Training Questions/Emily

Training Questions/Emily

Post by Dana Compto » Sat, 06 Dec 2008 10:43:43

Since the thread got swiped and I came in late here are my 2 cents in
case you gave up on the thread.

You wrote

Emily Brooks    View profileLunging a horse who is stiff to the right,
who wants to lean on the right shoulder and cut in (not dangerously),
and then speeds up to stay upright. For my safety and his, what would
you folks do to keep him out on the circle? He was very fresh so I was
not holding a lunge whip for most of this. He is not allowed to play
on the line and I was having to hold him shorter than I'd prefer for
lunging in order to maintain control. Once some of the excess wore
off, I used the whip pointed at his shoulder to hold him out and gave
him a larger circle to work in. More experience with lunge-is-work
wouldn't hurt, of course, but I really don't lunge much. No way was I
getting on this one without though! I discussed the issue with my
trainer. A gold star for the first to match his answer :-) but I bet
there's more than one way to accomplish this goal. I'm looking for
other ideas. Emily - and Hoover (Who? Me? Fresh?)

From what you have said and what I can see from the video here is my
take. To the left he is fine. To the right the problem begins with
habit (Or stiffness/soreness, if there is any question please have
checked) of not "using" left hip to reach under him and push and
support him and he isn't used to flexing his body from that movement,
so what happens is he falls a bit forward to avoid using that hip/leg
to push, gets off balance and falls inward, then speeds up.

An outside side rein is not going to help because he will still be
able to position himself to continue the habit. The only way I have
found to correct this problem on the lunge is to put an inside side
rein on and add an outside driving line that goes around the horse's
rump.  Begin at the walk and work up to the trot. What this does is
helps you to position the whole horse, you are keeping him bent just
bit to the inside but can keep him out on the circle gently with a
give and take motion on the outside rein. Having the outside rein
around the rump and above the hocks encourages the horse to bring the
hindquarters towards you on the circle thus engaging the inside back

You can hook the outside rein to the halter/caveson or if the horse
staying out on the circle even to the circingle.

While riding you can work on this by being aware of what is actually
happening under you. I have found though that if the horse does not
have the strength to do it sans rider he may  not have the strength
do it with a rider. For riding be sure he is reaching under himself
correctly on his circles to the right. :)