Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Teach your Horse NOT to Pull on the lunge

Shaman, Rascal, Ranger and Black Elk All Mustangs from the Wild

All horses have one direction that is easier than the other, and some days are better than others. Our job is to help them become more balanced. Stretching on the outside and contracting on the inside. Today, Black Elk was not as relaxed and when asked to canter to the left, his less favorite direction, he cantered but pulled.
Rascal and Black Elk, the Butt Biter!

Now, he's big- 16-3, huge bone and well developed. When he's pulling it's a lot of horse out there on the end of the line.

So, what to do?

I started with having him walk and yield his hind quarters, then trot and yield his hind quarters. It's hard work, but when he's yielding, he's NOT pulling. So, once that was established, I let out more line and asked for a canter and VOILA! A beautiful round canter! No pulling on the rope, bending nicely, slow and round.

After a few steps, yes, that little, I praised him and let him come in for a treat.

Back again to yielding at the walk, the trot and once he relaxed into the trot, I asked for the canter and once again- it was just perfect!

I'd love to hear if this works for you as well.


  1. Oh! I need to try this! Wyoming, one of my mustangs, pulls a lot. I know this is hard work and not simple, but your instructions are very clear making it sound simple.

    I sent the girl that adopted Copper, the Robert's Mountain mustang, an e-mail but have not heard back from her. Last year she was talking about having to down-size...and I am trying not to worry that he might have moved on and I have lost track of him. I really hope she would let me know if I was interested in bringing him back home. If I get an update on him, I will let you know. :-)

    1. Hi Karen,
      I see what you were up to this Sunday!! I really want to know if this works for you. I have been using it the past 3 days and it's working well. He is still better to the right, but now on the left, he's making much more of an effort to bend his body quickly.
      Yes, if you find out anything about our Copper, I'd love to hear. It's like Black Elk's cousin!! Really, I so would like to know.
      Black Elk has not been easy for me in some ways- like the broken ribs- but, I think he's going to be really something in the years to come. If only I was not aging at the same rate! More Yoga!

  2. I love this method! Definitely works for me too. I start a lot of horses and I find that if I train them to lunge this way (keeping their butt out) they never even start pulling.