on his own!
 

whitney

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I do it just like TRIGGY does. Works every time.

However I don't tap them on the hock I tap the rump. Also the minute they take a forward movement of any kind, I use my secret weapon the word they associate with wither scratches GOOOOOOOOD
 
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T

Triggy&Blue&Daisy Too

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whitney said:
I do it just like TRIGGY does. Works every time.
However I don't tap them on the hock I tap the rump.  Also the minute they take a forward movement of any kind,  I use my secret weapon the word they associate with wither scratches GOOOOOOOOD

466310[/snapback]

Not on the hock, above the hock, I think that is close to rump country too.
and yes praise, praise, praise. My horses love to work because I make it fun not an ordeal to be endured.


Not only that but in all my years I have never failed to train even the most jug-headed animal to understand how to lunge in approx. 15 minutes or less.
 
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runamuk

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I am another that does it like trig...except I tend to pop heels with rope or whip it gets them to kinda lurch forward in a fast manner and then momentum takes over
and I am old worn out and mean......we do not fart around we get moving quickly as my body cannot take being drug around by some loon who decides they cannot go in a circle
they seem to have no problem going in a circle around me when I first try to fly spray or hose them down
wait maybe that is the ticket spray a spray bottle
 

Tammie-C_Spots

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Well, you have to teach them what you want. If they don't know what a waving lunge whip means can you blame them for just standing there? All my horses would come to me in the center if I didn't teach them first what I wanted them to do. I would never just try to scare them or hit them into moving hoping they will "get" it.

Have someone lead the horse first while you teach the horse verbal and physical cues. Repetition and reward. Repetition and reward many times till they learn what to do. Once they learn the cues to walk, move out, halt, trot ect you won't need the lunge line or someone leading them because they have learned what you want. I trained many horses to free lunge and I always start them with a person at thier head and and lunge line. Eventually you can add cues for fine detail like how long a stride or how short, rollbacks, extensions, reverse ect.


Check out my article on lunging- it may get you started-

Lunging article

Tammie
 
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capall beag

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Thank you for all the info!

I will read your article Tammie.

Unfortunately, I never have anyone available to help!

My husband was put out when I asked him to hold a horse while I snapped a quick pic!'He made it clear he has no interest in the horses!
 

Margaret

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The first time I got a crash course on lunging was with my first stallion, that needed a bath... After the bath he felt so good that he took off on my 10 foot lead rope, rather perturbed with me that I wouldnt just let him run, and do his own thing...But round and round he went as I was not going to let go.. He even bucked a bit but still stayed in his circle so I just let him get it out of his system... I must admit It required my best strength, but after about 5 minutes of that, he slowed down a bit and finally settled down.. Days following that we started on lunge line training and he got the hang of it quite well, as he remembered his crash course.. This was rather usual way to go about it, but I must admit it did work..
 

capall beag

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Hi Cindy,

Thanks for that!!

Margaret, I was hoping he might do this too, he does love to play games but he was not getting it the other day!

In fairness, I gave up pretty quickly!!

Now I know this sounds mean BUT he just seems kind of dopey!!!! He is a 2 yr old stallion and he is like a puppy dog, he looks at me like "Huh", he does not act at all studdy in fact the other day I rechecked his precious jewels to make sure they were there, but they are!!!!!!!!

He just seems so placid, no reaction to mares either??? They are bred mares but still I thought he might at least say "Hello girls!"

I will try again!!!!!

Thanks to all that replied, you have been a big help and I do Appreciate it!!!!!!!!!
 

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