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Help with lunging a youngster

9 replies

TheQueenOfDiamonds · 10/04/2012 21:24

Hi ladies, Hope you are all well.

I ride a 6 year old gypsy cob. He's very green, But so laid back it's unreal. He's a lovely ride, But i'd like to get him lunging, Mainly so i can keep on top of his work when i can't ride as i struggle in the cold weather with my back.

He's never been lunged. He has not got a clue what i want and is very baby about it. I put him on the lunge today and managed to get him to walk around with someone else walking around the outside about 5 feet away from him while i took the lunge line. He doesn't do anything 'naughty' as such, It's more baby behavior wanting to follow someone and turning to just face me lol!

He did a little trot too and i decided to end it there as he did try.

I've never struggled with lunging, The only horse I've ever had to start with scratch from was my colt and he walked around once and just suddenly clicked on what i wanted and that was it!

So, Any tips on getting him lunging nicely would be appreciated!

OP posts:
Callisto · 11/04/2012 08:23

You definitely need a helper to start with. Someone who can walk around behind the horse and inside the circle just to encourage him forward and out. After a few goes like this he should get the idea.

horseylady · 11/04/2012 10:55

Keep doing what your doing he'll get it. Keep the sessions short and sweet eventually get your helper to start him off then just stand to the outside and be there if you need them. Good luck!

TheQueenOfDiamonds · 11/04/2012 13:49

Callisto - We started with one of us having to be in front but did eventually manage a couple of goes with one on the lunge and the other etting him going from behind rther than him wanting to follow.

Horseylady - We were at it for about 15/20 minutes yesterday, I don't like much longer because i dont want him to get bored and dislike the work lol!

OP posts:
horseylady · 11/04/2012 14:26

I don't lunge either of my very fit comp horses for more than 20 -25 mins as it works them really hard (they would work mainly in trot). Yet I school them for 60-90 mins!! It's really intense and really benefical for them plus it keeps them fit!!

AlpinePony · 11/04/2012 17:14

Have you done any natural horsemanship? You should be able to "send him away" (other end of lunge) without another person (or whip). In fact just a quick swish of the rope should do it. It's important that he moves away from you rather than you placing him on the circle and then you yourself walking to the centre - this is because you are the boss, don't confuse his young, green mind by you being subservient iyswim.

If you'be got him on a reasonably tight line and held in nicely at the tail by the presence of the whip and are firm in your body language then there is only one place for him to occupy!

I'd also recommend working on voice commands so you can lunge without a whip - and a line if you're lucky.

TheQueenOfDiamonds · 11/04/2012 18:01

I have done natural horsemanship before yes, But i'm not hugely experienced with it. I got into the basics of it with my mums pony when i was working on getting him a little more confident as i was fed up of being dragged across the paddock on my face when i lunged him - It worked very well with him and there was visible improvement in just a few sessions.

I don't think it helps when theres lots of people watching either, I do think thats impacting negatively upon my body language and confidence as i feel a bit silly then if he's not responding. I don't want to be rude and start telling people to bugger off though, Theyre not actually doing anything bad.

I am going to work on voice commands more - That was an invaluable tool with my first pony because i was unble to ride or lunge due to a really bad accident, So it was incredibly useful to be able to work him off the lunge with just my voice and a little guidance with a lunge whip.

OP posts:
AlpinePony · 12/04/2012 04:55

I totally get the being watched thing. I go to pieces when people are stood around the arena watching - stick me on a x-country course fine - stick me in an arena with spectators and I'm a numpty! And the only reason I feel confident using (many) voice commands is because I speak English and everyone else speaks German - they probably all think I'm bonkers anyway. ;)

Dutch courage? ;)

TheQueenOfDiamonds · 12/04/2012 18:24

Haha, Glad i'm not the only one.

I'm sure my other half must think i'm a right liar sometimes when i come back and tell him what i've been up to, He comes to watch and everything goes wrong haha.

OP posts:
GillyMac93 · 13/04/2012 09:16

I totally understand Iv got a very stubborn welshie! I hve done lots of natural; horsemanship with her and done a perfect join up on many occasions due to her refusing to be caught . I had a friend walk beside her just like you ve done but then my friend stood beside me but closer to pony and near her backend , she couldnt spin or stop and if she did she got a light touch with a leadrope and that definately worked .Also when she used to play up when I was alone , I would make her do really tight circles around me with me walking almost at staigth towards her bum whilst making her bend her head and after a few turns i would just take a step back while she was turning until we had a bigger circle , any problems go back to tight circles .HTH

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