PDA

View Full Version : What to do about naughty horse on longe line?



Trigger
Jan. 1, 2008, 07:06 PM
I longe my horse occasionally before I ride if it is a windy day, or he's had a bunch of days off just to make sure he isn't going to do anything silly once I get on him. He's 7, and generally a sensible but forward type and I am an experienced rider. Still, a very few times on nasty weather days he's gotten me loose in the tack with a bit of naughtiness. Other than that he's usually fine to just get on and ride. Problem is that on the few days he is up and I go out to longe him he sometimes blows it out on the longe...takes off at a hand gallop even without me holding a whip and bucks and tears around for a few minutes until he gets it out of his system. He's hard to slow down on when he does this and I am afraid he is going to injure himself. I could stop him by bringing him in on a smaller circle, but once he gets going doing this tends to increase his odds of slipping. I unfortunately don't have a round pen to work in. So I've been letting him out to the end of the longe to make the circle as big as possible until he quiets down. Sidereins, or not, don't seem to make a difference. How would you go about solving this problem?

arena run
Jan. 1, 2008, 07:19 PM
Could you jsut put him in turnout for about 30 minutes prior to you catching him to ride? sylvia

Dazednconfused
Jan. 1, 2008, 07:27 PM
I'd use a chain over his nose or under his chin, personally.

ideayoda
Jan. 1, 2008, 07:31 PM
No chains imho. A well fitted caveson and a clear message and NEVER let the horse take off, stop it immediately, start over. If the horse is started well with the concept of lungeing it is on a controled smaller circle in a (s)lower gait, and then they rarely then learn they can misbehave/ignore the handler. Everyone stays safer then.

Trigger
Jan. 1, 2008, 07:41 PM
As to turnout - he gets about 12 hours a day so he is out in the field when I go to ride in the winter.

2boys
Jan. 1, 2008, 07:44 PM
Ideayoda, when you say "stop him immediately", do you pull him in to face you?

Hampton Bay
Jan. 1, 2008, 07:53 PM
If he were mine, and if he weren't also trying this trick under saddle, I would likely just let him do it, and then when he was ready to be done, keep sending him forward and making him work. Bring him in on your circle, send him out, work on transitions, just make him work. Once he is mentally settled and listening to you, put him up.

With *most* horses, usually the best fix is to ignore the behavior, then make them work after they stop being annoying.

Trigger
Jan. 1, 2008, 08:11 PM
If he were mine, and if he weren't also trying this trick under saddle, I would likely just let him do it, and then when he was ready to be done, keep sending him forward and making him work. Bring him in on your circle, send him out, work on transitions, just make him work. Once he is mentally settled and listening to you, put him up.

With *most* horses, usually the best fix is to ignore the behavior, then make them work after they stop being annoying.

That is pretty much what I've been doing. Still, I don't like him careening around like an idiot for 5 minutes just because he can and like I say I am afraid he's going to hurt himself. He doesn't do this undersaddle, but as I mentioned on the occasional windy/nasty day he will give a few naughty bucks at the start of a ride. The one thing I'm having a hard time with is that I have tried stopping and restarting on a small circle, but he'll even try to take off on a very short line in the beginning which is not too safe for either of us.

MyReality
Jan. 1, 2008, 08:33 PM
I don't like to let the horse knows, ever, that I could not control him. So if you can stop him, sure go ahead, stop him. But if I know I can't stop him, I will never let him find out I wanted to stop him but I couldn't.

angel
Jan. 1, 2008, 08:44 PM
Be sure you have the splint boots on him. If you do not have a lunge caveson, do not use a chain. However, thread the lungeline through the bit ring nearest you, under his chin, up the far side of his head, back across the poll toward you, and attach it to the bit ring nearest you. Do not attach the outside, siderein as long as he wants to play up on the line. This particular way of attaching the lunge give you a little better control without being entirely in his mouth, but it is no cure-all by any means. Start by lunging him in a couple of circles, then move a bit further down the side, and do a few more circles, then move a bit more, and a few more circles....until the whole arena has been covered in this direction. Now stop him, and reverse the equipment and lungeline, and go back the way you came, doing the same thing...a few circles, and move, and few more circles, and move. After completing the second circuit, if he stills wants to be fresh, repeat, the first direction, and again the second direction. This should slow him down quite a bit, with the goal being to work him equally on each side, and until the nonsense is gone. If he begins to act as if he wants to quit...too bad. You must finish the exercise...:cool:

rothmpp
Jan. 1, 2008, 08:46 PM
Interesting question, because I have this debate with my trainer. I think that if you are going to let your horse fart around on the lunge line to get the kinks out, do it before you saddle and bridle. I want my horse to know that he is working when under tack. She will encourage him to get all bucky and loose when cantering on the lunge no matter what, often by whooping and yeehawing at him.

When he does it with me - I don't get at him too bad, since she allows and actually encourages it, but he is immediately stopped and started again.

ltw
Jan. 1, 2008, 08:56 PM
I would never encourage or purposely allow a horse to buck and go nuts on a lunge and I would never encourage it. That is how they hurt themselves or hurt you. They have to understand that when they go under tack they are working.

