Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Mare won't lunge

Dear Fellow Trainer,

I have a 1/2 Arabian mare, that I love dearly, but every time I go to lunge her, she tries to pull away, like she doesn't understand a circle. I have tried so many things, and nothing will work. Every time I ride her, I can't lunge before I ride and then she is all jumpy, and I don't get anything accomplished. When I free-lunge her though, she is perfectly fine, and loves it and does so much better with riding after. But, she isn't afraid of the rope, because I can rub it all over her. I just don't know what to do. If I don't learn how to lunge her on a line soon, I won't be able to take her to shows next year. I know she is a great horse, and does great when she is calm and collected, but when she isn't, man oh man, she can run fast!! Please help in any way possible!


~Confused Equestrian~

Hello Confused Equestrian,

I can get confused too. It sounds like you free lunge her in a round pen. Is that true? If so, and you put a line on her in the round pen, how can she pull away? If you do have a round pen, practice lunging on the line in the pen. With horses that don't lunge well in the open and try to get away, I do not grab or try to restrain them by holding and standing firm. Rather I move with the horse. If they pull out of the circle or back up I merely go with them. I just keep encouraging the horse to go back to moving in the circle. Sooner or later they do as backing up or running off takes more effort than gently trotting in a circle. I rarely have the problem more than several times if I merely go with the horse, not against the horse, and appropriately and consistently request a circle. I really take my time and am very patient and steady in my requests. I do not let my energy escalate simply because the horse's does. The calmer I stay the better chance the horse will calm down also. Remember, your main goal is the establishing of trust between you and the horse as well as becoming the "great parent" type of leader. If you remember and hold that as the bottom line goal, you can't go wrong assuming you have the appropriate skills. Good Luck and please keep me posted.

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: