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  1. #1
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    Default Spinoff: Stopping longe line blowups

    A horse blowing off steam and misbehaving on the longe is not something we want to allow. So, when a horse that has been allowed (and sometimes even encouraged ) to do that comes to you, what methods do you use to put an end to that kind of behavior?
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    Those martingales were so taut, you could play Ode to Joy on them with a comb



  2. #2
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    Jun. 13, 2001
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    Ideally it never happens because the horse has been progressively started (with a handler on the outside/at walk/using a wall/IN A CAVESON/etc).

    IF it does STOP the horse immediately and back it up. Start again in walk with the figure as small as it needs to be to keep the horse between the aids (one hand facing the mouth, the whip hand facing the hips). If it does not listen, stop again.

    (Usually it happens because the horse was not on a taut line/listeing in the first place OR because the handler has previously allowed 'playing'.)
    I.D.E.A. yoda


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  3. #3
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    Jul. 11, 2012
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    Default

    I'd try working them on the longe line after they've been ridden or some time when you know they're not fresh. Then you'll hopefully have a window to work on teaching voice commands like whoa or trot. Voice commands may may be the easiest way to teach them the idea that a longe line is not an automatic excuse for a rodeo.
    Although I personally don't like using a Pessoa system for 'this' I'm going to put it out there anyway - if a horse goes to a bucking fit in a Pessoa system it becomes a self correcting issue. Unfortunately they can scare the bejesus out of themselves in the process. Like I said, not a highest & best use of the aid.
    Finally, if my current horse has a buck or two on a longe line (without being crazy) I allow it - but that is never allowed with a saddle on. So maybe longing w tack on would help but I have a feeling that's farther down the training road given your current issues.



  4. #4

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    I watched recently a very good video from England of a handler working a 4 yo stallion on the lunge.She was very clear that he viewed part of being on the lunge as a private game between them and she basically knew when to ignore him and let him "have a play" and then get back to work

    so it may be that getting after a smart animal just makes the blow up worse.

    Tamara
    Last edited by Tamara in TN; Nov. 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM.
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2000
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    Chesterland, OH USA
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    Default

    Vienna reins and insist on forward!
    With that combination, they can't perform too many antics.

    To further refine, lots of transitions between gaits and making my circle bigger and smaller to keep his attention.

    In addition, there is the standard disclaimer, make sure your horse gets enough turnout and isn't being fed too much for their work load.

    And I will add this link to a video showing how my horse *used* to be lunged before I bought him!
    http://youtu.be/Vo9slwzXtB0



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2003
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    US
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    Default

    The short answer is to keep the horse busy enough doing what you say that he doesn't have time to further his own agenda.

    I've found that most (not all) horses with this habit also lack truly good ground manners. I don't mean just going through the motions of leading at your side and stopping when you stop. I mean real communication -- paying close attention to the handler, willingly and calmly allowing himself to be guided in any direction, at any speed, at any time the handler wants. Softly yielding to rope pressure, softly moving forward when asked without overreacting. It's almost like a dance.

    When you have the horse really with you in that way, the explosion problems tend to solve themselves.

    If you're dealing with a horse with known baggage, I'd start with a ground manners session (or 10, depending on how bad he is). Keep the horse close to you at first so that you have more control. Keep him busy and direct him where to go. Stay alert for warning signs (ear twitch, head flip, back hunch) and proactively redirect. Immediately correct any explosions without making a big deal out of them (that means make your correction quickly and decisively, and put the horse back to work as soon as possible).

    When you feel the horse is ready, start increasing the distance, while maintaining that same soft control you've been practicing. Change directions often, change gaits, transition within gaits, stop and stand, etc. Lunging should never be mindless circling anyway, but especially not with this type of horse. You're trying to develop a work ethic -- work should not be boring.

    By the time you get to the point where you trust him out on a 20m circle, you will have a damn well mannered horse. It's win-win.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2001
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    Default

    I would NOT use vienna reins if a horse tended to yahoo, it is simply too easy to catch a foot. Equally letting the horse EVER being allowed a buck is exactly what starts this. Working with a human (ridden or in hand) needs to have CLEAR perimeters. A horse should NOT blindly be allowed to run....walk first/clear limits (usually smaller figure...with handler at head if necessary to start). Then trot. And NEVER say a word ('whoa') UNLESS the horse is already doing it (at the beginning)...nothing is more useless than whoa/whoa/whoa and horse bligthly goes on and on and on. (And in a caveson, not a halter, so that it is not pulled into the eye, and so that there IS control.)

