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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > Hints and Tips > Lunging issues

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trotski

Joined:

Aug 12

Posts: 3

trotski says:

Lunging issues

 Hi All hope you can help. Im helping my friend with her horse and we tried lunging her a few weeks back.  We didnt know how she would go as my friend only bought her 6 months ago and we had been told she had lunged.

As soon as I put her onto the circle she completely freaked, breaking into canter then gallop totally panicked and it took a fair while to calm her down and stop.

Tonight we were leading her up the field in her headcoller and leadrope and she was nice and chilled so I thought I would just see if she would do a circle .

As soon as I said walk on she threw her head up and was panicked. Luckly she only went a few steps and we stopped her but she was ready to bolt again. 

Ive never seen a horse go from calm to panic so quickly so was wondering if anybody had any ideas how we could overcome this flat out terror. 

Many thanks in advance.

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AengusOg

Joined:

Apr 12

Posts: 5

AengusOg says:

Re: Lunging issues

My advice to you both would be to start from scratch with the mare, without assuming that she knows anything about lunging.

In-hand work, such as teaching her to yield to pressure on various parts of her body, is probably the most important part of teaching lunging. Teaching her to yield her neck and shoulder away when you step in toward her will help when you send her out onto a circle, and will help you dissuade her from falling in or turning to face you.

Running off on the lunge rein can be a favourite evasion of some horses. It could be that she has been badly lunged in the past and has genuinely been made afraid through the experience, or she has maybe just run on and been stopped and this has taught her that behaving like this gets her off work.

Sending a horse on a circle involves driving the back end forward. If too much pressure is put on, the horse may turn to face the handler. The over-use of a lunge whip may have this effect. The art is to encourage forward movement without causing or allowing the horse to turn in, and this is why its important to teach the horse to yield its fore.

Horses which run on on the lunge are a bit scary, but to begin with it is best if they can be kept going, rather than stopped or attempts made to slow them, as this causes uncertainty in the novice horse and they will be more inclined to evade. Once they are going forward without falling in or evading by turning, they can be kept going until they settle, and then asked/allowed to slow down.

See my reply here http://www.equine-world.co.uk/horse-forums/showthread.php?t=33975&page=3
for further information.

 

 

Give Your Horse A Chance

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trotski

Joined:

Aug 12

Posts: 3

trotski says:

Re: Lunging issues

 Thank you so much for the advice . My friend tried her in a different part of the field closer to her stable and she was wasnt as stressed. Think going back to basics is the answer!

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DeniseAponi

Joined:

Aug 12

Posts: 6

DeniseAponi says:

Re: Lunging issues

 hey!

i read about your problem and the advice you got, but i have one more question, is you friends' horse afraid of anything else like whips, ropes, saddle, bridle, fast movements, etc? if that's the case i would try to go back even one more step and 'start from putting her head collar on'. make sure she gets to check out any object she is or might be afraid of. and let her take a couple of steps away from it if she's scared at first, but show her that its not dangerous, ask her to come closer, step by step and act like if it was the most common thing in the world.
if you're scared or predict something bad to happen, it will happen. be calm and comforting. and like AengusOg said, let her run. horses run away from something if they're scared, if you try to stop her and calm her down (which is actually a very nice thing to do as many people would just shout at the 'effing', stupid horse) she never gets the chance to get away from her fear. while running, she has the chance to - in her head - run away from whatever scares her and it gives her the chance to deal with the situation. you should both stand in the middle, and as soon as she slows/calms down the slightest bit, praise her. (some horses love to be praised in a high pitched voice)
do you have a round pen or any area where you can try to lunge the horse in without any lunge line? this could probably ease the situation and take off some pressure.

:)

There is no problem without a solution! Identify your problem before you start searching for its solution!

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trotski

Joined:

Aug 12

Posts: 3

trotski says:

Re: Lunging issues

 Hi sorry for the long gap in replying !

We have taken her back to basics and have noticed that she seems to panic when she is at the top of the field or to the far side of it when you lead her out. I dont quiet know why because she happily grazes up there! 

We have started lunging her closer to the shelter in the field and she seems happier there. She still has the odd moment but she isnt flat out galloping which is brilliant!

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