I had a young horse tear her miniscus on the lunge line. She was being lunged at a very well known trainers in Germany and was allowed to go nuts, she slipped and fell and tore up her stifle. Despite all good rehab efforts she was permanently lame and became a broodmare after.

ps: I had just purchased her and had owned her for all of two weeks when this happened. And she was being lunged by a Bereiter student who knew what she was doing, but the footing was slippery. My point is, bad things can happen even with knowledgeable people.

ride-n-tx
Jan. 1, 2008, 08:58 PM
A well fitted caveson and a clear message and NEVER let the horse take off, stop it immediately, start over.

I think this is the best advice. If you allow a hot horse to misbehave on the lunge then they will think that is appropriate behavior. you can't just say "i'll just let him buck and take off and then he will calm down and listen to me" because that will not always happen. they are in control when they are tearing around like a madman. if you take them to a new place like a show where there are lots of things to distract and excited them then you will have your work cut out for you.

when they misbehave i would do what ideayoda said and stop and start over. try sidereins too if you don't already.

merrygoround
Jan. 1, 2008, 09:03 PM
Knowing that your horse is going to clown around on the longe, be sure that you have a good quality cavesson, good side reins, and a sturdy surcingle if you aren't using a saddle. Wear your gloves, good paddock boots or riding boots, and then just let him burn off til you've got something to work with. It stops being fun for them when they think they're done, and you continue to work. The side reins will help keep you from losing control of his shoulders, and losing him, is something you want to avoid at all costs.

I was always told "don't interfere with forward". Hang in there, he'll grow up. :)

Velvet
Jan. 1, 2008, 09:07 PM
I agree with ideayoda, too. BUT, I also knowthat if you're retraining a horse who already does this, you're in for quite a few interesting sessions. :lol:

MEP
Jan. 1, 2008, 09:08 PM
My gelding has had a bucking problem in the past and I always want him to get his bucks out BEFORE I get on him. Along the lines of what rothmpp said, I want him to distinguish between recreation time and work time, so I lead him up the the arena with the saddle on, remove it for turn-out or lunging (if turn-out is not possible). When I lunge to get the bucks out, I do it in his halter with a chain wrapped around the nose band (not directly on his nose). I only lunge him briefly in each direction (say 5 minutes) until he's listening to voice commands, then I put the bridle & saddle back on & also side reins for a second (very brief) session to let him know that we're starting "work time" compared to the play time.

My horse has had several lameness issues so I understand your concerns about your horse racing around and hurting himself, but my experience is that they can hurt themselves just about any old time! I feel he is a little less likely to hurt himself being on big circles on the lunge line rather than running like a maniac loose when he does huge sliding stops and spin turns! :eek:

I also use bell boots and jumper style tendon boots in front and ankle support behind both during turn-out and riding.

JB
Jan. 1, 2008, 09:09 PM
I'm of the opinion that lunging is to get a horse mentally ready to ride, when done for the purpose you describe. Your horse is out 12 hours a day, he has 12 hours to buck and fart and do whatever he wants to. Any time a horse is attached to me - lunge line, lead rope, even in the stall as proximity "attachment" - there is no funny business allowed EVER.

You're right, he has the very real possibility of seriously injuring himself cavorting around like that, but for me that's only part of the reason I don't allow it. The rest is what I said above, time with me is "serious" time. Lunging can be a great tool to get the horse mentally focused on you so he can be a Good Horse Citizen for the next hour or so.

So, what do I do? Whatever it takes to get the forward motion stopped. This might mean me running a bit so the horse heads towards the fence, and in the mean time I'm putting a clear message out through the lunge line to his head that he needs to stop and stop now.

Kiljoywashere
Jan. 1, 2008, 09:20 PM
So, how do you retrain one who has already figured out that he is an 1800 pound skiboat, and you are merely an arena surfer dragging at the end of the line until you finally let go?

Soldier06
Jan. 1, 2008, 09:30 PM
I don't like to let the horse knows, ever, that I could not control him. So if you can stop him, sure go ahead, stop him. But if I know I can't stop him, I will never let him find out I wanted to stop him but I couldn't.

I agree with that! If you are "allowing" him to run he's not getting away with anything, but if you are trying to stop him and he is still running he's getting away with it.

I also think that some horses have to "work" on the line, because the sense of freedom overwhelms them, they try to take advantage and get out of control, while others who tend to be more relaxed can buzz around on the line at a 100 and then go back to work without a question.

