The Art of Natural Dressage

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 Post subject: 3: Lunging + Video
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:21 pm 
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Location: Waterloo, IL
Lunging


Quote:
Hi everyone,
I have a few questions about lunging.
At what time do you start it in your horse's development of exercises? Do you recommend lunging like the parelli's circling game,(stand in one spot while your horse goes around) or like regular lunging(follow your horse around)? I know the parelli's advocate standing in one spot because it releases pressure, "rewarding" the horse and saying that's what I want, the pressure is off.

Thanks for any advice :wink:



Edit by Romy: Here is another thread that might be helpful:
How to teach the coming/sending


Edit by Miriam: Here is are two nice 25-minutes videos by Carolyn Resnick on how to teach a horse to lunge - she uses a halter & whip, but you can use the same technique without them as shejust uses babysteps & bodylanguage to teach the horse:
How to teach a horse to lunge

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Brittany

www.royalhorsecompany.com


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 Post subject: Re: Lunging?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:10 pm 
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
BladeRunner wrote:
Hi everyone,
I have a few questions about lunging.
At what time do you start it in your horse's development of exercises? Do you recommend lunging like the parelli's circling game,(stand in one spot while your horse goes around) or like regular lunging(follow your horse around)? I know the parelli's advocate standing in one spot because it releases pressure, "rewarding" the horse and saying that's what I want, the pressure is off.

Thanks for any advice :wink:



Each is for different purposes.

You probably have noticed that there are two ways expressed here of how to be with your horse. Not that others aren't mentioned as well, but as applies to your question. Basically a performance and conditioning question at that.

One is liberty play (which can take place on a lungeline, at least in form) and the other performance outcome intended.

I'd say your answer lies on you examining what you wish to have happen at any particular moment.

Circle work, ala PNH, fits within a certain paradigm. Has preceding activities leading to it, and has goals and outcomes intended to be done later.

It is a fine method for teaching the horse to attend you closely, and to respond to very subtle clues.

It does not, however, fit very well into the goal of many here: to build from freeing the horse to decide what they wish to do next with their human and building on that.

On the other hand, I'm sure that many horses could be lunged in the PNH fashion and still be invited to and accept more freedom of choice.

I would wager some here have done just that.

Notice that so much of the play going on also is mentioned occasionally here as being done on the line.

Sometimes because of conditions -- no fences, near traffic, etc. Sometimes because the person feels what they wish to convey will happen on the line better.

I'd think that the lunge line might also be a calming influence if that's needed.

And if reduction of pressure is the thing that calms your horse, then becoming quiet and further from the horse might be the tool you use in the moment.

But, and this gives pause for thought out of your comment, could the human moving from actively following the horse around the curve to becoming more quiet closer to the center be that allusive Pressure Reduction and Release AND practitioners seek?

Could it fit with taking those first steps toward more freedom and energy at play?

I wonder what people are seeing that might use this combination tool toward their goals, and those of their horse as well.

The videos shared here I think show just that. Changing by the same horse and human from one form to the other in lunge work.

You make me think.

Donald Redux 1965

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If you are curious, you can see my photo and video album at -

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff51/donald_redux/

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~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:19 pm 
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I must say that I almost don´t lunge my horses anymore. Of course we also run in circles (me being lazy and taking the inner position ;)), but they don´t think that it´s fun to run around me while I just stand in the middle and tell them what to do. So I almost always run with them, except for situations when they just want to run very fast when we come to a meadow after several weeks on a muddy paddock. Then I can´t join them in their high speed canter and they have to run around me alone if they really want to go wild.

It´s very interesting what you wrote about the Parelli way of lunging - that they stand like this in order to avoid pressure - because I never knew why they were doing it like that. I have always tried to base my communication with the horses on body language and mimicry. That means in the case of lunging (in the years when I had still done that), that the horses were starting to walk when I stood a little more staight, started to trot when I tensed a little bit more and walked my small circle with a little bit more suspended steps, cantered when I did some mini canter jumps and stopped or went to a slower gait when I took the tension out of my body. The more I did this, the slower they became, up to something like a fast wincing(?), which made Titum stop from canter and turn around to canter into the other direction when I paired it with a slight turn of my body. So we were communicating all the time while lunging and as soon as I started to stop moving or reduce my movement to a certain degree, Titum did the same. I have never understood why people willingy abandon the great options of mimicry and stand in the middle like a rock...

