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SammyL

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[SIZE=10pt]Ok, so I just have a quick question, and I don't even know if I am going to be able to explain this.[/SIZE]

Anyway, so just a min. ago, I was working with Lightning. Just lunging, no big deal. For the last month, Lightning has been acting oddly on the line. We start out fine, he responds, but then things go wrong. Everytime I ask him to do something, he just faces me. Orginally I thought it was because I was too far ahead of him. So I tried staying back more. He still faces me. I have tried everything I can think of to get him to quit facing me, unless I ask, but nothing is working.

This problem just starting recently. I think I am doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what.

Help, suggestions, anything?

Thanks.
 

Magic

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What do you do when he does stop and face you? If you walk up to him, or just allow him to stand there, then you are encouraging him to keep stopping by "rewarding" that behavior. If you make him keep going, you are discouraging him from stopping in the future, until you ask him to stop.

If that isn't it, more brainstorming is needed!
 

Marty

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Also, did you make him dizzy?

Are you over doing it?
 

Jill

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I'd actually wonder if it's a defiance kind of thing? Do you have a round pen you could work him through it in?
 

SammyL

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[SIZE=10pt]Thanks all![/SIZE]

Magic: I have tried discouraging the behavior, by getting after him to keep going. He still wants to face me

Marty: I never thought of that! Maybe that is it...

Jill: It is in the process of being built...by the look of things, it may not be done for a while...seeing as my dad is building it..
 
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Jill

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Also, did you make him dizzy?
Marty and others, I seriously doubt a horse gets dizzy from lunging... Tired, maybe. Dizzy, I really don't think so. YOU are the one "spinning" but the horse is trotting in a (hopefully not too small) circle. Would you become dizzy from jogging n that size circle (no).

Have to speak up as I remember when I was new to horses and having trouble lunging one of my biggies. "He" had me convinced there was a physical reason he "could not" lunge in to one direction. Luckily, someone more horse smart than I was explained to me he only preferred to go clockwise, but was completely able to go counter clockwise as well if I actually would insist


Just is part of why I wonder if this is a power play on the part of the horse, knowing what mine have done over the years
 

Indian*R*A*I*N*Dance

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It could be your position. Make sure your atleast 4 feet behind (but in the center) the horse with your outside shoulder sending him forward. He might also think that your doing a join up excersize with him and he could just give in saying that your the leader and im going to respect you.
 

Baydreamfarms

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It sounds like a dominance issue to me. I'm not all that saavy on this but it is kinda like with dogs and all other herd animals. You have to be the alpha and make him keep going. Either by shooing him away or using a lungewhip behind him to keep forward motion. I know we had one gelding that would get lazy while lunging and we would have to watch him. He was very smart and if he caught you not paying attention he would slow down and if you didn't make him step up and pick up the pace again he would stop. Maybe if you keep after him when he even begins to slow down and not let him get to the point of stopping that will help.

Now I'm no trainer nor do I claim to be but it does sound like a dominance and respect thing more than anything to me.
 

JMS Miniatures

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Does he act nervous or scared when he faces you?

Just make sure you are staying past his shoulder, and everytime he does it just keep making him go forward, but in the same direction you were going to begin with, do not make him go the other direction. The only time my horse faces me is when we are stopped to turn or just plain stopping them. If I ever had a horse that would turn towards me is often they are just confused or act very nervous on what you are asking of them.
 

MiniHunterHorseFan

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When they turn and face you, your horse is saying, 'Okay that's it, I'm done lunging now." And he wants to rest. Also it means he is respecting you by facing you. If he was being disrespectful, he would be charge around running really fast and kicking. What you need to do is, take your lunge whip and swish it towards his hip and point with the hand holding the rope in the direction to lunge. Sometimes you have to tap them on the hip to make them to move. Always remember if the horse is running to the right, hold the rope in your right hand, lunge whip in your left, If the horse is running left, rope in the left, whip in the right. Otherwise they get confused.
 

Jill

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In the round pen, I do feel turning to face you is usually a sign of respect and like asking "what do you want me to do now?" but on the line, I'm not so sure. I think it can be a way of evading the pressure from the line. I have also seen (and helped) a friend with a large horse who started turning to face her in the round pen, and then started charging her... that is not respect, but a horse who needed a good hot feel of the lunge whip and some better / firmer handling


This could, in your case, have even started by accident. The horse maybe was confused, or looking to you to see "can we do something else now?" and when you didn't know how to get the horse moving on again, he realized "aha! this is how I can quit working!". You will find it soooo much easier with a round pen.
 
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kaykay

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Just my two cents but I never ever hit a horse with a lunge whip ever. I tap them with it or tag a leg but never whip them with it.

None of us can really know without seeing what he is doing. But he sounds like a horse that is confused on what he is supposed to do. Is he new to lunging?? I always have a helper when I am training a new horse to lunge.
 