And then you have mine, who for some unknown reason is scared beyond belief of lunging, the line, the whip, and the whole concept, so instead of getting killed attempting to lunge the terrified horse I just let him canter on the buckle with me on (he's VERY sensible with a rider). ;) I figure that he'll lay his head in my lap, let me climb on him like a jungle gym, gallop around the track and stop with a "whoa", if he doesn't lunge so be it. :)

enjoytheride
Jan. 1, 2008, 09:43 PM
I weigh 105 pounds soaking wet and I can yank a 1500 pound 16 hand horse off his feet on the lunge line if I need to. Using a shorter line you can step into the circle and behind the horse to sharpen the angle, then spin and run backwards. It is enough to pull the head around and face the horse toward you. If the footing is slippery or the horse is especially stupid you can yank it off it's feet so be careful, although occasionally this might be a good come to jesus moment for the horse!

After I do the spin n yank on the angle I immedietly put the horse back out. I don't say anything different and the horse has no idea I did anything. I did this with a green mare who would reel out to the end of the line the run flat out until you said whoa. She did whoa very well, but nothing in between! A couple days and she actually walked and trotted! Same technique worked for a bolter.

I would have someone experienced help you out since they can move faster and correct the problem quicker then show you exactly what to do.

kahjul
Jan. 1, 2008, 09:52 PM
My horse always bucks -several huge bucks- in canter to the right on the lunge. So if she's particularly hot, we go left first. I can keep her in trot until she has settled, then we canter, then we go the other way. She still bucks hard (the MT thinks she self adjusts), but if we start to the right on a hyper day, the bucking gets her all excited, then she's blasting and blowing and tail over the back, etc. Have you noticed if your horse has 1 direction that he's less likely to get excited? If so, just go that way first. I also never put the saddle or bridle on to lunge on those days. I know she's going to play, even if it's just a few strides before she's back under control, she isn't allowed to play tacked up, so I just eliminate the problem. Sometimes, like with kids, you just have to set yourself up for the best scenario. As to getting hurt, it's a tough call. Make sure he's booted for the obvious stuff, but I don't think there is much else you could do. What about giving him a little push to play in his pen before you bring him in? Not chasing him all over with the whip, but maybe just crack it once and let him take a lap?

gallupgirl
Jan. 2, 2008, 09:14 AM
Why no chain?

Valentina_32926
Jan. 2, 2008, 09:34 AM
If he were mine, and if he weren't also trying this trick under saddle, I would likely just let him do it, and then when he was ready to be done, keep sending him forward and making him work. Bring him in on your circle, send him out, work on transitions, just make him work. Once he is mentally settled and listening to you, put him up.

With *most* horses, usually the best fix is to ignore the behavior, then make them work after they stop being annoying.

I do the same thing (ignore it) - my mare doesn't act badly on the lunge often but when she does I just send her forward (if she acts badly it's normally bucks and leaps into the air which she does NOT do under saddle).

Xerintha
Jan. 2, 2008, 10:26 AM
Chains on a longe line are a very VERY BAD idea and I never ever use them. Lead line okay...longe line never. I will point out that I also never ever longe with a halter. Proper equipment always every time. Use either a well fitting longe cavesson (a chain would flop around too much on those and be too heavy on the face), or a bridle and there is no way I'd want that chain acting on the poll or under the chin. (I always thread the line through the bit, over the head, and attach to the bit on the other side)

I also agree with JB's post. Cavorting about on the line or under saddle is not allowed. Period. Of course it may happen but needs to be stopped ASAP.

If he's feeling so good that he can't even longe then turn him loose in the arena for a few minutes and let him run and buck and fart around and get it out that way. (I know he's out for 12 hours a day but it is winter and the footing and conditions may not be the greatest in turn out areas.) THEN, I'd bring him in, tack up, and longe prior to riding.

Somene asked about not being able to stop a horse from running away on the line. If you have access to a round pen than they have nowhere to go. In an arena, well it sometimes happens. Don't kill yourself trying to hang on (and I hope you latched the arena gate prior to longeing :)) but catch the horse and start over being very watchful for the moment he may try to bolt again. The best way to stop it is to prevent it from happening in the first place. However, it happens so don't beat yourself up about it. :) Just pick up and keep going.

classicsporthorses
Jan. 2, 2008, 11:00 AM
We have a 'Y" yoke attachment that one puts on the end of the lunge line and it then clips to either side of the horse (either their halter or headstall). I am never without it on my lunge line. This way you have control of the head.

I too could stop a moving freight train with one good yank. ALL of the horses know the "walk on" command. This is always what we do first.

I may let a horse do one or two bucks but if they start to be stupid they are turned square to me told to quit and we start at walk again. If they try it again, then I actually "say". 'So you want to canter, let's canter' and I push them. When it is not their idea you would be surprised just how quickly they come back to earth. The key is a shorter lunge line and the millisecond you feel them start to want to break gait you push them for one or two more times around. I think ask for a "trot on" then an "easy Trot" then walk. Trust me this works and does not take long at all. I teach a lot of horses to lunge and reteach many to lunge appropriately.

I work with horses who are 18 hands and weigh 1800 or more pounds to green been 2 year old stud colts who are full of themselves and it works for each and everyone of them.

