Equestrian Life is an online community for horse people.
We bring together horse people across all disciplines, breeds and sports.
We invite you to connect with others who love horses as much as you do.
By: Jaclyn T.
on October 07, 2009
in General Questions
Ive been lunging my mare lately, and she's being good on the line, but she hates whips, and she wont stay in a canter, i throw the line at her, wiggle it, wave my hands and etc, to get her into a trot or a canter, but she rarely stays in the canter, she's a sensitive horse so i don't want to ruin my training with her, i've finally gotten her to a state where she's safe and understands that what I'm doing isnt scary, but is there any way i can keep her in a canter on the lunge line?I've been lunging since i was 3 yrs old, and all my other horses are so easy to lunge,but she free lunges perfectly but on a line shes lazy. Need Ideas!!
Oh BTW with whips, while on the line, she freaks out and bolts, but yet in the round pen, or in the riding arena while being ridden with a crop she doesn't care. Any Idea on how to fix this? I do TTouch with her, and rub the whip all over her and she doesnt care but on a line she likes to run when i have a whip,I'm confused because neither I or my mother taught her this. (i've had her since she was born, we've done all the bottle feeding, hand rasing, and training etc... she was an orfan )
Sometimes horses will free lunge and not be afraid of whips because they feel like they can get away. On a line they sometimes feel trapped and claustrophobic.My mom trains a lot of horses that are this way. Before you ask for the canter on the line, you need to make sure that she has enough room to get into that gait. Most horses need a space at least 60 ft in diameter to make the circle at the canter. Make sure she has that room and then start
.her on the line inside the round pen so it is familiar to her. She will think she is free lunging. Just be sure not to pull on the line. Ask her to canter like you normally do and see if she is any better. It might take a few tries for her to figure out that it is ok to canter on the line.
As far as being scared of the whip on the line, the first thing to remember is that the whip is an extension of your arm not a whip. My mom teaches all the horses that she trains on a lead rope first that when she "kisses" they have to move their feet. She doesn't care which way the go at first as long as they move their feet. Speed is not an issue yet. Once they move off of the kiss, then she puts them in the rd pen and does it again with more speed. Most of her training happens at the trot. But if they are trotting, and she kisses, the horse is suppose to go faster. So if you could retrain your horse to move off a kiss or cluck every time, then you wont really need a whip at all.
Another thing that will get her desensitized to the whip is throwing the lead rope or other rope over her back, around her legs, under her belly and keep throwing it witha rythym until she stops moving her feet and stands for 15 seconds. Then do the same thing on the other side. Horses learn from the release of pressure so when she has it right back off and give her a couple seconds to think about what just happened. Then go back and do it over again until she is still. work with the rope and then move on to the whip doing everything just exactly the same.
Hope this helps! Let us know if it works or if she starts something new. I can get my mom to help you out too.
Have you tried it without using the whip? my horse is the opposite of yours she hates lunging in the round pen and runs wild. When I lunge her in the big covered arena she is great.I find I do not need to use the whip as she responds to my voice commands really well. The whip my not be necessary? If she is young she may not be balanced enough to stay in the canter. I have had that problem also, I find if I use side reins it helps balance my horse and she can stay in the canter much better. My horse has just started to canter on the lunge previously she had only been walked and trotted. Your horse may be the same she is just learning how to do it?
I would ask for the canter, get a few strides then ask for the trot. Make it YOUR idea to trot every time, even if you just canter 2 strides. Then each time ask for a few more strides, when you see her starting to quit, ask for a trot. Soon she will look to you for the que to trot instead of doing it on her own. It may be a strength thing too, she may get tired. Cantering on a lunge line isn't easy and even if she is in shape, if she isn't used to cantering on a small circle, I would take it easy on her. I'm not a big fan of cantering on the lunge more then a time or two around because it is so hard on them, but everyone has a different opinion! Good luck!
Sara I do the exact same thing as your mom, i train horses as well, even though its not professional i have retrained many abused horses, my mare always have enough room, i have lunged her with a line in the round pen, she doesnt think any different, but she can't always be in a round pen. I have tried the rope thing, she isnt afraid of them, I cluck and kiss to her all the time but on the ground she looks at me like i'm an idiot but when im riding her shes like oh okay canter time.