    Horses should be lunged as they are ridden (upper arms vertical/forearm pointed at head/back hand pointed at croup (with whip). Line kept taut, never dragging. And until the horse knows to go both direction w/o facing into the handler it should not go on a larger circle nor in a faster gait. And it is NEVER fed out by allowing it to do so with the quarters toward the handler. Horse moves from handler, hander does not move away. Otherwise the horse does not learn progressively.
    I.D.E.A. yoda


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
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    mid-atlantic
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    Default

    The primary purpose of lunging is to get a horse's focus. The secondary purpose is getting excess energy out, only because it is a necessary prerequisite of #1.

    So with this in mind, you need to be an engaged, active partner. Not on your cell phone, not gabbing with friends. Use your voice commands - in a loud, commanding voice if that's what it takes - and back them up with whip/lunge line cues. Make the circle smaller (for a short while, not for too long) if the horse can't be trusted too far from you. Lots of transitions from canter to trot & back again are great for focus, as well as making the horse tired enough to give you that focus.

    But you can't be a total taskmaster either. Energy cannot be bottled up or it will explode. Allow your horse the opportunity to get rid of needed energy, just try to direct it.

    The lunge line is the appropriate place for bucking sprees, etc. to happen - if they must happen at all. Do not punish this, just go back to work. Lead by example by being business-like about lunging at all times.

    Use a bridle (or cavesson) and side reins. Always. Not a halter because you don't have enough control.

    I like to take the reins completely off the bridle (not just twist them up & put the throatlatch through them) because a high-flying "paw" could catch them.

    Good luck!
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince


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  9. #9
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    Jun. 13, 2001
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    usa
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    For me there are way more objectives to lungeing, including: to familiarize a young horse to work before riding, to supplement exercise (especially after periods off, for whatever reason), to help repair conformational and muscular problems of the horse, to re-school spoiled horses, and to prepare for training at higher levels (double-lunge & work-in-hand).
    The objective for the horse in preparation for mounted work is the teaching of the following: 1. basic obedience, and calm reactions (to voice, whip, and cavesson (or bridle) on the lunge line2. regulation of the gait according to the human's wishes; 3. development of the horse's muscles by progressive exercise; 4. improvement of balance for mounted work; 5. development of confidence, memory and response; 6. minimization of evasion and resistance in the relationship with the trainer (development of a "calm, good attitude"), and finally,
    7. the habit of free, forward movement is produced.
    I.D.E.A. yoda


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Default

    I think these blow ups happen because there is a microscopic percentage of the population that has been properly taught how to acquaint a horse to the lunge, and how/when to use it.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    I think these blow ups happen because there is a microscopic percentage of the population that has been properly taught how to acquaint a horse to the lunge, and how/when to use it.
    but even the best trainers have in their hands, living things, who get to have an opinion now and then :> and I think that there is a tendency to micromanage that living thing to the point of being dull,dead,or robotic.Or at least try.

    maybe I see "blow up" as something different than the OP does....bucking,a fart, a little playing can't be considered a blow up...but the handlers reaction to that could cause a bit of play to become an eye rolling,flip over backward run away moment...

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    18,472

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ideayoda View Post
    For me there are way more objectives to lungeing, including: to familiarize a young horse to work before riding, to supplement exercise (especially after periods off, for whatever reason), to help repair conformational and muscular problems of the horse, to re-school spoiled horses, and to prepare for training at higher levels (double-lunge & work-in-hand).
    The objective for the horse in preparation for mounted work is the teaching of the following: 1. basic obedience, and calm reactions (to voice, whip, and cavesson (or bridle) on the lunge line2. regulation of the gait according to the human's wishes; 3. development of the horse's muscles by progressive exercise; 4. improvement of balance for mounted work; 5. development of confidence, memory and response; 6. minimization of evasion and resistance in the relationship with the trainer (development of a "calm, good attitude"), and finally,
    7. the habit of free, forward movement is produced.
    Yes. Longeing is invaluable. One added value is that if a horse has been taught to longe properly you always have it as a tool to evaluate soundness and something you can go back to if necessary.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2008
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    Houston, TX
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    Default

    Working in a round pen can help, as it gives you quite a bit more control and the horse a lot less room to fart around. I also do a fair bit of work in a surcingle with side reins with the horses I work, so they tend to have a pretty good understanding that longe time means work not play, even when they aren't in side reins. I'll allow a little buck here and there, but I like mine to have a clear understanding of verbal commands and be very respectful on the longe (whoa means WHOA and canter/kiss means canter NOT trot faster and/or squeal).

    You can take a real squirrely one back to basics and usually work it out.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 3, 2010
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    It is relative.