Besides that, I always had the impression that this was a little impolite towards the horse - he has to run around his human and this human doesn´t even make the effort to attend him - but yes, if you work within a system where attention is closely related to pressure, this makes sense. Thanks for the clarification, Brittany. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:35 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:28 am
Posts: 178
The Parelli way is to standstill while the horse goes around mindlessly, while AND is asking the horse to concentrate and at the same time you need to concentrate. I feel if we want our horse's to focus then we must focus, too.

I think instead of just asking our horses to go a round in circles, you can be asking for a slower tempo, a faster tempo, you'll be able to ask for a walk and then go up to a trot, but we need to focus just as much as our horses focus to achieve this. Once the transitions are balanced then asking for shoulder-in and many other exercises come into play. Again, our horse has to focus then why shouldn't we?

April

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:02 am 
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Location: Waterloo, IL
Thanks to all three of you for your replies. They really made me think.

Romy wrote:
Besides that, I always had the impression that this was a little impolite towards the horse - he has to run around his human and this human doesn´t even make the effort to attend him - but yes, if you work within a system where attention is closely related to pressure, this makes sense. Thanks for the clarification, Brittany.


No, thank YOU Romy, for the clarification! You made me realize that since I don't play with my horses using pressure, I don't need to release pressure. DUH! :roll:
If I do lunge my horse, which I mean lunging in the way of going around in a circle so you can see his whole body and teaching him to move in a collected way. I know that you don't have to lunge to do that, but I have read about people lunging in order to more clearly teach different movements, for instance in the canter. We can't run forever with our horse to teach him something in the canter! 8)
But anyway, if I do lunge my horse, it will be with a cordeo and a line only, and I think April and Romy are right in that you should be actively involved in the circle with your horse and using mimickry.


Donald Redux wrote:
But, and this gives pause for thought out of your comment, could the human moving from actively following the horse around the curve to becoming more quiet closer to the center be that allusive Pressure Reduction and Release AND practitioners seek?

Could it fit with taking those first steps toward more freedom and energy at play?

I wonder what people are seeing that might use this combination tool toward their goals, and those of their horse as well.

The videos shared here I think show just that. Changing by the same horse and human from one form to the other in lunge work.

You make me think.


Now You're making me think! What you wrote above is a lot for me to think about and digest. I'm really thinking about it, and I'm not sure how to reply just yet. I'm reading your words over and over, trying to think about how lunging fits(or if it even does fit) into AND. You're right about the videos. I think I'll go watch some of them. :wink:

I would like to hear others thoughts on this, while I'm trying to figure out what I think about it. (I'm not quite sure what I think yet :roll: :lol: )

Okay, I'm going to do some more reading and watching videos posted here, and I'll come back and post a reply after I get my thoughts together. In the meantime I hope to see some more post about this.

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Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
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Location: Quebec, Canada
I also have a question on lunging. Why do people lunge horses in the first place?
When I bought Corado, I was at this barn where I was teaching Corado the "Circling Game" (I used to be a Parelli student) and this other girl was "lunging" her horse. Corado was calmly walking around (bored to death probably) but this other girl had a horse who had not been out of his stall for about 5 days, a hot-blooded horse and here she was trying to lunge him at the walk. He was going crazy. So she would use this whip and snap it real loud so he would run and she was so agressive towards her horse. I couldn't stay. Corado did not react to her method but I was sick to my stomach (one month later, I left that barn). I believe the Circling game taught in level 1 is to simply teach the horse a certain language: direction, do not change gait and come to me. It's alot better than the traditional way but... in my opinion, nothing beats liberty!! And the circling game (after alot of practice) can be done at liberty in a round pen. The horse is probably bored to death so is it necessary, I don't know!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:16 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:28 am
Posts: 178
Actually, you can do circles out in the pasture with no round pen. I've done this out with a herd of horses. It just takes time.

Lunging is used to help the horse to bring his inside hindleg to come under him, at least that's what it's suppose to do.