Liz
Jan. 2, 2008, 11:48 AM
You have to do what works for you. Personally, I HATE a horse that takes off on the lounge bucking and playing. My horse must start at a walk. I don't care how fresh he is. You would not let a horse bolt the second you sat in the tack. I think it is the same principal (especially if he already has plenty of turn out). Throwing out a buck here and there on the lounge is one thing......running all out and completely disregarding the handler is another. JMHO. I agree with ideayoda. I would pull him around and stop him each time he took off. It may take awhile but he will get the picture.

Diskretion
Jan. 2, 2008, 12:24 PM
My 4 year old filly also tries to play naughty on the lunge line...

Because of her past actions, we now lunge her with that "Y" attachment and side reins. We start her off on a small circle and ALWAYS keep a slight shoulder fore within the circle.
One we lose the nose and the shoulders, she starts goofing off.

A few minutes of small circle work at the walk and then some trot work with me following her into a bigger circle without giving her the lunge line - she knows that it's time to work.
Then slowly, I give her more and more lunge as I start standing in the middle of the circle instead of following her. Don't be afraid to tell your horse if he's doing well... this really helps them understand that they are doing what you want.

This is the only way we managed to stop her from speeding off and pulling or from stopping and facing us. She's tried to kick us too (this is why she is now worked in a shoulder fore!), so I will state clearly that you must keep that hind end AWAY from you at all times - especially if you are working in a small circle.

It only took 2 -3 times before she understood that the lunge was not for playing.
Don't get me wrong, she tries to test the limits once in a while.... but I just bring her back into a smaller circle and put her back into shoulder fore and it passes.

This was a learning process for both of us. I had to learn that my position on the ground also played in her behavior... once I learned where to stand and how to lead her with my body, everything became much easier.

An older, more experienced horse will sometimes allow the you to lunge without paying attention to your body but a baby allows for very few mistakes - they read you like a book - it's amazing.

Best of luck!

2boys
Jan. 2, 2008, 01:51 PM
At the risk of getting off-topic, and stepping on toes, I have a side rein question. My concern with putting them on has always been about these specific situations. I am always concerned that the naughty behavior is when a side rein can get caught in a leg, or create more problems with a fresh horse. I was surprised to see that many recommend them in these situations. Not disagreeing, just curious.:winkgrin:

Trigger
Jan. 2, 2008, 02:09 PM
Thank you all for the advice. Where do you find the Y attachment that some people talk about, and could someone post a link to one possibly? I longe in a bridle, typically, and have not wanted to thread the line up over the poll for fear of damaging the sensitive area if he takes off and yanks it. On the same lines, I am loathe to use a chain for longing. I am going to try what ideayoda and others say, perhaps under the eye of my instructor next time. I do have to be careful because in the first few minutes when he's going to be naughty he WILL take a buck/kick out at me on a small circle. Sort of a little, "f-you, I'm feeling naughty and I want to gallop off". I do think this longeing behavior needs to stop, though, because it's dangerous for both of us. I think someone let him get away with this attitude in his early training, and now unfortunately it's my job to see that it gets erased.

Petstorejunkie
Jan. 2, 2008, 02:13 PM
To me the lunge is not a place to "get the bucks out" but more a place to introduce new things, and work on specifics without a rider. I want my horse to turn his brain on when the lunge is attached.

On those occations that my horse needs to blow off some steam before a ride my ideal is to let him go bazonkers in the arena (obviously empty) I prefer to put boots or wraps on him and nothing else, no tack. I have a roundpen, but for us that is a classroom too, and IMHO a roundpen is too small for a horse to gallop and buck fart safely.

ride-n-tx
Jan. 2, 2008, 02:28 PM
At the risk of getting off-topic, and stepping on toes, I have a side rein question. My concern with putting them on has always been about these specific situations. I am always concerned that the naughty behavior is when a side rein can get caught in a leg, or create more problems with a fresh horse. I was surprised to see that many recommend them in these situations. Not disagreeing, just curious.:winkgrin:

I don't see how a horse could get their legs caught up in the sidereins. The ones i use are the ones with the rubber doughnut in the middle. I usually start with the sidereins at the longest point and gradually shorten them, but even at the longest point i don't think the horse could get their leg up and over it.

sid
Jan. 2, 2008, 02:49 PM
I do what Enjoytheride does and it's quite effective and safe.

Frankly, quiet work "in hand" on a long lead could do wonders before giving a horse too much freedom on the line (if it's the kind that wants to exploit the freedom, that is, the distance between you and him/her).

Work on the lunge is about communication and learning. With horses being what they are they can't "reason" the difference between it being "okay" to blow it out on the lunge vs. eventually thinking it's okay to blow it out with a rider on top. (not sure I said that quite right)

I say this of course, assuming you have a horse that did not come to you with learned silliness/disobedience on the ground or on the lunge and this is something it is now learning. If you did, it's time well spent to retrain with a short line, as Enjoytheride described, or better yet doing in-hand work gradually increasing the space between you and the horse.

