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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 1, 2007
    Location
    NJ
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    329

    Default Wrong canter lead on lunge line

    My horse has had some bad training before he came to me. He was so anxious when lunging. He's now MUCH better and more confident.

    The problem is he can't seem to pick up the right canter lead on the lunge line. He has no problem picking it up with a rider on him.

    Any tips or ideas to that could help?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    33,881

    Default

    Don't canter on the lunge to the right.

    I mean, do you NEED to canter in that small a circle to the right? Can you just ride him?

    Alot of them will blow off some steam and do all sorts of weird things on a lunge so you really should have side reins on him and stop to fix that wrong lead. In a perfect world anyway.

    He may have some creaky hocks or stifles and it's just too tight for him to do comfortably. If he does it under saddle? Skip it on the lunge. Or skip the lunging completly-unless he is really fresh, you don't need it and it is really hard on them.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Don't canter on the lunge to the right.

    I mean, do you NEED to canter in that small a circle to the right? Can you just ride him?

    Alot of them will blow off some steam and do all sorts of weird things on a lunge so you really should have side reins on him and stop to fix that wrong lead. In a perfect world anyway.

    He may have some creaky hocks or stifles and it's just too tight for him to do comfortably. If he does it under saddle? Skip it on the lunge. Or skip the lunging completly-unless he is really fresh, you don't need it and it is really hard on them.
    Yes. Nothing does more damage to the joints of a horse than lungeing.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2007
    Posts
    535

    Default

    I might be doing that because his balance is poor in that direction. I would skip the lungeing and work big circles and serpentines when I ride. Do his gaits feel different in each direction?

    also stand behind him and check to see if his hips are even and then look forward and see if his shoulder blades are even. There may be a reason that his has some trouble in one direction on the lunge.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2005
    Posts
    1,140

    Default

    Is he by chance a TB? I had one who wouldn't canter on his right lead for quite a while because he raced & his trainers didn't need the right canter - except via a flying change, which he would do. It took months - under saddle & on the lunge - to get him comfortable with it. But when he got it, he never lost it again.

    (But for a while I was wondering if it would ever come).
    Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2004
    Location
    The Land of Oz
    Posts
    769

    Default

    I recently bought a horse that hadn't been in work before I purchased him. I longed him before our rides sometimes until I learned he doesn't have much of a wild streak and he would sometimes pick up the wrong lead tracking right, or just throw a fit about going that direction at all. Because he was so out of shape, he couldn't canter on a circle, even when I had the longe line all the way out. So what I did was walk with him to extend the circle, so we could at least canter. If he would pick up the incorrect lead, we'd go back down to the trot and then go back to the canter and usually end up with the right lead.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    15,762

    Default

    When I have this problem with a horse, I bring them back to a walk or trot and ask again, as I would under saddle. But, you have to be careful that the horse doesn't think you're unhappy with him cantering.

    Also, it helps to watch your timing. Get him very precise and crisp in the strike-off. Then, when you ask for the canter, ask for it as the outside hind is swinging forward, so that his legs are arranged to pick up that lead naturally.

    I would also try shifting your body with respect to his, so that for example you're more opposite the hindquarter than the barrel or shoulder.

    The next thing I'd try would be lunging in an arena and asking going into the corner, so he gets the visual cue that he's used to under saddle that we'll be doing the right lead.

    Another thing that may help is to change to a ground driving configuration, where you have two lines. This will allow you to be oriented a bit more behind the horse (you're still on the circle, but you are no longer standing at the center of the circle, and instead walking a small circle inside the horse's large circle), and it also allows you to have a feel of both sides of the mouth, if you have the dexterity to handle both lines.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,409

    Default

    Most of the time they get the wrong leads on the lunge, if they are not ahving a physical issue, is due to the "lunger" pulling a bit on the line. If their nose comes in, they fall out thru their outside shoulder, and can only take the outside lead. Try releasing all contact just as the horse approachs the rail, and ask just after the release.

    Horses know their leads from birth, and will try to take the right one, if they are not being interfered with, as long as it is not a soundness/stiffness issue, and most of the time, even then.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007
    Location
    Central NJ / NYC
    Posts
    147

    Default

    I did the QH thing for a while and I don't support over lunging but I do think it should be a tool in every rider's bag.

    If you're pretty sure its not a physical issue, and is a mental or comprehension issue....I second paying attention to when you ask (both in respect to his location in the ring and stride) then if he gets the incorrect lead bringing him down, asking again, and just giving LOTS of praise when he does give the lead you want.

    As a point of discussion, I do wonder if the horse gets it right under saddle because the rider is making the balance and lead happen, and you just see it on the lunge because no one is there to help him out.... or if, as suggested above, the lunger/lunging is causing the balance and lead malfunction. I would lean towards the former, but it's just a wonder.



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