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Discuss Switching directions on the lunge line at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

So how would I go about teaching my horse to change directions while lunging? Right ...
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    Senior Member APHA05's Avatar
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    Switching directions on the lunge line

    So how would I go about teaching my horse to change directions while lunging?

    Right now I just have him stop and then I go up to him and turn him to the other direction, but I'd rather do it the right way Not to mention the right way is probably easier..
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    Full Member racingqueen66's Avatar
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    When you ask him to stop right now, does he just stop or does he turn and look at you?

    If he turns to you, you're already in right direction. I would start by walking toward him like you do now, but start by being few feet away and take your lunge whip / end of line or whatever and swing it toward to get him to move. Just start increasing the distance until you don't have to move toward him at all. Usually all I have to do is switch the lunge whip to my other hand and move it a little so the horse knows to go the opposite direction.

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    I teach it off a short line first.

    I "lead" the horse like we're lunging, but the line is short and I'm walking with him. We stop. The horse MUST always always stay facing forward when stopping. He needs to learn to wait to see if you'll ask him to continue forward, come in to you, or change direction.

    Once he 100% stops and stays facing the same way, even if he turns his head to look at me, then I start a 'come to me" set up.

    I first teach that it's ok to some into me *when I ask*. Never until, but always when I do.

    When he reliably comes in to me AND stays put, then I start working on the reversal.

    I'll walk backwards a few steps while asking him to come into me, and at the same time, swap my line and whip hands. I'll direct with my new line hand and encourage with my new whip hand to go the new direction. I'll walk backwards as long as it takes (within reason) for the horse to understand what I want. Then I adopt the normal lunge/leading position and on we go.

    Once the concept is a seed in his mind, I'll do this the whole length of the ring, starting at the end. This means a serpentine pattern going down the length of the ring.

    Once that's reliable, I'll mix up a stop, and change, and a come into me.

    THEN, and only then, do I work on a longer line, working on all those things at each length, until we're back out at typical lunge line length. I like to do walking and trotting changes of direction out there once the line is all the way out.

    If you take your time, it goes a whole lot faster, as you solidify things before increasing complexity
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    Senior Member miqhpalomino555's Avatar
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    I yield the hind quarters by looking at their hip, using slight pressure if needed at first to stop. Then I point with my arm the direction I want them to go and follow up with the whip. Ive had good luck and horses catch on pretty quickly. It's a combination of Clinton Anderson with my own tweak

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    Senior Member secuono's Avatar
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    Mine has trouble changing directions so I just go after him and make him turn. Ask for him to turn, line tugging in that direction, I step towards the area in front of him and shoo him around. Eventually he just does it on his own. Or a long whip to block the direction and w/o touching him, 'push' him around the other way.
    I've seen people back up as they ask to change directions and then step to the other side and the horse follows and turns around. But my pony needs a little stronger asking than that...
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    Senior Member+ Dream27's Avatar
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    Watch some Clinton Anderson videos. It's the one thing I really picked up from a clinic of his. Basically, I pull the lunge line towards me while taking a big step to finish slightly in front of them (makes them stop/slow down), switch the whip to the other hand and guide them to the other direction....all at the same time. It does work best if you start in small circles with it first so they can learn the cue of seeing you take the big step and switch the whip to the other hand. If you need a video of it, I could get someone to video me doing it with Annie, who finally just got it to click on both sides (before, she would easily switch one direction but would try to charge through the "slow down/stop" big step towards her. They'll usually be a bit more resistant on the one side that is stiffer for them/more effort for them to stop and pivot on.
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    Just be careful with pulling/tugging on the line to get the turn started. You really don't want to be doing that. You might need it to get the point across, but as quickly as possible you should get away from that.

    The "backing up" is to invite the horse to initiate the turn with a soft body. If you start pulling him in, that's no different from using your inside rein to pull him into a turn - not good riding.
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    Senior Member whippetlovr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miqhpalomino555 View Post
    I yield the hind quarters by looking at their hip, using slight pressure if needed at first to stop. Then I point with my arm the direction I want them to go and follow up with the whip. Ive had good luck and horses catch on pretty quickly. It's a combination of Clinton Anderson with my own tweak
    This is exactly what I do as well. Now I'm trying to teach him a verbal cue as well so I don't even have to point, so I'm working on his responding to 'other way'.

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    Senior Member+ Dream27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post
    Just be careful with pulling/tugging on the line to get the turn started. You really don't want to be doing that. You might need it to get the point across, but as quickly as possible you should get away from that.

    The "backing up" is to invite the horse to initiate the turn with a soft body. If you start pulling him in, that's no different from using your inside rein to pull him into a turn - not good riding.
    Very true. I should note that the guiding in the other direction is not done by pulling on the lunge line (I had a bad choice of words in my previous post)....it's more of I gather it up a little which puts me at a better angle to step in front of their shoulder. Once my horses figured it out, they see me take a step and switch the whip to the other hand and they don't need the "choke up" on the lunge line to initiate the pivot.

    Just out of curiosity, I was always told (by my old trainer) to never back up while lunging a horse....that it insinuates that the horse is dominant over you. Is that true?? You never really know for sure what to believe from trainers', as everyone seems to have their own way of doing things and everyone thinks that what they know is the truth....so I'd like to know for sure if that is true or not.
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    Madem Zippo, (Maddie)--2006 all-around Paint mare
    Miss Olena Diamond (Luna)--2013 QH filly
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    Zananna (Ducky)--2009 QH mare

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dream27 View Post
    Very true. I should note that the guiding in the other direction is not done by pulling on the lunge line (I had a bad choice of words in my previous post)....it's more of I gather it up a little which puts me at a better angle to step in front of their shoulder. Once my horses figured it out, they see me take a step and switch the whip to the other hand and they don't need the "choke up" on the lunge line to initiate the pivot.
    gotcha

    Just out of curiosity, I was always told (by my old trainer) to never back up while lunging a horse....that it insinuates that the horse is dominant over you. Is that true?? You never really know for sure what to believe from trainers', as everyone seems to have their own way of doing things and everyone thinks that what they know is the truth....so I'd like to know for sure if that is true or not.
    If the horse starts coming into you and THEN you start backing up, yes,you're retreating from him and that sets up a dominance situation.

    But if you are backing up to give him room - mentally and physically - to come into you, that's something you initiated and not part of any dominance on his part.
    He who thinks he can do everything or knows everything has already reached the beginning of the end.
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