Irish Hills Farm

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Jill Posted Today, 03:34 AM In the round pen, I do feel turning to face you is usually a sign of respect and like asking "what do you want me to do now?" but on the line, I'm not so sure. I think it can be a way of evading the pressure from the line. I have also seen (and helped) a friend with a large horse who started turning to face her in the round pen, and then started charging her... that is not respect, but a horse who needed a good hot feel of the lunge whip and some better / firmer handling


Just my two cents but I never ever hit a horse with a lunge whip ever. I tap them with it or tag a leg but never whip them with it.

None of us can really know without seeing what he is doing. But he sounds like a horse that is confused on what he is supposed to do. Is he new to lunging?? I always have a helper when I am training a new horse to lunge.
Good Lord. I'm pretty sure no one is going to hit a horse with a lunge whip just because. I will say though if a horse starts charging me like Jill stated...it's called MY SAFETY FIRST and if I have to crack a lunge whip on the horse, you better believe that's going to happen!
 

kaykay

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I think we are really straying from what the OP asked. This horse never charged her he simply stops and looks at her.

If I had a horse that would charge me he would not be on a lunge line. To ME that is a horse with issues that needs some more training in hand before he goes on the lunge line

The whip is supposed to be an extension of the arm when lunging.
 

SammyL

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[SIZE=10pt]Thanks all for your opinions.[/SIZE]

He never charges me. I never hit him with the whip.

I may have lightly touched his leg with it to get him going, but nothing else. He is a horse that is very responsive to slight touches and cues and soft tones and touches.

I have no idea if he is new to lunging. His background is unknown to me. He is unregistered, and was basically a rescue. I got him and his full brother from a previous home that had no room for them and no where for them to go.

When they turn and face you, your horse is saying, 'Okay that's it, I'm done lunging now." And he wants to rest.
But Lightning always turns and faces me almost right away...we can be lunging fine for about two min. tops, before he faces me. He can't possibly be tired...can he?

I think it is me that is doing something wrong, and now I just need to figure out how to correct it.
 

hobbyhorse23

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Baydreamfarms said:
Maybe if you keep after him when he even begins to slow down and not let him get to the point of stopping that will help.
Many of these problems can be prevented if you catch the horse before he does it and send him forward. As far as he's concerned the fact that you allowed him to stop when CLEARLY (in his mind) he gave warning he was going to means you were okay with him stopping and now he's confused because you're mad at him. Send him forward strongly as soon as he slows, turns his head towards you at all or otherwise indicates he's going to stop. Then praise lavishly for continuing forward! That's as important as anything else. He needs to see the contrast between "I stop and Mommy is disappointed in me and pushes me away from her to work harder" and "When I don't stop on my own Mommy praises me and soon will allow me to stop for even more praise."

Other thoughts: longeing is boring! It doesn't sound like what's going on in your case but is something to be aware of. Even with frequent transitions, cavalettis and lots of mentally stimulating work my experienced gelding gets bored with it now and simply doesn't want to play that game for more than ten minutes unless he's totally wired.

Also, I feel it needs to be said that many sudden "dominance issues" are the horse trying to tell you they are in pain. Again, it's more likely a training issue in your case but it's important that others reading this thread be aware of that. Anything sudden is suspicious, anything one-sided is suspicious. Chiropractic problems, lameness issues and dental issues all show up as disobedience and are usually worse going one way than another. When you can't talk there are only a limited number of ways to let someone know that you're uncomfortable and most of them look a lot like naughtiness. :DOH!

Leia
 

Jill

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Just my two cents but I never ever hit a horse with a lunge whip ever. I tap them with it or tag a leg but never whip them with it.
Kay, maybe I shouldn't have thrown in some of what I've seen but you know... it starts somewhere and that horse didn't just turn from trotting and start charging out of the blue and we fixed the issue and yes, with the whip. Seemed a better idea than being run over by a quarter horse. She let it get to the point that the horse was charging her and I cannot imagine someone standing in the center of a round pen with 1200 pounds of horse charging and not want to hit it with the whip??? I sure didn't feel guilty over it.

We all have our own ways and I have for sure popped some of my horses on the butt with the whip. They get the idea fast not to slow down without being told, not to change directions without being told, etc., and know there after what the sound of it popping in the air means. I don't think that's abusive or bad, it's part of training and working my horses who do respect me and do not stop a workout until I say "woah".
 
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Irish Hills Farm

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Just my two cents but I never ever hit a horse with a lunge whip ever. I tap them with it or tag a leg but never whip them with it.
Kay, maybe I shouldn't have thrown in some of what I've seen but you know... it starts somewhere and that horse didn't just turn from trotting and start charging out of the blue and we fixed the issue and yes, with the whip. Seemed a better idea than being run over by a quarter horse. She let it get to the point that the horse was charging her and I cannot imagine someone standing in the center of a round pen with 1200 pounds of horse charging and not want to hit it with the whip??? I sure didn't feel guilty over it.

We all have our own ways and I have for sure popped some of my horses on the butt with the whip. They get the idea fast not to slow down without being told, not to change directions without being told, etc., and know there after what the sound of it popping in the air means. I don't think that's abusive or bad, it's part of training and working my horses who do respect me and do not stop a workout until I say "woah".
Don't you mean you popped them in the butt using the tool that is the extention of your arm? LOL
I crack myself up, I swear I am so easily amused.
 
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