    Most western training barns I have visited have their horses RUNNING in the round pen and I sit there every time and pray that no legs are broken during this out of control process. THey mostly longe in halters so there is no control whatsoever. THey are going too fast to buck or play up.

    I had the quietest TB in the world, big chunky fella who would buck and rear and fart for the first few minutes on the longe. THen he would settle down and work beautifully. He was fabulous under saddle even for beginners and trained to fourth level so I saw no problem with it. Just his way.

    HA gelding who was an idiot on the longe, bolting and attempting suicide. Had to have three people to get this boy to settle. He was terrified of the line itself. THree people, big wall and short line. Have no idea where all that nonsense came from.

    You don't specifically say what the horse does. I know of several horses coming from BNT's that would actually fall DOWN in terror on the longe. Would love to see how that started. One simply cannot be done. We spent hours over months and he just will not settle. No idea why.
    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
    ? Albert Einstein


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  15. #15
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Default

    What I would do is start in a round pen. Free longe the horse for a few minutes until the yahoos were out, then attach the line and proceed. Before long the horse will begin to associate being on the line with control. Then you can begin each session on the line and correct any blow ups so the horse understands tehy are no longer allowed. After that you can move out of the round pen to a larger arena.



  16. #16
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    Oct. 13, 2006
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    Depends on if they have plenty of turn out or not. If they do then I dont lunge without side reins or Degogue.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  17. #17
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    Aug. 4, 2009
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    If I find myself lunging a horse that's been taught to act like a clown on the lunge, I treat him as if he's never been taught to lunge before. That means starting on the wall, walking and halting with voice commands and progressing to transitions on a circle with cones for guidance. Walking and trotting before progressing to cantering. I consider voice commands to be essential to lunging and useful in other areas of a horse's training. And to the horse it feels more like "work time" if it's structured, keeping the playfulness to a reasonable minimum (kicking out or a little head tossing is one thing, but serious hijinks belong in the pasture, not with me on a line).

    There's other good advice above. Just don't throw him back into that environment without making sure he knows the new rules first.


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  18. #18
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    Sep. 18, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamara in TN View Post
    but even the best trainers have in their hands, living things, who get to have an opinion now and then :> and I think that there is a tendency to micromanage that living thing to the point of being dull,dead,or robotic.Or at least try.

    maybe I see "blow up" as something different than the OP does....bucking,a fart, a little playing can't be considered a blow up...but the handlers reaction to that could cause a bit of play to become an eye rolling,flip over backward run away moment...

    Tamara


    My horse is 12. He knows how to longe, but I rarely do it unless he seems to have a hair crossways and I have no place to turn him loose to get it straight.

    Sometimes he fools me and doesn't act up at all on the longe. Other times, his "blow up" is a good buck or two in each direction to give me the finger and then "oh ... all right." If I came down on him like a ton of bricks for it, we would have a situation.
    __________________________
    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


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  19. #19
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    Apr. 5, 2011
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    If my horse has been stuck in his stall for a couple days due to inclement weather, I gave him permission to be a little silly. I make a kissing sound that I only do when I want him to let loose. I never make that noise unless being silly is ok so my meaning is very clear.

    If all I'm doing is giving him some space to stretch his legs, I set him loose in the arena/round pen and kiss to him to encourage him to let loose. If I'm actually lunging him, I make him listen to me through all three gaits first. After he has cantered a few times around without rushing or getting on the forehand, I kiss to him to give him permission to speed it up and have fun. He's a naturally forward horse (OTTB afterall). I think he should be allowed to get some enjoyment, so long as he follows the rules. The rules are 1) don't come in on the circle 2) go the speed/gait I asked for 3) stop when I say stop. I'd also stop him if he ever bucked with his butt facing me, though that's something he's never done.

    If he's had plenty of turn out time, being silly on the longe line is not allowed. The first time he breaks into the next gait when I haven't asked for it, I pull him in on a tiny circle so trotting/cantering when not asked becomes really hard work. He usually does a down transition pretty quickly and then I let him back out on the bigger circle. If he continues to ignore me or does it again, I stop him and back him up in a very dominant way so I have his undivided attention. A couple times of doing that is usually all that is needed and magically he starts to listen.

    When I first got him, his only speeds on the longe were walk or run. In two months time he learned all his voice commands and is better on the longe than most horses I've seen. Not because we're so great but because few people take the time to try to actually longe a horse properly.



  20. #20
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    "And I will add this link to a video showing how my horse *used* to be lunged before I bought him!
    http://youtu.be/Vo9slwzXtB0"
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have a mental picture of a handler flat on his/her back skijorring across the field.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



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