horse that won't walk on lunge line

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by wild.fire, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. wild.fire

    wild.fire Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi I have a 10yr old SB gelding. He has been broken in for quite some time and is good to ride etc.. My problem is that once on the lunge line all he wants to do is trott. I can get him to canter but in either trot or canter it is hard to get him to stop straight away regardless if I'm standing still or not. I have had him for a few months now and am not able to get him to just walk. What can I do to get him just to relax and walk on a circle?
     






  2. Auzzie Honey

    Auzzie Honey Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,668
    Likes Received:
    172
    IMO there are 2 main ways of going about it.
    Keep asking for him to 'steady', making the circle smaller in turn making it harder for him to trot til he walks, or start off by leading him around the round pen on a lunge line, slowly increasing distance between you and him until you are in the center lunging him.
     
  3. wild.fire

    wild.fire Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks heaps for that, I'll give it a go and let you know how things turn out.
     
  4. Auzzie Honey

    Auzzie Honey Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,668
    Likes Received:
    172
    Awesome no worries :) Good luck!
     
  5. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Messages:
    65,625
    Likes Received:
    29,919
    Excellent :D

    Don't ask him to trot for now to begin with. Go back to basics and (re)teach him how to properly lunge. This begins with him a lot closer to you, and you walking a big circle with him. Over time, as he learns that walk and whoa really mean walk and whoa, you increase the length of the line.

    You can say "eaaasyyyyyy" as you shorten the line to get him to walk from the trot if he's the nervous type, but you may need to just really thwack the lunge line under his chin if it's just ignoring you. Put the lunge whip in your front hand so you can use that as a backup - crack it in front of him if necessary (again, if he's just ignoring you). You can also position yourself such that you can run him into the fence if necessary.

    Sometimes when they just aren't paying attention, even if it's because they are wigging out/nervous, a figurative slap in the face breaks their "trance" and they can then pay attention. Some horses just get so busy within themselves they can't hear you. Getting them to "shut up" is fun :D
     
  6. DixieGirl89

    DixieGirl89 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,614
    Likes Received:
    584
    The way I taught my horses was that when I wasn't putting pressure on them to trot or lope, that they were supposed to walk. I would keep him at a trot then take the pressure off. As soon as he starts to walk tell him "WALK". They soon associate the word with the gait. Or you could put a lead on him and teach him that while you're walking him. Walk him then trot him, when you break down to the walk tell him "WALK".
     
  7. MissBandit

    MissBandit Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,661
    Likes Received:
    850
    Your body language and eye contact will scream volumes to his horse more than your voice would. Turn your shoulders in towards his back end, keep your hands low and your eyes on his back end as well. He will walk :)
     
  8. wild.fire

    wild.fire Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks heaps to all that answered. I have tried all suggestions and he is responding nicely though it will still be a few days to actually get it, I appreciate all your help.
     
  9. Rowdy_Sandi

    Rowdy_Sandi Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    10
    Also, once you start getting him to walk consistently, practice lots of down transitions in both directions often so that he doesn't immediately forget once you start trotting or cantering again.
     
  10. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    16,874
    Likes Received:
    11,842
    Have to ask if this horse is truely relaxed in trot and canter when being lunged? I am working with a mare right now, how as JB put it she is "are wigging out/nervous". For this mare that means tail straight up (she's a DWB I may add) and "purring/snotting" at literally nothing & everything! Because this mare has some serious trust issues, I just can't "slap her out of it". I will use a wall as it seems to be less linked to ME as the cause. And then I make her stand with her head down until she calms right back down, which can take like 5mins, then we continue on. I usually only need to do this "time out" thing once in each direction and then she's fine. I also don't let her get into a rushy trot when we move up from a walk, so she trots maybe 1/2 a 15-20m circle around me, then right back down to walk. This is just to keep her anxiety level down, which keeps her calmer. It will be a slow road ahead, but one that with 4 days of work, we have really made a surprising dent in if you ask me!
     






Share This Page