Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:59 pm Post subject: Lunging
I have a percheron cross mare (14 years old) that I recently purchased. Im sure she knows how to lunge, but I am having a problem with it. When I first start to lunge her, she does fine for a few cercuits at the trot, but as soon as I want her to change directions, she wont start again. she will just pivot back around and walk straight towards me. I can't get her to even complete a circuit before she turnes inward to me. Since she was recently a schooling horse, I assume she knows how to do it, but maybe I am doing something wrong?
Lots or replys please!
Remember that when you are lunging, you should be behind the horse's center of motion. When you want the horse to reverse, you may sometimes have to cut across the circle in order to be ahead of the horse; then when the horse turns, you are behind her. If you are using a line, you can draw the horse toward you, work around to behind her, and be positioned such that she is not facing you.
There is a possibility that there's another reason why she doesn't want to change directions. Is it always the same direction? It may be more uncomfortable to her to go that way. How long do you spend on the first direction? Lunging is hard work; if you do more than a few minutes in either direction (at a time), she may simply be tired.
Can you get her to walk in one direction, then walk in the other direction? That may be a good place to start. Walk work is the base of everything else, and is often too rushed.
With any movement, if you are having difficulties, walk can often be the solution. Sometimes going back to walk and schooling through at a walk will help both you and the horse work out how to continue at a faster gait.