Whilst lunging my daughters little mare to up her work load ( as we've had no sucess whilst advertising for a lightweight jockey, and even the local riding school said they didn't think they would have much use for her at weekends when I offered her to them to use!) she refuses to acknowledge a circle!
On the left rein she will stay away on a nice 20m circle, then suddenly swoop inwards and cut across , nearly getting tangled in the line and if i step in to push her out, she picks up pace and canters or slams on and turns in to me.
On the right rein she works nicely for about half a circle then she will pull and pull, swing her hindquarters out, stick her head in the air and do a daft little knee jerky trot, or if in canter, she will almost pull me over ( she's only 11.3! ) again if i step in or let line loose she will try go further away!!
I don't have the luxury of an arena, so have to lunge in a large field. The flattest bit is slap bang in the middle, but i have been trying to lunge her up by the fence line in the corner to give her sort of a 'prop' incase its a balance thing but she just tries to run into the fence.
I've also been using poles and cavaletti to give her something else to concentrate on but it works for a bit, and then she goes daft and then falls over the poles!
We cant hack out at the mo, as i'm waiting for her hoof boots to come.
What can I try to stop her bad habits? Help please HG's xx
Post by Country Bumpkin on Aug 3, 2010 8:39:47 GMT
Do you use 1 or 2 lunge lines.
I always use 2, 1 goes around the outside which gives you control of the off side, like long reigning but on a circle, that way if she tries to come into you you have a means in which to counteract it.
When you change rein stop and change the rein as per normal and when you get good at it you can then change the rein without having to stop.
Have you had any lunging lessons? I suggest you have an instructor teach pony how to lunge first and then watch you checking your technique and will be able to advise on how to prevent or correct any issues.
If she comes in on one rein and out on the other I wonder if she has a problem bending one way that needs looking at?
Otherwise I'd go with using two reins, maybe getting someone else who is experienced with this to help out to start with. Lunging is what you make of it, I used to teach them lots on the lunge, lunged better than I rode, not that that's saying much, but I did come across one PC mother who said it was so boring that she used to make all her phonecalls while lunging daughter's pony! It may have got exercised but nothing more out of the experience.
I always used to lunge off of 2 reins but then had physio out and she found a problem with her front end and hollow in her neck muscles due to not moving forward enough so i went back to lunging off one rein and getting her striding out rather than 2 reins, which makes her work rounder and in an outline but more shuffly in her movement. Will go back to 2lines and see if I can encourage her to lengthen and stretch rather than tuck up.
Lunging and longreining was the one 'practical' exam I passed with flying colours when I was at college so I always thought I was quite good at it, but suppose if you do your exam on a perfect horse, then your bound to pass arn't you!lol.
I say have the lesson(s) because my mare used to do this on one rein (her bad rein) and she would then back up etc. It rather worried me because I did not know exactly what to do about it and I didn't know what she would do if I tried various things.
Had instructor in, he told her instantly to mind her manners (with his body language and his voice) and she behaved perfectly thereafter. Mind you when he used that voice with me it put the fear of God into me as well.
She did do it with me a couple of times after, but having seen how to correct it and that she wasn't going to have a hissy, I felt competent and confidence to do it myself.
Within a short while she stopped, it was simply her bad rein, she didn't fancy it, but with practice if of course became much easier for her and she was happy to do it.
I'd would go back to two reins and not worry about the outline until she was going forward freely and confident, and it could well be that always having used two reins, she finds the lack of a contact on that side a bit disconcerting. OR you could try with a tail bandage fastened to either side of the roller and under the tail at the height you would have that part of a pessoa, it may help. If she continues to fall in, and plenty do this, have a smaller circle, no bigger than the hard end of the lunge whip, and when she falls in, poke her shoulder and firmly say OUT. Do that in walk until she gets the idea and listens to your voice, then try trot, then gradually make the circle larger, if she does it again, then small circle, at walk, and so on, until she clicks. Eventually the voice will be enough, or even just the stick being raised towards the shoulder will reinforce the voice command. Also try and keep the 'triangle' of you, the line, the stick and the horse as near perfect as possible, its not so easy for them to turn as you are in the right place to drive forward from behind then. Once you've got her going on a good circle on a relaxed basis, you can up the ante and work on her outline. I do a lot of lunging, and have done so for many years, and they have to work, but first they need to fully understand what is expected. I currently have a 3 yr old having terrible problems lunging on one rein without turning or towing me off, with him, its a confidence thing we've worked out, but another who I lunged once or twice earlier this year, then decided I was'nt happy with her movement and put her away for a few months, came out tonight, and although it was a buck and a fart episode, I was happy as she was moving forward and did not even think of turning on either rein, far more important to me for her education than trying to do anything complicated like actually working on this occasion.
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, But I won't back down!
I lunge mine with 2 reins, there's no reason why you can't get her moving forward with 2 reins just the same as with 1. I actually find that Jasper works better and moves more forward and wants to stretch down more with 2 reins than with 1.
With regards to the darting in, I cmpletely agree with Armarda with starting on a small circle and making sure you keep your triangle. When she comes in ask her to go out and poke her bum with the whip at the same time.
How much lunging are you doing with her, how often, how long?
Has she always done this or is it something new that she has started?
Thank you lillegs for your kind comments. Funnily enough, my filly did start to fall in on Friday on the left rein, Saturday she went on the walker for a change, Sunday she had a rest, and yesterday and today we worked on correcting it, by the time I'd finished this evening, she had got the 'out' with me using the stick to the point where just raising it and giving the command got the correct response, and as she is just a starter, we only do 15 to 20 minutes.
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, But I won't back down!
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