Spectrum
Jan. 2, 2008, 03:26 PM
I don't see how a horse could get their legs caught up in the sidereins. The ones i use are the ones with the rubber doughnut in the middle. I usually start with the sidereins at the longest point and gradually shorten them, but even at the longest point i don't think the horse could get their leg up and over it.

Actually, they can definitely do this. If the horse stretches the side rein forward-down-out in a buck and does a "punch kick" with one of the front legs (the ones where they shoot out straight from the shoulder, forward and then down) they could definitely put a foot through a side rein. I've seen horses free longeing do this dozens of times where I've thought "good thing he wasn't wearing side reins!"

Now, in response to the OP, I don't longe at the walk. I do in-hand work at the walk, as you have almost no control over a horse walking on a full longe circle. Trying to make a naughty or hot horse walk correctly on the longe is about as effective as trying to make a dog walk perfectly on a 30-foot leash.

When you go to let the horse out on the circle, make sure your line is "leafed" back and forth in your hand so you can let a layer go at a time without risking your fingers. Also, you can use your other hand to reel the layers back in easily. If the horse starts to take off, reel him in ASAP and snub him up- don't let him even get going. Then try again. After only a couple tries the horse should start to figure out he can't take off easily.

The thing to watch out for: if you have a really dominant horse and you do this a couple times, they *might* get ticked at this and try to run you over or kick you. I've had this happen a couple times when a horse keeps trying to take off and getting stopped up short. Once I wasn't quick enough and got flattened, so I learned my lesson about expecting reasonable behavior from naughty horses on the longe!!

This will sound terrible, but when working with really recalcitrant longe-ers I have kept a dressage whip handy a few times "just in case." Better safe than sorry, after all.

And just to clarify, these were horses that were brought to me after others were completely unable to get them to behave on the longe- horses that had kicked handlers in the past, would tear around like banshees, etc. All eventually fell into line, but you should be aware that there is a potential for safety concerns in horses like this.

WEAR GLOVES. WEAR A HELMET. SAFETY FIRST.

Spectrum.

A Horse of Course
Jan. 2, 2008, 03:45 PM
I know you said that you're concerned to bring him in on a smaller circle once he has started running around. I would start the lunging on the small circle and gain control there first, or stay there the whole time, depending on what he needs.

mp
Jan. 2, 2008, 03:57 PM
Good post, Spectrum. On the odd occasions when my horse thinks his name is Bucky, I put him on the longe to work it out. I handle him pretty much as you outlined -- I never ask him to walk on the longe, that's asking for trouble when he's full of beans. I ask him to trot and just make sure I can reel him in if he tries to take off and drive him forward if he bucks.

Gloves, helmet and whip at all times. My horse has feinted coming toward me a few times. Scared the crap out of me, but I stood up tall and got after him. He quickly reconsidered.

Mozart
Jan. 2, 2008, 05:08 PM
I weigh 105 pounds soaking wet and I can yank a 1500 pound 16 hand horse off his feet on the lunge line if I need to. Using a shorter line you can step into the circle and behind the horse to sharpen the angle, then spin and run backwards. It is enough to pull the head around and face the horse toward you. If the footing is slippery or the horse is especially stupid you can yank it off it's feet so be careful, although occasionally this might be a good come to jesus moment for the horse!

After I do the spin n yank on the angle I immedietly put the horse back out. I don't say anything different and the horse has no idea I did anything. I did this with a green mare who would reel out to the end of the line the run flat out until you said whoa. She did whoa very well, but nothing in between! A couple days and she actually walked and trotted! Same technique worked for a bolter.

I would have someone experienced help you out since they can move faster and correct the problem quicker then show you exactly what to do.

I agree with this and have had to do it from time to time. I don't mind the occasional buck but rip snorting around on a lunge is not safe. And kicking out at handler is verboten.

I would also keep horse on a smaller circle until you feel that he is going to be civil. If you misjudged and he tries to take off at a hand gallop and take you waterskiing, do as enjoytheride suggests.

If you are in an arena with walls you can also let the wall do the work.

If you are consistent at correcting the bad behaviour and say, nope, this is not on, let's start again on a small circle at a civilized trot, they do eventually get it.

JB
Jan. 2, 2008, 05:11 PM
here is the Y attachment:
http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1%2D3064&ss=lunge

ride-n-tx
Jan. 2, 2008, 05:23 PM
Actually, they can definitely do this. If the horse stretches the side rein forward-down-out in a buck and does a "punch kick" with one of the front legs (the ones where they shoot out straight from the shoulder, forward and then down) they could definitely put a foot through a side rein. I've seen horses free longeing do this dozens of times where I've thought "good thing he wasn't wearing side reins!"

Eeek, well i will consider myself lucky then! :eek:

knz66
Jan. 2, 2008, 05:41 PM
oh its one of my biggest pet peeves. People letting their horses run out of control on a lunge. Rips apart the footing, is totally dangerous.

I had one gal that I calmly asked not to lunge while my daughter was in the arena riding her horse. She firmly said she had just as much right to lunge as to ride. Anyway, as her horse took off bucking on the circle, dragging her around, I called my daughter to get off.

