lunging

parsley

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Son's instructor has asked me to do some canter work on the lunge with his pony as although he isn't fat he isn't fit. I went out today to start and after a couple of mins. he just started facing me, rearing and kicking out. I persisted so that at least he finished by going around once. Tommorow I will buy another lunge line to put on the outside but has anyone got any other suggestions as to what they do if their horse starts doing this?
 

PapaFrita

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Do you think it would help if someone walked/jogged with him a bit of the way? Just having an assistant on hand to get him going the right way again would help, I think.
Are you using a whip to keep him from coming in towards you? (and discourage him from kicking too!)
 

parsley

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When he turns in he just turns his bum out and faces me. If I try to get behind him to drive him forward he runs backwards - hes very good at the game! I ignored his rearing etc as I think he was trying to intimidate me (if horses do this) and he stopped fairly soon.

Sadly I don't have anyone to run along as I am sure it would help while they were there.
 

ruscara

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It is SOOOOO annoying and frustrating when you lunge a horse who does this! I have watched a friend with a cob mare trying to lunge her for hours (not all at once!) and getting nowhere. Then she would go OK on one rein, but not the other. I am sure there are more knowledgeable people than I am about this, but if it were me, I would take it right back to the beginning again. If I didn't have a helper (ideal) then I would start by doing very small circles, gradually getting bigger (in walk) and if he started resisting, I would make it smaller again. When I say small, I mean really small, arms length to start with. Lots of praise of course for doing it right. It may take a while to get to canter, but it does seem as if a re-learning process is called for. See how it goes with the other lunge line to keep him out, of course. I hope this does the trick with him.
 

parsley

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thanks -I did this to get him going again when he refused point blank to go anywhere. If the line doen't work I will have to have a go - the annoying thing is that he does know how to lunge very well but is only willing to do about 2 mins on either rein before he thinks he should stop. The REALLY annoying thing is that his method of stopping the session is pretty good!
 

Ginn

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Till's does this occasionally when your not "behind" her slightly and when we first introduced lunge work she did it a lot. Ros (instructor) has shown me that have the stick at her shoulders stops them turning in and by driving slightly from behind she has further to turn and it is easier to send her on - now she knows what she is meant to be doing she'll get a a sharp flick with the end of the whip and some vocal encouragement when she tries to do it and usually that does the trick. If she does sucessfully stop and turn in I simply gather the line in, walk he forwards and slowly send her out again, only praising once she's back out and going forward.
 

Peanot

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My horse does this sometimes. I just walk along side her and hold my hand out to ask her to walk into my hand (in front of her) and drive her forward with my other hand with verbal encouragement. I actually lunged her this morning for the first time in a few months and she did this a couple of times but was compliant when I asked her to carry on. When I first had her and had to lunge her until I got a saddle, she would buck and rear and be really naughty racing round like the wall of death, so I had to walk around with her on small circles and stop after about 3-4 circles and give her a pat and a nut, then carry on and let the circles get bigger gradually. By the third lunge, we had cracked it so she was a little star at it. So when she did the odd stop this morning, I didn`t make a big deal of it. When I lunge again in the next few days I bet that she will be a good girl, as she gets to grips with it again.
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JAK

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SWUO is monstrous for this - she's a complete c*w on the lunge & knows every trick going, inc. turning to face you & refusing to budge to charging at you, then turning at the last second & bolting back out, ripping the lunge line out of your hand (& your bl**dy shoulder damn near out of its socket!) as she goes!

I would make the circle very small initially & just concentrate on getting the pony to move forwards & stop again on command - I wouldn't bother with cantering until you have complete control at the walk & trot!
(I wouldn't really be cantering an unfit pony on the lunge anyway tbh with you!)

If you really have no-one to help out by walking near or next to pony, just try & get him to walk forwards when asked to start with by keeping body language passive & non-threatening (facing same way as pony, slightly sideways!), minimal eye contact & watch out that you are not inadvertently 'threatening' him with the whip, causing him to turn his quarters round to face you, (easily done, especially if they're getting on your nerves somewhat! LOL)!

You need to be slightly behind him (easier said than done with a small pony, I know!), to 'urge' him forwards.
Try losing the whip altogether initially maybe & see if he will walk off just with you twirling the end of the lunge line - again, you need to make sure you are not squaring up to him in what could be interpreted as an 'aggressive' stance, with a cross 'Bring it on!' expression, as this is a battle you will seldom win by such a method!

I do know how you feel, as the girls have stood there so many times with SWUO, in a 'Mexican standoff'! LOL

Oh & when changing sides etc., never allow him to move inwards towards you - insist that he 'stand' whilst you go to him & don't forget to give lots of praise if he does comply, even if it's a bit raggedy to start with!
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JAK

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Oh & most importantly...keep calm! LOL
Like children, small evil ponies know when you're starting to 'lose it' & generally simple re-double their efforts!
Patience & a steady temper is your best weapon here - bore it out of them if necessary - you just have to show that in a battle of wills, you are prepared to stand there all day if necessary!
Bearing in mund that many ponies, like people, are very 'one-sided', at the end of the day, you are only asking the little brute to walk in a small circle - hardly working him to death is it!
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