I use a picadero because it's square and the horse has to stand up when he goes into the corner. On a circle the shoulder can fall into the circle so using the corners I feel it really helps the horse to step under himself.

april

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:40 pm 
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Location: Quebec, Canada
Very interesting April. So now I have a few questions for you (and everyone).
:?: by putting his hindleg under him, is this only an exercise he should or is it to prepare him for certain dressage moves (I know nothing about dressage).
:?: Do you prefer working in a square paddock (picadero) or a round pen. I'll tell you why. I asked my boyfriend to build me an indoor round pen (50' diameter) because all I've heard about is a r.p. but if a picadero can be used for all the same reasons as a round pen and it makes him physically more fit, I would probably ask for a picadero.
what is your advice?? (I didn't even know that a picadero existed)
Jocelyne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:53 pm 
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Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
horsefever wrote:
Very interesting April. So now I have a few questions for you (and everyone).
:?: by putting his hindleg under him, is this only an exercise he should or is it to prepare him for certain dressage moves (I know nothing about dressage).
:?: Do you prefer working in a square paddock (picadero) or a round pen. I'll tell you why. I asked my boyfriend to build me an indoor round pen (50' diameter) because all I've heard about is a r.p. but if a picadero can be used for all the same reasons as a round pen and it makes him physically more fit, I would probably ask for a picadero.
what is your advice?? (I didn't even know that a picadero existed)
Jocelyne


Ah, the luxury of choices. Lucky you.

Square. It does things you cannot do in a round pen, and if you really want to take the pressure off it easier in a square pen.

ON the other hand, as long as we are making wishes, I prefer, minimum, about 100 by 60 rectangle with take down round corners.

I'm such a greedy boy.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:27 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:28 am
Posts: 178
horsefever wrote:
Very interesting April. So now I have a few questions for you (and everyone).
:?: by putting his hindleg under him, is this only an exercise he should or is it to prepare him for certain dressage moves (I know nothing about dressage).
:?: Do you prefer working in a square paddock (picadero) or a round pen. I'll tell you why. I asked my boyfriend to build me an indoor round pen (50' diameter) because all I've heard about is a r.p. but if a picadero can be used for all the same reasons as a round pen and it makes him physically more fit, I would probably ask for a picadero.
what is your advice?? (I didn't even know that a picadero existed)
Jocelyne


The picadero actually helps him to collect. I do this at a walk and if he rushes that's fine. At first, I do this totally at liberty. The round pen came into play to get rid of corners. The cowboys felt the horse would get stuck in the corner. Yes, they do turn into the corner, but lay off the pressure and allow them to find their way around the corner.

The other reason why they will turn into the corner is because they aren't with you yet. This is fine, take mental notes, it's no big deal. It will improve as long as you respect this.

What I really like about the picadero is that once they are finally wanting to be with you, is that, they will step into the corner and actually bend. They have to bring that inside leg under themselves otherwise, they will fall down. They have to stand up going through it. They are doing this, not us making them do this. Allow the corner to do the training. When they come out of the corner, then it's a straight line. This gives the muscles a relaxing time. The muscles need this time.

A horse that isn't use to using their muscles this way, is very very hard. I only ask for about 3 times and then change direction, 3 more times, and then it's done. You don't need to do a lot. Like I stated this is not an easy exercise. Think of yourself, doing palates or stretches for the very first time.

The round pen does absolutely nothing for them except that they can go round and round. The horses have a false bend.

What I would do is go out and walk and trot, just yourself, around the round pen. See how your body bends and how it is used. Where are you legs? Where is your ribcage? Where is your shoulder and is it easy to drop the shoulder into the circle and still move around. Do this at the walk and trot. Just yourself not your horse.

Then you can take a string and make a nice 30-35 x30-35 square pen and do the same thing. Feel how your body goes into the corner and how you have to stand up to make it through and then you'll come out straight. Again, how easy is it to drop your shoulder when you're in the corner? What muscles are you having to use?

I only do picadero work a couple of times a week, then we might do arena work, play, or go for a walk out in the country or just take a walk around the pasture. I mix things up so not to be boring. This isn't about drilling the horse, but preparing the horse and get to know your horse so you're relationship will grow and his own abilities will grow.