Once the circus was over, I walked over to her and in no certain terms told her that if anything ever happens to my child due to her neglegence, she would not be a happy camper.

She then told me to try to do it better. He just needed a "come to jesus" moment with the wall a couple times. His owner would just fish out the line and stand in the middle. Might as well be a rock to the horse. But as soon as I set the boundries, he was fine.

To me, lunging is no different than under saddle or leading on the ground. There are just certain things a horse does not do. Period. If he's tearing around, run his butt into the wall. Trust me, it will take a couple times but they do all of a sudden start to turn that ear toward you.

rbush
Jan. 2, 2008, 07:03 PM
I think I would go back to the beginning for a little refresher course on manners. I hate it when horses think they can play around for the first little bit on the lunge line. If he has enough turnout, he can play there. If you have to, lead him around the arena giving verbal commands and transition from halt to walk to trot etc. and then start with a small circle keeping his mind and heiny engaged with lots of transitions and so forth. That being said, I think that if something spooks him, or horses start galloping and he starts acting like a pinhead occasionally (but not routinely), that's what I would just ignore, try to get his attention back on you as quickly as possible and move on like nothing happened.

ideayoda
Jan. 2, 2008, 07:27 PM
WHY would someone want to attach a line to the horses mouth? It can cause panic, has no more control, and does not further the training. A horse should learn manners, conduct itself with obedience. It is the handlers job to teach this, turnout or no. THe horse should learn to behave. This is where we end up going back to lunge basics (properly fitted caveson, with side reins) and proper technique. If the handler expects lack of focus, they often allow it, and they get what they sew imho.

sid
Jan. 2, 2008, 07:46 PM
Yes, Ideayoda. One gets what one expects. If one doesn't paint a mental picture of what is expected BEFORE and during a training session regarding compliance and communication through the aids (whether on the ground or up top), most often you won't get it. Unless of course the horse has already been beautifully and appropriately educated and you're the lucky benefactor of someone who trained the horse for you.

class
Jan. 2, 2008, 08:16 PM
WHY would someone want to attach a line to the horses mouth? It can cause panic, has no more control, and does not further the training.

i guess i don't understand the difference between attaching long lines to the bit or attaching a lunge line to the bit? (assuming a non-naughty horse)

or do you attach long lines to the cavesson only?

Spectrum
Jan. 2, 2008, 08:42 PM
i guess i don't understand the difference between attaching long lines to the bit or attaching a lunge line to the bit? (assuming a non-naughty horse)

or do you attach long lines to the cavesson only?

Because typically you aren't long-lining a horse that might be taking off bucking. And if you are, you're in a grand, royal MESS.

On extremely well-behaved horses I have attached a longe line through the bit and back to the saddle, accompanied by an outside side rein to avoid over-bending. But this technique should only be used by those with highly advanced longeing skills, much as draw reins should only be used by highly educated riders (and rarely then, in both cases).

Other than that, I *never* longe with a line through or attached to a bit. I have a specially-designed Portuguese (sp?) longe cavesson with a padded, solid nosepiece that goes over the bridge of the nose. It is designed this way to give complete control while maintaining the stability of the nosepiece on the horse's nose. I have also used commercially-sold cavessons with jointed metal insets in the nose band, which I am not quite as fond of (they can sometimes shift) but will always use before attaching the line to the bit.

You have only a certain degree of control over a horse's body while longeing. If it bucks, spooks, trips or is otherwise distracted in a short-term manner, you are punishing the horse for natural behavior if it accidentally hits the longe line attached to the bit. There is no give there like if you're riding and the horse spooks (where you would theoretically be following the horse and not nailing it in the mouth).

A properly-designed and properly-used longe cavesson will stop a horse in it's tracks if it tries to take off, in a relatively humane manner that doesn't hurt or potentially injure the horse. You simply cannot say the same thing about attaching the line to the bit.

Also, addressing the "non-naughty" horse, attaching the line to the bit prevents the trainer from giving well-defined aids to the horse. If you have the line on a cavesson and side reins on the horse, a half-halt will simultaneously bend the horse's neck and bring it into a half-halt against the outside side rein. If you attach it to the bit, the same half-halt pulls on both sides of the bit (inside with the line, outside with the side rein) which is an unclear direction to the horse.

Also, if you have the longe line on the bit and an inside side rein, there is the potential for two aids on the same side of the bit at once- towards the trainer and towards the saddle - which is confusing and unclear. Actually, three at once- both side reins and the longe line. Even more confusing to the horse! Three bit contacts in three directions!

Spectrum.

class
Jan. 2, 2008, 08:55 PM
Because typically you aren't long-lining a horse that might be taking off bucking. And if you are, you're in a grand, royal MESS.

typically i'm not lungeing a horse that might be taking off bucking either.


