I'll admit it, I need help....

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LittleBittyBritches

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Ok, sorry if this is a dumb topic or question, but I wanted to know if there are any videos or tutorials on lunging minis that have never lunged before. I have read articles and things, and what I try just feels awkward, and the horse just looks at like what the heck are you doing? I dont know what you want. I would say obviously I have no clue how to start it.
 

Jill

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Are you trying to lunge on a line, or in a round pen?

I know it can be HARD teaching them to lunge on a line, but it's doable.

I've got some tricks to keep them going in the round pen, and to catching them if they're hard to catch after, but will hold off until you reply... I'm probably not the best to offer lunge line advice because I've not had to teach but two before I got the round pen.

Be mindful too of the mini's age. Lots of us would round pen a younger mini than we would lunge line (strain neck, etc.).
 

LittleBittyBritches

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I have a small round pen, not really even sure where to begin. I would prefer not to use the lunge line.
 

Tremor

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OP, do you mind if I chime in for help as well?

I've tried as well but I don't have a round pen. I too have read articles and watched videos. It's still hard and nothing is accomplished
 

Riverrose28

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I'll offer my opinion, others may have a different approach that will work for you as well. I try to start them as yearlings, mind you not on a line, but in hand. I do have a round pen, but you can use a small paddock. I use body language as well as the english word. I take the young horse into the round pen on a lead, they are on the rail, they seem to work more easily on the left, I say walk, then walk, I teach them to trot, I say the word trot, then I trot, if they don't respond I flick the lead toward their rear until they trot. I stop praise, then walk, then trot, lots of praise. I also teach the word whoa, if they don't respond I take the lead and tap their chest till they stop. I continue this for however long it takes for them to associate the words to the actions. Lots of positive reinforcment, and praise, and patience. Then I teach in the other direction. After this phase is down pat, I turn them lose, I hold a lunge whip in the right hand then tell them walk, usually they walk, if not, I crack the whip just a little, sometimes this causes them to trot instead of walk, so I will say trot as soon as they do it, then I'll say whoa, lay the whip down, usually they will stop and look at me for praise, which they get. I don't progress to the lunge line until they have all this down pat free, and it usually takes a while, and then I only use the lunge line at shows, not at home. When working the other direction put the whip in your other hand, you may need to actually use your body to sort of lunge to get them to move off the off side. Pretty soon you won't even need the lunge line, just your voice and body language, Practice makes perfect. I need to add, some horse just won't get the hang of it unless you plan to spend every day with them. We bought a proven show gelding, AMHA World Reserve Ch. that was never taught to lunge, I don't care want you do he won't move, not a whip, not a shaker bottle, no amount of chasing, nothing, he just stands there and looks at us like we are crazy, but he was older when we bought him and set in his ways. Good luck, hope I could help in some small way.
 

LittleBittyBritches

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OP, do you mind if I chime in for help as well?

I've tried as well but I don't have a round pen. I too have read articles and watched videos. It's still hard and nothing is accomplished
I am glad to know I am not the only one.
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Riverrose, thank you for that. I will try that with my younger ones. The one I was working most with sounds like your gelding. He is our 6 yr old Stallion. He needs to burn off the most fat for conditioning, and he gets angry! My other ones, just want to either ignore me or come up and want me to pet them the whole time.

I also want to get into liberty, so your method would better help me train them to respond to my verbal commands as to which pace to go. Thanks! And if anyone has any tips for my older ones, or a video of training a new (stubborned) one, let me know!
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shorthorsemom

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For mine, I got a trainer helper friend. We started with a lead rope, two handlers one in the center of the circle, she leading on the outside. I got in position, used signals, and gave commands. Everything on a "mini scale" circle. We then moved to a longer rope. We then took the person off the outside leading job and she was stationed to move in and correct to keep moving, I stayed in the middle in the command position. Didn't take too long, minis are smart. I do not believe you should teach lunging by standing in the middle holding a lunge line and wacking them on the butt with a whip. The extra person can help get across the idea that this is work, and grazing is not allowed. I fenced in an area for this training so they wouldn't pull and get away. Sometimes during the lunging training they can get really zippy and you just have to wait until they tire and hang on and eventually start working them in smaller and smaller on the circle until they stop. Baby steps. I still have one more to train to lunge, but this worked well with two of my boys. I don't do tons of circle training, it can be tough on the stifles, however it can be beneficial to training transitions from walk to trot to canter and back down again on a horse you want to train to drive. Best wishes. ADair
 

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