View Full Version : teaching a young horse to lunge
3rd March 2010, 12:52 PM
My youngster will be 3 soon and I have done lots of inhand work with him in the school, teaching him to walk on to voice command and halt.
I Have recently tried lunging him, I started by just slowly letting the lunge line get longer and longer whilst still telling him to walk on and stand.
He's responsive as long as i walk max a couple of feet away but as soon as i turn to face him (like lunging) or get a bit further away he just stands there and does nothing, however much i flap the whip and tell him firmly to walk on (without shouting!) And if i try to hard he just turns and walks towards me and just stands right in front of me.
Does anyone have any tips as to how I can teach him to not rely on me as much and get him concentrating and lunging by himself, perhaps i have to be firmer with him? hes just such a dopey boy lol :P
3rd March 2010, 01:03 PM
Haha! Xanth was the same, wanted to come back in for cuddles all the time.
I would teach him to long line first, then you can go onto long lining on a circle so you have the added help of the outside rein to keep him out.
When lunging you need to make sure you are slightly behind him to drive him forwards. If xanth tries to come in i wiggle the lunge line at her and it makes her think twice.
You need to say the commands really authoritively (sp!?).
You could also try with someone walking on the outside on hand to keep him out, maybe start on the lead rein then move further and further away untill he no longer needs someone there.
3rd March 2010, 01:07 PM
sometimes having another person to lead him around onto a bigger circle(still on lunge line) whilst you stay in the middle can help him get the idea,sounds like he doesnt quite understand yet.
3rd March 2010, 01:08 PM
To begin with I would get someone to help you by walking at his head, they don't have to do anything but they will just give him a bit of confidence and can guide him and back up your voice commands if necessary. Once he gets the hang of things they can gradually move further away from him so that he becomes less reliant on them and more focused on you. Also, does he long rein? If so you can start off long reining him in the school and get him going forward that way then gradually move him onto a circle. It's easier to control them with 2 lines and if stops or gets confused you can go back to long reining so that he doesn't get into the habit of stopping to aviod work.
3rd March 2010, 01:08 PM
yea i have tried wiggling the lunge line and making that smaking sound with it through the air and he takes no notice!
Have also tried with someone on the outside with a line but he seemed to feel a little trapped. also the person had to walk so fast and got tired as he has a very long walk striide (over steps by about 4 hooves!!)
I haven't tried long reining him so I may try that! Thanks :) need to try having a firmer voice as well :P
3rd March 2010, 01:10 PM
if you are on your own, point the lunge whip at his shoulder if he tries to come back in towards you. hope this helps.:)
My Crazy Clan
4th March 2010, 07:34 PM
I have the same trouble!
4th March 2010, 10:53 PM
You need to try to get yourself in a driving position. You can flap and make noises all you like but unless you are driving him forward from behind he won't understand. Once he gets going you can gradually move into the centre but you have to be quicker than him and anticipate him slowing or stopping. You almost want to be standing behind him to start with. It's all about perseverance. As soon as he makes any kind of move in the right direction make a huge fuss, he won't be long in picking it up. Long reining is a fabulous idea too as you can gradually start to work him in a circle using your outside line to help him along, it's also good for teaching your horse to work from behind.
5th March 2010, 12:23 AM
Awww thats really cute, frustrating for you but cute its hard not to hug them when they come for cuddles. keep with it though you'l get there in the end :D
5th March 2010, 12:24 PM
Thanks for all your advice! i'll try it today. and Alison, your approach really does seem to make sense! lol explains why he just stands there!
Shaz, I bought my youngster in october and he had already apparently been long lined and had a saddle on by the previous owners. I think lunging can be quite hard on their legs but walking on a lunge or long lining around a arena should be ok. I also took Rowan for walks when he was 2 1/2 in his bridle.
5th March 2010, 06:05 PM
shaz- good idea, its fun too lol! :) have you bitted him yet?
I lunged him today using the "get behind him and push him forward" technique and it worked!!! Yay had him lunging for the first time! he has absolutely no respect of the lunge whip though, so my arms ache from wiggling it around but at least have made a break through!!! :D
5th March 2010, 06:07 PM
glad you got it sorted, keep up the good work!
5th March 2010, 10:27 PM
Excellent news he'll be lunging like a pro in no time!
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