If we can teach the horse how to collect, this will benefit his health. It makes him stronger and he'll be able to carry you in a more comfortable way. Also, this will stregthen his back and actually his whole body.

The size of the picadero is important. You don't want it too small nor too big. It also depends on the size of your horse and his own abilities. I had retrained Racehorses and I made the picadero 40 x40 (this is in feet). I tried the smaller 30 x30 but because their muscles have been used differently, I needed to give them more room and not feel crunched in it. As they changed, then picadero size changed to help them further their training. I wouldn't go any smaller than 30x30.

Go with what feels right to you at the time, but I would switch over to a square even if your horse gets stuck in the corner, this is fine and allow them the time to think things over. Take mental notes, that this is where your relationship is right now...no big deal. As long as, you respect your horses opinion and acknowledge him everything is going to turn out okay.

Make it fun being in the picadero. The horse I'm working with right now, will go right under the lines and hang out in it. He'd look at me saying aren't you coming. I have disappointed him, because sometimes we wouldn't do picadero exercises, but we'd do other things and he would cheer up.

I am hoping to be able to have videos done this weekend of me and Shhzzar in the picadero.

April

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Horse's idea becomes your Idea...

April


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:49 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:12 pm
Posts: 29
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Hi,

I've just learned to lunge in the Chris Irwin way.
I don't know if you know him?

Basically what he says about lunging is that you have a center(your bellybutton) and that should never point to the horse's head.

So, if you lunge that way, you'll get a very relaxed horse(when you do it correct), I personally think it's a nice way to lunge your horse because it's about relaxation and body language.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:26 am 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
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Location: Netherlands
Interesting topic!

I do lunge the pony's quite often, in order to ask them to step under with their inner hindleg and bend the body on the circle. We always do one to ten small circles whenever we train, so I guess in total we lunge about two minutes. 8) Also making a circle is a good way to start stepping under, and then leave the circle in a shoulder-in. Our circles aren't that circular actually and they change shapes with every round we do; bigger, smaller, stepping more under, becoming more collected or extending more.

As Donald wrote: as you don't up the pressure when lunging in this way, you don't need to release that pressure either so there's no need to stand still. Most of the time I walk a small circle in the middle myself, or moving in the way I want the ponies to mimick (like collected canter, or collected trot).

By the way; I also use the ideas of Chris Irwin on the human bodylanguage when lunging, simply because I see the ponies (especially Sjors) responding immediately when I walk towards their head instead of shoulder or hindquarters. I'm not so sure about his belly-button theory. I guess it's more a case of very normal body-posture reading: every animal and human knows that a human will walk to where his bellybutton/chest/rump is pointing at, and will avoid collision by making space with their own body. Also, when you stand straight and look forwards, you are ready to move forwards, which sends out a signal to the rest of your environment to clear the path in front of you (if there's a horses'head in the way, it will turn away from you). And if you sag a bit in your back, stand a bit in a slouched posture looking at the ground, it's clear to everybody that you are not going to move soon, and if you are, it will probably be backwards. So if there's a horse standing in front of you, he will actually turn his head towards you because you are making room for him. At least that's how I've integrated it in our training/lunging sessions!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:29 pm 
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Miriam wrote:
I do lunge the pony's quite often, in order to ask them to step under with their inner hindleg and bend the body on the circle.


This is where my question originated from! I knew I had seen somewhere that you lunge your horses, so I asked:
Quote:
At what time do you start it in your horse's development of exercises?


I also asked whether or not you should do it like Parelli, but I got my answer from Donald and April.

I think it is a good idea to lunge for stepping under with the hindleg and bending the body, so when would be the best time to start this type of lunging?

Thanks!

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God Bless!

Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
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Location: Netherlands
BladeRunner wrote:
I think it is a good idea to lunge for stepping under with the hindleg and bending the body, so when would be the best time to start this type of lunging?


As soon as your horse understands how to step under in hand (with you next to him, with cordeo or at liberty) which you teach him on a small circle. Because then you can ask him to enlarge the circle by asking him to step sideways away from you with his hindleg stepping under. First you ask him to only enlarge the circle with a meter, then more and more. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:04 pm 
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Thanks Miriam!

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God Bless!

Brittany



www.royalhorsecompany.com


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