On extremely well-behaved horses I have attached a longe line through the bit and back to the saddle, accompanied by an outside side rein to avoid over-bending. But this technique should only be used by those with highly advanced longeing skills, much as draw reins should only be used by highly educated riders (and rarely then, in both cases).

if the horse is extremely well-behaved and this is only for highly advaced longers - what purpose does it serve? what are you trying to accomplish when you run the longe line like this that you can't accomplish otherwise?


If it bucks, spooks, trips or is otherwise distracted in a short-term manner, you are punishing the horse for natural behavior if it accidentally hits the longe line attached to the bit. There is no give there like if you're riding and the horse spooks (where you would theoretically be following the horse and not nailing it in the mouth).

how is this different from long-lining then please?


A properly-designed and properly-used longe cavesson will stop a horse in it's tracks if it tries to take off, in a relatively humane manner that doesn't hurt or potentially injure the horse. You simply cannot say the same thing about attaching the line to the bit.

how do you stop a horse in it's tracks when you are long lining it and it decides to take off?


Also, addressing the "non-naughty" horse, attaching the line to the bit prevents the trainer from giving well-defined aids to the horse. If you have the line on a cavesson and side reins on the horse, a half-halt will simultaneously bend the horse's neck and bring it into a half-halt against the outside side rein. If you attach it to the bit, the same half-halt pulls on both sides of the bit (inside with the line, outside with the side rein) which is an unclear direction to the horse.

what happens when the line is attached through the inside of the bit, over the poll and onto the outside bit? or under the chin as i also sometimes see?


Also, if you have the longe line on the bit and an inside side rein, there is the potential for two aids on the same side of the bit at once- towards the trainer and towards the saddle - which is confusing and unclear. Actually, three at once- both side reins and the longe line. Even more confusing to the horse! Three bit contacts in three directions!

what about the set-up i described above though?

i do appreciate your thorough answer despite my follow-up questions! thanks!

Kathy Johnson
Jan. 2, 2008, 09:52 PM
I am with Velvet on this one. You have a horse who has been TRAINED to rat race on the longe line. Probably you did not train him to this, but somewhere back in his past, someone ran him around to "get the bucks out." He thinks this is what he's supposed to do. And that's not always a bad thing, because we would rather he bucks, slips, tears his miniscus, falls over, or all those other horror stories on the longe line without you on him. As Karl Mikolka says, "you can make a mistake not longeing a horse before you ride, but you can not make a mistake longeing him before you ride."

In a perfect world, we would avoid those horror stories all together. So, you have to go back to square one and retrain the horse to longe quietly. You are not going to retrain him in the midst of an adrenaline surge when he is fresh. Cavesson, sidereins, chain, longe line on the bit, rattle his molars, no method, no technique is going to teach him anything once he's in the midst of a trained in adrenaline surge. Those are all going to correct him once he's made a mistake, but they're not going to retrain him.

If you're serious about fixing this behavior, here's what I suggest. Find another way to get the bucks out before you ride. Bubble wrap him and let him go in the arena before tacking. Encourage him to race around then, no tack. Then tack him up and ride him, as you normally would. At the end of the ride, when he is going quietly and is relaxed and listening, dismount, go get your longeing equipment and teach him to longe correctly. For the first two weeks or more, only ask him to walk. Every time he breaks to an upward gait, bring him back to walk or halt. Every time, until he learns "whoa" means "whoa." You might be walking him on the longe for 3 months before he's ready to trot.

When it's 100 degrees this summer, work on his longeing skills. Don't just longe him when you "have to" longe him, because that is what is causing your problem.

Kathy Johnson
Jan. 2, 2008, 10:03 PM
You reap what you sow. Although you could sew a silk purse from a sow's ear, you sow a field, wild oats, and what you reap.


WHY would someone want to attach a line to the horses mouth?
A horse properly trained to longe in sidereins should go with the longe line attached: reins, sidereins, longe line. This is a method I learned from a very classical German trainer. The longeur can use the longe line to soften the jaw, to mobilize the tongue and to ask for flexion, just as in riding. The outside siderein acts as the outside rein, and the longe whip as the inside leg. Attaching the longe line to the bit is not always an incorrect method, but it is in this case, when the bit would be used to punish a misbehaving horse.

J-Lu
Jan. 2, 2008, 10:22 PM
If you're serious about fixing this behavior, here's what I suggest. Find another way to get the bucks out before you ride. Bubble wrap him and let him go in the arena before tacking. Encourage him to race around then, no tack.

Be veeeeery careful about *encouraging* a horse who likes to take off bucking and snorting on a longe in the arena to do the same without a longe line. It doesn't matter how much bubble wrap is on, a silly horse can do stupid damage. I, (ahem), speak from experience here...

ideayoda
Jan. 2, 2008, 11:53 PM
Mixing up all sorts of topics here (LL and lungeing). Why not attach a line to the bit, particularly if the horse wants to jet, because they will be spun in if you have to really vibrate (or pull). With a correctly fitted caveson, you gain much more control because it acts on the nose. Even more so if the (outside) side rein can set limits. All that said, start in walk on a circle, stop the horse immediately if they have another idea. Horses only tend to jet/buck/etc IF they think thats what the lunge is for. All the warnings against work on a lunge are because of the lack of control so often seen. Should only experienced handlers lunge? Ideally, esp if the horse is in training.