Lori, I dont ever lunge her with a whip anymore if she's on a line, it always turns out bad. She's 10 yrs old, she's balanced int he canter.She's been lunging since he was two years old, she knows how to do it, she just doesnt want to go any faster than a walk, and while she is working shes in a tight circle, im constantly on her case and pushing her out and encouraging her to go faster.
Cailtlin, i dont want to canter her much either, i like to trot, but she needs to get used to it, shes a jumper & a dressage horse, she's in great shape.
It a complicated thing, its confusing, but im sure ill find something that will work with her, because not all the time I can ride her, i only may have 15 mins to do something with her because of my gelding, but she needs to be worked constantly and lunging is the most convient thing for me to do, she just needs to have more...go on the lunge line.
I think your horse is young which could be one of the reasons, why. It is a very common issue with young ones.
The problem gait could be due to the horse's ability to maintain that gait and where she may lack the strength to be able to perform this motion of self carriage for right now and she may need both of her sides strengthen.
Its about her finding her comfort level & the proper balance.
Horses need pratice working sessions daily so they can discover the correct way on how to carry their own self and then much later into the training, she will need to be able to carry a rider aboard while travelling at the canter gait.
Lunging on a line, and heres some insights you must know and perform:
Alot of folks have developed this habit of looking at their horse's head or it's front end, which is only giving the horse an unclear cue to slow down or stop. The indivdual should be looking at the hind end, while encouraging the horse with a kiss or two and being certain nothing is telling the horse to slow down.
You may need to give a smack on the ground with the whip so she can understand that you want her path of
travel to coninue, no matter if its at the W/T/C.
You may also need to give a bump using the lunging line or lead rope, which causes the lunging line to travel to the horse's head. This bumping works in two ways and by telling the horse to stay away, plus to pick up their speed of motion.
Once this has taken place and the horse has responded correctly, then the handler should respond with the releasing of all pressure so that the horse can maintain it's forward motion and again with you only looking at the horse's hind end and where she is once again driving forward into the most desired manner.
My last statement on this topic:
The human handler must consider their own mindset and energy around and with the horse.
Horses do feed off of our emotional attituides and if you want no resistence from yours or any horse, the handler must have a clear, consistence and fair, but firm way about themselves in order not to put the horse in the position to refuse or tune out the teacher's message which means training and handling them without negative human behaviors such as vebal or body communications of threats.
Horses are looking for leadership and not those types of people that give so much kindness along with treats.
They only know those treats smell and taste good and they want more, but horses aren't aware of the string attach, therefore there is no association of reward, because they only feel you gave it to them for nothing and
that not the way to win their respect or to be able to bond with them.
Again, horses are looking for a leader.
One that will teach them what is acceptable,or not acceptable and correct them.
Where to go, what and how to do things and they also learn our explainations with them.
Be that leader to her so she can feel secure.
She's in no way young or off balance, i said she's 10 yrs old and shes a level 3 dressage horse....and i know how to lunge, i keep telling people this, i know you're supposed to look at the horses hind quarters, She has no problem with leadership, or anything like that, its that i need her to go a bit faster without using a whip because she does not like them, i am doing ALL the proper things, but she is just being lazy.....
thank you but i understand, no further comments needed thank you...
Have you ever tried round penning her? I do that with my mare. I put her in the round pen and i stand in the middle and chase her around the round pen, clucking if i want her to go faster, and if she doesnt respond, through the lead rope at her hind quaters and make her go. My mare doesnt respond to a whip, but she'll respond to my clucking now. It's helped our bonding together. when you want to be done just relax and stand in the middle and dont look at her. eventually shell stop and hopefully come to you! Hope this helps!!! :) good luck
Claire, thats how i lunge her, is in a round pen, i show her, and go places with her, there is usually never a round pen there, she has to get used to being lunged outside of the round pen. I do the exact same thing as you, my mare is just being lazy i think and she comes to me with a "whoa" i say whoa, and she stops and turns to me and walks forward. she was taught this through natural horsemanship, ttouch and dressage.