What is the difference when long lineing if the horse wants to jet? Depends upon the length of the reins....certainly not acceptable on short(er) reins, the horse would be more dependable/ridden first. On long lines the (outside) line either goes behind the butt or over the withers. In either case the horse is stopped straight immediately, and if worse comes to worse the handler can put the horse towards the wall (and a visual barrier).

slc2
Jan. 3, 2008, 07:50 AM
Caveson is great way to go for Nantucket Sleigh Ride.

It's possible to break the horse of taking off on the longe line, if every time he does, you get him stopped, walk up to him, back him up and then make him work on a smaller circle.

Everyone has a different idea of what should be allowed (let sparky be freee!!! run and be freee!!!! no - not ever, bad, bad bad), and how to control the horse on the longe line, the key is if you are consistent and punish what you don't want in a consistent way the problem will be reduced a great deal.

Kathy Johnson
Jan. 3, 2008, 10:27 AM
Be veeeeery careful about *encouraging* a horse who likes to take off bucking and snorting on a longe in the arena to do the same without a longe line. It doesn't matter how much bubble wrap is on, a silly horse can do stupid damage. I, (ahem), speak from experience here...

Yes, indeed, be careful. However, the fresh horse can do just as much damage (to the handler and to himself) on the longe line as he can when being turned loose. The poster is in a serious pickle. The horse is too fresh to ride, too fresh to longe, and turnout doesn't do the trick, although that is another avenue I would explore. If he's not playing during turnout, he's not using his turnout effectively to burn off steam. I've had to show several horses how to play in turnout, including finding them appropriate playmates. What this horse is doing is perfectly natural--it's cold, he feels good, he wants to move.

Anyone turning out, letting loose or longeing a fresh horse needs to be extra careful the first few minutes. Never cluck, clap or get him pumped up when he's first turned loose. Once he's running on his own (and he will), then you can encourage him to keep moving until it becomes your idea to go and your idea to stop.

As for the Nantucket Sleigh ride, during another bout of insomnia last night, I watched a special on the real story of Moby Dick. I didn't even know there was a true story (it was gross--murder and cannabalism and insanity involved; it made Ahab look like a saint). Anyway, a Nantucket Sleigh ride is what they called it when they speared the whale from the little boat, and let him drag the boat until he died.

mp
Jan. 3, 2008, 12:48 PM
WHY would someone want to attach a line to the horses mouth? It can cause panic, has no more control, and does not further the training. A horse should learn manners, conduct itself with obedience. It is the handlers job to teach this, turnout or no. THe horse should learn to behave. This is where we end up going back to lunge basics (properly fitted caveson, with side reins) and proper technique. If the handler expects lack of focus, they often allow it, and they get what they sew imho.

Because I don't own a longeing cavesson, properly or improperly fitted. Because I don't know how to use side reins and I've seen too many people use them improperly and the accidents weren't pretty. Because I've longed my horse maybe two or three times in the past three years. Because normally I just get on and ride. Because my horse has been taught manners and is usually quite the gentleman, but every now and then he has a day when he just can't behave. Because he's a horse.

Spectrum
Jan. 6, 2008, 08:53 PM
typically i'm not lungeing a horse that might be taking off bucking either.




if the horse is extremely well-behaved and this is only for highly advaced longers - what purpose does it serve? what are you trying to accomplish when you run the longe line like this that you can't accomplish otherwise?


You can ask for bend in a manner more similar to a rider's hand, rather than tilting the nose inwards. And it's a more elastic connection than hooking directly to the bit, which acts in conjunction with a side rein rather than potentially in opposition to it.



how is this different from long-lining then please?

well, in the above case, where you're dealing with a well-trained horse, it wouldn't be. However if you're working with a young horse, your potential for occasional "baby" behavior goes up. They are totally different tools. One is for teaching more advanced aids, and one is for establishing elasticity and relaxation in an environment which maximizes horse and handler safety. I'm sure you can figure out which is which. :)



how do you stop a horse in it's tracks when you are long lining it and it decides to take off?
Couldn't tell ya. I sure as heck wouldn't be long-lining a horse I was worried would take off! Yikes!




what happens when the line is attached through the inside of the bit, over the poll and onto the outside bit? or under the chin as i also sometimes see?

Besides gagging the horse if it leans on or hits the line? Or putting the trainer's entire weight against the horse's mouth if it does a joy-buck? That's alot of pressure for a soft area of the body to take.



what about the set-up i described above though?
see above reply. I don't like it and won't use it for those reasons. Additionally, see ideayoda's reply about how a properly fitted cavesson works and why it will stop a horse better than a bit attachment.



i do appreciate your thorough answer despite my follow-up questions! thanks!

You're welcome!

Spectrum.